A Rocky Start
I didn’t get married until I was 34 and then my husband and I waited a few years before starting a family. I honestly never thought about not being able to conceive or that I was getting older. I always felt younger than I was anyway! I had run a marathon in October of 1995 and after that thought about starting a family.
I conceived rather quickly but sadly had a miscarriage early on. It shook me up quite a bit and it was almost a year before we tried again. This time, I got pregnant again right away. It was August of 1997. This time we waited until I saw the baby on the ultrasound before telling people the good news!
My doctor told me right away I was considered high risk because of my “advanced maternal age”. I always hated that term! It sounds like an elderly person! He suggested that I get an amniocentesis but I declined because of the risk of miscarriage. We also had decided that we would keep the baby regardless of any negative findings.
My pregnancy was smooth and without incident. I continued to run and exercise throughout. My original due date was May 6 but Aaron William came a few days early on April 30, 1998 weighing in at 9 pounds 15 oz. It was a tough delivery and I was in active labor for over 3 hours. I did end up having 4th degree lacerations from pushing this big boy out! Thank goodness I got an epidural. The doctor did a great job getting Aaron out as he shoulder was stuck and he maneuvered him without causing any injury to my baby.
Harder The Second Time Around
I was thrilled at being a new mom and those first few months were so wonderful. I enjoyed every moment of babyhood and loved each milestone. Aaron was a great sleeper and really such a good baby, I wanted to do it again relatively soon because of my age. It was the first time I considered my age as I had turned 40 after Aaron was born. I did become pregnant relatively after about a year but again, had a miscarriage. This miscarriage hit me even harder than the first before Aaron, perhaps because I already knew the joy of motherhood. My doctor was wonderful and encouraged me to try again after about 3 months. It took a little longer this time to conceive but around Christmas 2000, I found out I was pregnant again.
Since morning sickness was strong and I had already seen the baby on ultrasound, we told everyone at Christmas. This pregnancy was tougher as I had Braxton Hick contractions almost from the start of pregnancy. Lots of ligament pain and I couldn’t really exercise much. I don’t know if age was a factor then or it was just a more difficult pregnancy. Tough pregnancies can occur at any age. I never had high blood pressure or any other health problem during my pregnancies. Because I had so many contractions, I was monitored weekly and had IV fluids many times to stop the contractions. It was in the heat of the summer and I was getting dehydrated easily.
Because my first was such a big baby, my doctor thought it was wise to induce me before my due date. I wasn’t happy about this but went along with it and was going in the morning of August 14th to have my baby. I went into labor on my own, the night before. Around 2:00 am…I barely made it to the hospital before Zachary John was born at 8 pounds 14 ounces! My friend really thought he was going to be born in her car! There was no time for an epidural and I was 9 cm by the time I was at the hospital!
I want to add that I didn’t find out either time what the sex of my baby was. I wanted to be surprised although I had a feeling Aaron was a boy. Zach, I wasn’t sure.
The delivery itself was relatively easy and I recovered quickly. Zach wasn’t quite the “easy” baby Aaron was and I had my hands full with a 3 1/2 year old and a newborn but it was still a joy and wonderful!
Looking Back From One’s Fifties
I was 42 when I had Zachary and to me now it seems young as I’m in my 50′s now. I have days when my tired but don’t most moms? I think being an older mom is incentive to take care of yourself perhaps more than if you were younger. I try to eat right, I still run every day and I still feel much younger. The only thing that I notice now is I have a teenager and his hormones and mine changing all over the place at times do not mix well! But I think any mom will tell you, it’s a challenge raising teenagers.
I will add that I didn’t do anything special to help me conceive my children. I was of normal weight and did take care of myself. My heart goes out to those who need a lot of intervention to conceive. I would done it all if I needed to. I was fortunate. I did get pregnant again after Zachary but had another miscarriage. At that point, at 44, I think I just had old eggs. The only regret I had about starting later is I would have liked to have 3 children. I am blessed though with 2 boys.
I think being an older mom has its advantages. I did a lot before I had children. I experienced a lot of great things. I was ready to start a family and I truly believe that age does not hinder me one bit from a being the Mom I need to be!