In Season Mom

Meet Mom Kristin Beltaos

By December 17, 2016 Blog, Featured Moms

Conceiving a child is more than just a bunch of numbers and statistics, it’s about the possibility, not probability that matters – Krisitn Beltaos.

Name: Krisitn Beltaos

State of Residence: Minnesota

Children: Vincent and Miles

Current or former profession(s): Life/Business Coach and Owner of A Gift of Miles

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

We conceived our first child naturally; however, we miscarried our daughter in the first trimester Thanksgiving weekend of 2003. Then we didn’t conceive after trying almost another year to get pregnant. Once we were diagnosed with male factor infertility, we utilized IUI, Clomid (for three months), progesterone suppositories and acupuncture and conceived our first son, Vincent in 2005.

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?

Once we were ready to try for another child, it was determined that I had female factor infertility, elevated FSH. My FSH was so high (24) that I wasn’t considered a candidate for IVF, as 25 was the cutoff number to attempt IVF. So the second time around we struggled with male and female factor infertility. In light of this, our only option was injectible fertility medications (Gonal F and then we switched to Follistim), IUI with progesterone supplementation (first suppositories and then progesterone in oil injections). We did conceive another son, but I miscarried him in the emergency room on Christmas Day 2007.

After healing from that miscarriage, we tried another four months and conceived our second son Miles on the same above mentioned regimen. Since we decided this was going to be our last month to try, I did throw acupuncture back into the mix for that last hoorah so to speak. It was difficult to get to acupuncture appointments already having a child. But for that last month, I was determined to try everything possible to maximize our chances. Apparently, that worked out quite well.

THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

Reproductive Endocrinologists are cautious individuals because there is always the chance of miscarriage. While I really liked my endocrinologist, his message was pretty consistent: you are advanced maternal age, your eggs are old and the quality of your eggs are diminished which puts you at a higher risk for miscarriage and birth defects. Hearing that over and over made it quite challenging to stay positive.

As I previously mentioned, moving to my perinatologist group for my OB care, was a relief.

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors? Why or why not?

I loved my perinatologist group; they were the absolute best. They really develop a family feeling with their patients and it was a joy to see them each visit.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Who was the first person you told about your pregnancy and why? What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?

With conceiving Vincent, the first person that I told was my husband. Our journey to have Vincent was long, and an extreme rollercoaster ride. We were elated! I can remember getting up at 4 a.m. to take the home pregnancy test. We were elated!

With Miles, it was a funny story. My period had started, or so I thought, so I was very down because we decided it would be the last month to try. I was just so very tired physically, mentally and emotionally. When my period kept starting and stopping I decided to take a home pregnancy test. My cousin was visiting me from Ohio and she was the first person I told, since she was just outside the bathroom door and heard me scream. Then I told my husband. After speaking with my endocrinologist, I was switched to progesterone in oil injections for 10 weeks, as my progesterone level was considered borderline low even on progesterone suppository supplementation.

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told them about your pregnancy?

Since we had a miscarriage with our first child and had to use fertility treatments, etc., we were very cautious with telling people once we were pregnant with Vincent. Naturally, it made us a little gun-shy. So once we made it through the first trimester we were overjoyed to share our news. Everyone was so happy because they knew how hard the miscarriage was on us, how hard we were trying to have a baby and how when each month passed we sunk a little deeper into worry.

When we got pregnant with Miles, since we had another miscarriage after Vincent, we were very tight lipped. Since that miscarriage required an emergency room visit, it was quite scary. In particular, my father was extremely worried about me. So once we shared, I can remember him saying that he didn’t even know that we were trying again. Well, we were just that quiet about it. Everyone was so happy that our perseverance paid off and that Vincent would have a sibling.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not?

With Vincent we did because we wanted to know what to expect and be prepared. It was actually quite useful, especially for my husband, who learned how to swaddle and change a diaper.

If I remember correctly, our perinatologist group required it. Besides, we are quite the planners. However since we had to have a c-section after 10 hours of labor, we realized, as with most things in life, you just can’t plan everything. So when we had Miles, another c-section, we did not take any classes because we knew what to expect.

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

With Vincent, everything was very stressful. He was a week overdue with no signs of “dropping”. I ran out of amniotic fluid, so I was finally induced. He had terrible heart rate issues, dropping constantly. I was hooked up to a ton of monitors and hearing Vincent’s heart rate dropping was terrifying. After 10 hours of labor, he was taken via c-section, wasn’t breathing right away and had meconium. So that little guy just had one thing after another at birth. But once I was out of recovery at 4 a.m. and began to nurse, I knew we were finally complete. We felt that all of our efforts, our love brought this little boy to us.

For Miles, I remember quite the opposite than with Vincent. With Vincent everything seemed unpredictable….like nothing we could plan for…everything changed in moments and there was A LOT of worry. With Miles, it was great to know he would be there within 30-minutes of my c-section. I felt so much more rested since I didn’t have to do the labor on top of the c-section. I was much more aware of everything that happened with Miles. It was such a great experience to be more present. The added bonus, since Miles was a planned c-section, is that we have wonderful pictures of him being born. I can still look at the pictures and feel like it was yesterday.

I AM A MOM

kris-sons_n

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you compensate for this fear?

Honestly, I don’t really have any major concerns. Even though we had to do a lot of intervention to have our boys…I truly believe that everything happened just as it was suppose to. I was supposed to be an InSeason Mom.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I feel much more secure as a woman and also as a mother. I think my focus is on exactly what it needs to be…my husband and children. I enjoy the fact that having a fair amount of life under my belt enables me to teach my boys about compassion and empathy more than if I had them at a younger age.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

I don’t sweat the small stuff. Ok, I will rephrase that; I try to not sweat the small stuff. I know that sounds cliché, but having children really taught me that everything happens for a reason and within its own timeframe. My path, my journey to those boys made me resilient…the ups, the downs, the constant unknowns makes me feel like I have been through the fire and I can handle anything that comes my way. I hope that’s also what I can teach those boys. No matter what happens in life, you are well equipped to handle anything that comes  your way.

I have two favorite quotes from my favorite children’s author Arnold Lobel. One is from the Frog and Toad “Tomorrow” story; “I am going to take life easy.” Take each and every day as it comes. The good, the bad and the, “eh”. The second quote is from Lobel’s book called Fables, “All the miles of a hard road are worth a moment of true happiness.” I think that one speaks for itself.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?

I think motherhood at any age is a wild ride. Since the chapter that paved my way to motherhood included infertility, I say to women who have difficulty conceiving that conceiving a child is more than just a bunch of numbers and statistics, it’s about the possibility, not probability that matters.

If you are having this difficulty, then frame it for yourself this way, people beat the odds everyday, people beat cancer, people have their MS go into remission and people who struggle with infertility have babies. I would much rather leave all the statistics to the racetrack and Vegas. While it is human nature to grasp onto statistics to help predict the chance of something happening for us, in many ways being too married to these numbers has an adverse effect on our psyche, stress. In turn, this stress has an adverse effect on our body. Mind stress plus body stress does not foster a good environment for conception.

I believe every month is a chance, a chance to conceive.

Any additional comments?

I’d like to provide my personal philosophy on the challenges that we experience in our lives. I believe that every challenge we face, every mile we walk in our lives provides knowledge or what I like to call “a gift”. You may not realize it at the time, it may take you weeks, months or years, but eventually you will come to know that morsel of knowledge that you were to walk away with…and those morsels accumulate and become part of the fabric of you. It’s the way that we come to know our morals, our values and our priorities in life.

 

 

Meet Mom Dinah Cicenas

By October 9, 2016 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms, Uncategorized

Name: Dinah Meyer Cicenas

Age when you gave birth: 39 (Son born only days before 40th birthday)

State of residence: Ohio

Child’s name: John

Current Profession: Associate Professor of Psychology, Licensed Psychologist

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

I was not! I did not get married until I was 39, and my husband was 48. We just kind of assumed that we were too old to have a child, and I foolishly thought that 39 was too old to get pregnant!

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 40?

I became pregnant about 3 weeks after our wedding, but I didn’t find out until I was about 8 weeks along. I had been feeling ill nearly every day for a couple of weeks, but the sickness never hit me until about noon, so I never recognized my “morning sickness”.

I taught a 1:00 class and would sit in my office beforehand feeling sick as a dog, so I had to cancel that class several times. One day, driving home after cancelling the class yet again, I was ready to call my doctor because I was sure I had some virus. It suddenly hit me that I should take a pregnancy test, although I was sure that couldn’t be it.

I know now that was the Lord telling me what was going on, because I was clueless! Of course, the test stick turned blue in a second because at that point I was nearly 8 weeks pregnant. I was so shocked I took the “used” test to a public dumpster to throw away so my husband wouldn’t find it! I then took a second test and was able to get into my Ob/Gyn that afternoon, where a blood test confirmed the news. I waited another day to tell my husband, so he could accompany me for the ultrasound, which I insisted upon because I just couldn’t believe it.

 MEDICAL COMMUNITY

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

My longtime OB/Gyn, Dr. Costa, was so happy for me, incredibly supportive and calmed my concerns about my age. She kept telling me that tall women (I’m 6’1) do very well during labor and she was right in my case! I did have some issues with low blood pressure and fainting during the pregnancy (unrelated to my age) so I was also followed by a cardiologist.

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors? Why or why not?

No, I couldn’t have been happier with Dr. Costa.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?

Shock. We had just gotten married, and I think everyone else had assumed we were too old to have kids! However, everyone was thrilled. My in-laws were in their mid-80’s at the time and were so happy that their only son was having a son.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not?

Yes, we took childbirth and breastfeeding classes. Both were helpful, although I feel that no class can adequately prepare you for the realities of breastfeeding. I found it to be the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, but a one-on-one consultation with a lactation consultant a week after my son’s birth turned everything around. I nursed my son for 14 months and loved every second.

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

It was the happiest day of my life. I stayed at only 2 cm for about 6 hours, but after having an epidural, went to 10 cm in about 45 minutes! I’m so happy I had the epidural – after that I felt intense pressure, but no pain and was really able to enjoy my labor and birth!

I do have to admit, however, I wasn’t prepared at all for the roller-coaster of post-partum emotions. From the moment I got in the wheelchair to leave the hospital with my baby and throughout the 40 minute drive home, I sobbed in the back seat while my husband drove. All I could think about was how scared I was and how suddenly our lives had changed forever. I’m very blessed that those feelings dissipated quickly and I had no problems with post-partum depression, but I encourage women to seek medical help right away if their sadness persists.

The other very memorable thing is that my son was born days before my own birthday – in fact, we came home from the hospital ON my 40th birthday! What a miraculous gift.

I AM MOM

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you address these concerns?

I do worry at times about my son being an only child with 2 older parents. My husband and I have both had some health issues the past few years, but are taking care of ourselves the best we can. We want to be grandparents someday!

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

Everything. Every cliché you hear about motherhood is true – I never could have imagined experiencing such an intense love and I’m so grateful that I didn’t miss out.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

After living pretty much only for myself for 39 years, the sacrificial part of parenthood has definitely been an adjustment, but one I’ve taken on happily. Motherhood changes every part of you – you can’t look at the world or other people the same way anymore.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?

Well, I’m not sure I’d wait as long as I did if one has a choice (and I know some women don’t have that choice) – I do have less physical energy than I did 20 years ago. However, I’m so appreciative of every moment with my son, and think sometimes how much “color” he’s added to my life. I would encourage more mature moms to build a support network of other moms with young children. I’ve been blessed to find a group of amazing women with kids my son’s age. Most of these moms are in their late 20’s and early 30’s, but we’re all at the same developmental place in our lives right now.

 

Meet Mom Audrey

By October 7, 2016 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms


Name:
 Audrey

Age when you gave birth:  36

State of residence:  Missouri

Child’s name and age:  Ryan, age 8

Current or former profession(s):  Speech-Language Pathologist, Blogger http://www.cremescometrue.com/

PREGNANCY 

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

We weren’t trying at the time.

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?

I didn’t do anything.  Not long before I became pregnant with Ryan, I had a miscarriage.  That experience made me not want to try to get pregnant again.  So, I was quite shocked when I got a positive result on a home pregnancy test.

SUPPORT 

Medical

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

I was extremely nervous about getting pregnant so soon after miscarriage, and I had many questions for my doctor.  He and his staff were PHENOMENAL, taking each of my concerns seriously and going above and beyond to calm my fears.

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors?

Nope, wouldn’t have even thought about it!

Family and Friends

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?

I think we were all in shock!  Of course everyone was thrilled, but really surprised.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

I had a C-Section, and honestly, I remember looking at Ryan who was to my right with a nurse and my husband.  Once I knew he was OK, I knew I needed to focus on me.  I felt very weak, like I could pass out.  I have a strong memory of talking myself into staying conscious.  And I did! Once I did this, since I had no complications, I was quickly on my way to holding Ryan for the first time.

 I AM MOM!

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you address these concerns?

His energy level is beyond amazing.  Now at 45, I have an eight-year-old boy to keep up with, and it’s not always easy.  I try to always remember that he is keeping me active, and maybe even keeping me feeling young.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I feel like I have much better advice to share with my son than I would have in my 20’s.  There’s a lot to be said for the value of life experience.

How has becoming a mom changed you?  Suddenly, I became last on my list of priorities.  Since becoming a mom, I have to make a point to move myself to the top of the list now and then.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?  Audrey (1)

Motherhood at any age has its own set of challenges.  No matter what your age, it will change your life.  If you want it, go for it!

Trying to Conceive Coping Tips Ebook

By September 23, 2016 Blog, Featured Home

booktable_nQuick-read guide offering 30+ practical spiritual, mental and physical tips to cope while trying to conceive in your 40s. No depressing medical jargon or statistics. Written by author who conceived naturally, gave birth at ages 42 and 44 to healthy babies.

Becoming A Mom in Your 40s Myths Still Strong

By August 29, 2016 Articles, Popular Posts

Although I’ve added some new content to this post, originally Midlife Motherhood Myths Dispelled by a Midlife Mom, the main content is still as timely and relevant as it was years ago. Why are these myths still popular?

This morning I just saw/read a Hot Celebrity Moms who gave birth in their 40s list.  Halle Berry is holding firm to her spot on the list  followed by Salma Hayek.  I don’t understand how the myths still linger while being so far from the truth. Here are three of the most common misconceptions. Read More

Meet Mom Jennifer Workman

By July 1, 2016 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms, Getting Pregnant After 35 and 40, Uncategorized

Name: Jennifer Workman (pictured above with son)

Age when you gave birth: 37

State/Country of residence: Columbia, SC

Child’s name and age: Jaarr

Current or former profession(s): Author, Inspirational Speaker, Entrepreneur, Playwright http://jyworkman.wix.com/jennifer

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

I didn’t have a set time.  When it needed to happen, the Lord blessed me to have my son. That’s the best way I can explain it!

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?

Positive thinking and speaking it into existence for the Bible states emphatically that “life and death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21, NIV).”

SUPPORT

Medical Community 

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

I was thankful to have a very experienced and compassionate group of people in the medical field around me. They made the process so much easier as I was going through my pregnancy. They were willing to answer any questions or concerns that I had. I’m grateful for the experience.

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors? Why or why not?

I kept the same doctors through the process and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

Family and Friends

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told them about your pregnancy?

My family was very happy for me especially my mother because she was waiting for a long time for me to have children and was very supportive and helpful.

LABOR AND DELIVERY 

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

The birth experience was slightly scary as this was my first time. But to my surprise, the Lord blessed it to be a smooth transition.  I did have a caesarean section which was very uncomfortable. Other than that, to see my beautiful baby boy and to hear his melodious cry made it all worthwhile! I would do it all over again!

I AM MOM!
jen and son (2)

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you address these concerns?

I really don’t have many concerns. I pray the Lord gives me the strength at 40+ and patience to be a good mom and to be able to do all the things for my son as any other parent. Other than that, I am okay and I pretty much go with the flow.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I thank God for the wisdom that he has given me to impart to my son at this age that I may not have been able to do at an earlier age. I am just more settled minded at this age and I believe that this is both beneficial to myself as well as my son.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

Being a mom has changed me in many ways and has given me more focus for life. All before, I was more individually focused. Now, I have a child that’s dependent upon me. My love has expanded and my desire is to be a good mom, good role model and example for him and others to follow. I recognize that he’s learning from what he sees, patterned by myself and his father. I don’t take this lightly!

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?

Don’t fear having children or parenting after 40 for it is a great and rewarding experience. God doesn’t make mistakes. If He has given you the opportunity, at this venture in your life, to be a parent, know that He has entrusted you to be a good mother. Utilize what He has equipped you with the best you can. All that matters is He loves you and will help you along the way!

Additional comments?

Cynthia’s note: Below is an article Bouncing Baby Boy: The Joys of toddlers Growth and Development  Jennifer wrote about her son Jaarr:

jen and son (1)

 

“Oh, the joys of motherhood!”  I am so thankful for the great privilege and opportunity that I’ve been given to raise a strong, courageous, rambunctious and gifted little boy. The Lord blessed me with my son (Jaarr) on March 25th, 2012 and ever since, it has been a rich, full and rewarding experience. But, what has made it an even more enjoyable experience was when I noticed several months ago, my toddler constantly bouncing and “boogeing” to every genre of music. He loves music! It doesn’t matter what is transpiring during the day. If he hears music, he will stop what he is doing altogether and begin to dance all around the house.

“And I do mean boogie.” With legs lifted, arms extended, shoulder jerking motions, and all, he “parties like it’s nineteen ninety nine.” It is the funniest thing to behold and if I am feeling hard-pressed and tired from a long day, seeing him makes me “laugh exuberantly.

Not only does my son participate in this form of “active play” but he encourages my active participation in the process. I think I may have a professional dancer in the making or is that just “my wishful thinking?” I believe that whether he is a dancer, doctor, lawyer, and/or preacher, he is going to make a great contribution to the world!

In the meantime, I am going to continue to educate, motivate and cultivate an atmosphere of “active play” that is essential to his overall physical, psychological and emotional development. Furthermore, if he chooses to dance, then dance it is. If he wants to play, then play it is. Or, if he wants to read, write, or otherwise, then “so be it.” Children are like “sponges” and “soak up” everything around them. In other words, they are constantly learning from their environment. That is why we as parents must give them the freewill to explore and learn.