This week I talked with Cynthia of In Season Mom and shared a look at my experiences being pregnant after forty years of age. Are you over forty and pregnant? I’d love to hear from you and share your concerns, joyful moments and experiences. We can learn so much from others who share our experiences in life. (Left: My daughter and I at the park)
Name: Amanda Weber
Current Resident of: Waterloo,Ontario, Canada
Children’s names and ages: Cameron 19, Matthew 17, Brooke 19 months
Current or former profession(s): Former VP of marketing and public relations for the telecommunications industry, currently being a stay at home mom.
InSeasonMom: Were you trying to get pregnant and did you have any difficulty conceiving?
Amanda: Yes, my husband and I were trying to get pregnant and thankfully did not encounter any difficulties.InSeasonMom: What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?
Amanda: As soon as we decided to try to conceive, I met with my Naturopath who specialized in fertility. She helped me to ensure I was eating the most supportive foods and taking the most appropriate vitamins to ensure the best chances of getting pregnant. I also did a lot of reading for other helpful tips and kept up my regular yoga and meditation practice.SUPPORT
InSeasonMom:How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?
Amanda: My doctors were very supportive but I did find that the health care providers that focus more on natural medicine (naturopaths, massage therapist, doula) felt I was in a great position to have a healthy, full-term baby where as the more traditional doctors (my GP and my OB/GYN) spoke of things like “advanced maternal age” and “high-risk”. I can’t say this surprised me all that much but it was fine. I felt I had a good team that was looking out for my best interests.
InSeasonMom: Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors?
Amanda: I didn’t change doctors. In fact, my GP had a baby in her later thirties so she was very supportive of my plans to get pregnant at 42.FAMILY AND FRIENDS
InSeasonMom: What was the reaction of friends and family when you told them about your pregnancy?
Amanda: The funny answer is that almost everyone asked if it was an accident. I guess they just didn’t see me wanting more kids at 42 and my husband, who hadn’t had kids before, wanting kids. But, as we do with life, we just laughed and set them straight. It was totally planned and an absolute gift.LABOR AND DELIVERY
InSeasonMom: Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not?
Amanda: I didn’t take any childbirth classes as I had taken them when I was pregnant with my boys but we did hire a doula who was the BEST investment ever! She brought me up to speed on what had changed since I had my previous 2 kids in my 20’s. She helped me put together a birth plan that was supportive of my goals and expectations (however…I was pretty realistic that we may have to be open to letting the universe decide how things would really go down).InSeasonMom: Where did you give birth and what do you remember most about the birth experience?
Amanda: I gave birth at our local hospital and it was spectacular! With my first two births in my 20’s I was young and inexperienced. I was induced, ended up with epidurals and forceps deliveries after 25+ hours of labour. As a mom of 42, I laboured at home until my water broke, calmly went to the hospital, and delivered my daughter about 45 minutes later, totally naturally. It was one of the greatest and most empowering moments of my life.I AM MOM
InSeasonMom: What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you compensate for your concern?
Amanda: I would say my biggest concern being an older mom is making sure I am fit and healthy to do all the things with my daughter that I did and do with my teenage sons. We love to mountain bike, ski, travel and have fun in the great outdoors. I can’t imagine not doing all this stuff with my daughter when she is older. Reality check: I will be pushing 60 when she is a teen. So, I make sure to eat right, meditate daily and stay physically fit.
InSeasonMom: What do you enjoy about being an older mom and how has becoming a mom changed you?
Amanda: Hands down, the best thing about being an older mom is the wisdom you have gained! I know who I am. I’m completely comfortable in my skin (i.e. I’ll breastfeed in public if I need to and I make no excuses) and I have so much patience. My teenage boys joke that they were my “lab rats” and that their sister is getting the “real parenting”. Truth be told, they are right – I have always loved being a mom and done the very best I could, but I am so much wiser today. I am able to take that confidence with me on this journey of motherhood after forty.InSeasonMom:What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?
Amanda: My advice would be to make sure you are healthy before you get pregnant to give yourself the best possible chance at a complication-free pregnancy. Also, hire a doula or someone like (InSeasonMom) Cynthia to help and support you while you navigate the waters of later in life pregnancy. You’ll hear scary stats and be offered a list of extra tests. Just know what you want and follow your heart. You’ll know what is right for you and your body.
InSeason Mom Cynthia would like to thank Amanda for being an inspiration to moms across the world! (Featured InSeason Mom is a monthly series started in 2006 and resurrected again in 2011.)