Karen Abercrombie, award-winning actress, singer-songwriter, storyteller and filmmaker, shares her uplifting pregnancy and birth story as a first time mom over 35, an InSeasonMom!
Age you gave birth: 39
Child’s name: Michael
Current profession(s): award-winning actress, singer-songwriter, a Parent’s Choice Award-winning storyteller, and an accomplished filmmaker. Karen is also an avid environmentalist and a passionate women’s advocate.
InSeason Mom Author’s note: Karen’s portrayal of an 80 year old prayer warrior, Miss Clara in ‘War Room’ and Grace Wyatt in Discarded Things, a film that she co-wrote, produced and starred in, are two of my favorites.
How long were you trying to get pregnant?
Oh my, I was trying for around 6 years.
What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?
You know people tell you about natural ways to stimulate the ovaries. I did a lot of teas. I stayed in the best optimum physical shape as I could. And, my husband and I were checked out a couple of times by doctors to make sure (our health) everything was good.
How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?
My doctors were extremely supportive. They were helpful. Sometimes, the medical community is overwhelmed. So, it’s a quick “hi” and “see you tomorrow.” But, my doctors were helpful, warm, loving and engaging.
Family and Friends
What was the reaction of friends and family when you told them about your pregnancy?
They were all pretty much blown away and excited. I taught children’s theatre. I was very active in the community with youth and children. I’ve always loved children and everyone knew that. I was honored to be the godmother for a bunch of children. But still inside, I wanted my own. My family and friends were rallying and rooting for with me to become pregnant.
LABOR and DELIVERY
What do you remember most about the birth experience?
Oh my goodness, I was in labor for 28 hours! I got to 7cm. Then after all that time, they decided to do a c-section. I wish they had done it sooner but the baby was getting stressed. Then I said, “okay, do it.”
I AM MOM
What concerns you most about being a mom over 35? How do you address these concerns?
The only thing is my husband and I are older and my child is an only child. Of course, if you can be there with him forever, you would. But, there have been so many benefits. Having a younger child at my age, I’m current— in technology, lingo and everything.
I’ve always kept myself in shape. I hiked until I was 8 months pregnant. I lived out in LA during that time. They have wild cats up in their hills. So, when I hiked, I took my dog, baby in the womb, a weapon (for wild cats) because I wasn’t as fast as I used to be. I exercised throughout my pregnancy. After my baby was born, I continued to take care of myself and bounced back quickly. I’ve kept up my exercise and still take care of myself.
How has becoming a mom changed you? What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?
I’m wiser and more settled. I prayed to have a baby for what seemed like forever. After my son was born, my career picked up. But, I made a decision to slow things down. I wanted to be a “hands-on” mother, to concentrate and raise the gift God gave me.
Becoming a mother allowed me to understand God’s love better, the unconditional love He has for me. He not only gave me the gift of His Son but He gave me the gift of my son. So, I could know the mother to child love.
What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?
Be in the best physical shape as possible, first and foremost. Motherhood takes a lot of energy. You can see it wearing out younger mothers. Once you’re in good physical health, you can work on the mental part and everything that goes along with it. I made it a point to stay in shape and trust God to guide me.
Thanks InSeason Mom Karen Abercrombie for sharing your uplifting pregnancy and birth story as a first time mom over 35!