“I was excited to become a mother for the first time at the age of 40, but then for some reason I felt that the motherhood chapter was “over” for me. I had my first child by C-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ, which took a toll on me physically and mentally. I felt confused and went through postpartum depression, which took me over a year to get over.
In 2019, we were on the threshold of the ᴘᴀɴᴅᴇᴍɪᴄ. My husband and I had decided to try for a second child. Our little boy was growing up, and I was wishing for a little girl. The months passed, however, without the desired result.
I was 43, and every article I read made me feel like I would never be able to get pregnant. I had grown…
From what I’ve read, the average age of women giving birth for the first time ranges from 26 to 32, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of women having children in their 40s is steadily increasing by 3% every year since 1982. About 100,000 American women over 40 have babies each year, a number that has doubled since 1990.
The truth is that I did not want to have a child at the age of 46. But life had other plans for me. I met my partner when I was 31, and it took a few years before we felt ready (and could afford it!) to start a family together. We started trying at 38, and it took me 8 years to have two kids.
The term “ɢᴇʀɪᴀᴛʀɪᴄ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ” refers to pregnant women over the age of 35, and pregnancy at such ages is considered dangerous. Many women turn to IVF, but I didn’t want to. I am in no way against it I just didn’t want to go through that costly process.
My gynecologist recommended that we check my hormone levels first. I dropped off a few vials of blood at a special lab, and shortly after, he told me over the phone that my levels were on the low side of average, which meant a pregnancy wasn’t completely impossible! So, I kept trying.
I watched my diet and cut out alcohol. I was exercising, meditating, and constantly reading about women who had babies after 40.
But the years passed without any luck. I would meet friends who had had a second child, and while I was happy for them, I felt sad for myself. I wondered if I should turn to adoption and started thinking about I.V.F when the miracle happened! After three years of trying, I was finally pregnant.
I was happy and scared.
Rates of ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs such as ɢᴇsᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟ ᴅɪᴀʙᴇᴛᴇs, higher birth weight, sᴛɪʟʟʙɪʀᴛʜ, ᴄᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ ᴅᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀʏ rates, and Dᴏᴡɴ sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ increase as maternal age increases. All the things that could go wrong danced in my head, but to my great surprise and delight, everything went smoothly.
My daughter was born by C-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ, and I fell in love with her from the first moment I heard her cry. I remember asking a nurse, “Am I one of the oldest moms you’ve seen in here?” and she laughed and said, “We see women in their 40s all the time. A few days ago, we had a 51-year-old mom.”
While the first delivery took me nearly three years to fully recover from, this time recovery was a breeze. I was mostly alone, with no family or visitors. I couldn’t see my son or let him meet his new sister for four days due to the C.O.V.I.D ʀᴇsᴛʀɪᴄᴛɪᴏɴs. But it felt good to be alone. I bonded with my baby.
Looking back, I can say that giving birth at the age of 46 was a really pleasant experience. It was a bittersweet journey that had a happy ending, and I know, unfortunately, that’s not true for everyone.
Yes, there are downsides to being an older mom. When I am 50 years old, my daughter will be 4 years old. Some of my friends will see their kids get married while I’m still changing diapers. I may never meet my children’s grandchildren or even see my children graduate from college, depending on what the future holds.
The future is uncertain. But this is true for mothers of any age. And despite the difficulties, when my family is together, they are happy, and, frankly, I have no regrets at all.”