Monday, 23 April 2018

Not Too Old To Be Mum - My Story



This is the first post in the series Not Too Old To Be Mum for my blog Home Family Life. This is my story. I will be sharing stories from other Mamas who have had children after the age of 35.

How old were you when you had your baby/babies?

I had my first baby at 38 and second at 40.

Tell me a bit about yourself and your main reasons for having a child(ren) after the age of 35?

I'd always wanted to be a mum, but had never had the opportunity to till in my late 30s. I had dated over the years, but nothing serious and hadn't met anyone I wanted to spend my life with. I started dating my now husband when I was 35, almost 36. We married when I was almost 37, fell pregnant 6 months after being married and had my first boy 2.5 months after I turned 38. You can read more about my story here.
With my husband when I was pregnant with our first born

Did you have any problems with falling pregnant? If you did, would you say age was a contributing factor?

With my first pregnancy it wasn't planned. We had planned to have a baby, but just not quite yet, I wanted a few more months of being married before starting a family. So it's hard to say, but my guess is I didn't have any problems.

With my second we had decided around the November time that we would start trying to get pregnant with baby number 2. But weren't going to stress about it too much just yet and just let things happen. Basically we weren't preventing a pregnancy, but weren't thinking too much about it. By the 3rd or 4th month of not falling pregnant, I had started to look at ovulation apps and think more seriously about helping my chances of falling pregnant. And by April I was pregnant. So again I didn't have any problems with falling pregnant. I guess it took longer than I expected, but I wasn't too worried at that point.

Did you have any complications with your pregnancy or labour that you feel were caused by being older?

I've had 2 pretty straight forward pregnancies, with no major complications. I did struggle with a very sore pelvis area and my babies not wanting to get into the correct positions. But these are things that women of all ages can struggle with.

Were you treated differently by medical professionals because of your age? If you were, how did that make you feel?

With my first pregnancy I was actually referred to as young. I thought they were going to watch me closely because I was 37 and would turn 38 before the baby was born. I had a friend in a different country who had been pregnant at 35 and was being watched more closely than her previous pregnancies because of her age. So I just expected the same for myself. But I was never made to feel like I was too old or they were worried about my age.

Pregnant with baby number 2 at my 40th birthday and gender reveal party

With  my second pregnancy I was 39, but would be 40 when the baby arrived. I asked if they would monitor me more closely because of my age and if they would want to induce me early. Because I was 39 when they were registering my pregnancy I was told I'd be treated no differently to any other women. When I was in my 3rd trimester (I was now 40) I needed to see a consultant to check the position of the baby and he mentioned my age. He was the first person to say anything to me about how old I was. He just asked how I felt about being induced at 40 weeks because there was evidence of increased still births in women 40 and over who go past 40 weeks pregnant.

I agreed to the induction mainly because I didn't want to be left uncomfortable for too long. My 1st was a big baby and I expected my 2nd to be the same. But other than this one instance I'd had no one say anything negative to me about how old I was. In fact when I went into hospital to be induced they thought I was being induced because I'd previously had a big baby, not because of my age. After I'd had my baby I even had a couple of midwives ask if I thought I'd have any more children. So again not making me feel old for having a child.

If you had children before and after you were 35, were there any differences with the pregnancy, labour and you as a parent? Would you put these down to age differences?

I had both my children after I was 35.

What do you feel are the pros and cons for having a baby after 35?

With my oldest when he had just turned 1

Pros: You are more sure of yourself and your ability to be a parent. It is super hard work and a real shock to the system, particular after your first. But I can image that being even harder for me personally if I'd been in my early 20s. I've had time before I had children to enjoy life and see some of the world. Sure there is still things I want to do and see, but I don't feel like I'm missing out now. We've also been able to establish ourselves a bit more in life with a home and good jobs. It's still difficult financially, but possible no where near as hard as it would have been 15 years ago.

Cons: I'm a lot more tireder now than I was in my 20's. Even before I had children I didn't have the stamina that I once had. Also I would have liked to be a younger mum when my children were older. When my youngest starts school I'll already be 45.

Do you plan on having any more children? If not, what are your main reasons? And if you would like more, what worries you the most about the prospect of having more?

With my 2 boys

I would like at least 1 more baby. Part of me thinks I should just call it quits, I'm 40 now and have 2 gorgeous little boys. But I don't feel like my family is complete yet. My main concerns about having any more is the timing. My youngest is still only 4 months old and I want to enjoy him and adjust to life with 2. But I worry that if I leave it too long I will be tempting fate with how "easy" my 2 pregnancies have been and could end up having complications. I don't want to have to rush into getting pregnant again, but I don't want to leave it too long either.

If you could do your time over, would you choose to have your children younger?

Part of me would have liked to have had my children younger, mainly so I didn't feel "rushed" into having another because of my age, because I wanted more than 1. I also would like to be younger when my children are teens and young adults.

But there have been experiences and people I've met that wouldn't have happened if things were different. So for that reason I wouldn't change how my life has panned out. I don't feel "old" and know I can give just as much, if not more to my children because I'm that bit older.

What advice do you have for any women thinking of having a child past the age of 35?

First of all if you are between the ages of 35 and 40 don't feel like you are too old at all. It seems that 40 is the new 35 where medical staff are concerned and it will be at that point that they may start to show any sort of concern.

Also don't let your age stop you if you feel healthy enough to have a child. Do what works for you and your partner.

Lastly, having a baby is really hard work and a shock to the system. Just go with the flow. Your home won't be as tidy as you're used to, you won't be quite as productive as you were before, but that's OK. You now get to experience a whole new side to life and it really does get easier. There will be other things that are hard to deal with as they get older, but it won't be quite as demanding on your time.

My 2 superhero boys!

My social media links



      



To read other women's stories click here.

To discuss taking part in the Not Too Old To Be Mum series, please send me an email.

2 comments:

  1. For me pregnancy got harder the older I got and I could not imagine being able to cope with a pregnancy now but we are all different and I'm glad you are championing for women in their 30's/40's to take control and do what suits them. Mich x

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    Replies
    1. I certainly didn't find pregnancy easy, I was exhausted all the time and suffered a lot with back ache and pelvic pain. But I guess I don't know any different since both of my pregnancies were after I was 35. Thanks for reading x

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