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  • Joy Crosses The Placenta

    January 30, 2009

    A couple of times a month, I’ll get an email from someone like myself, that is to say, someone of advanced maternal age. Antique. The writer is in her late 30s or early 40s and is pregnant for the first time and she is scared.  She wants to know if I was scared to be pregnant in my mid-40s and if so, how did I deal with it.

    Experiencing pregnancy for the first time in the fourth decade of life is thrilling, and if you read too many books, terrifying.  So I did not read too many books.  But aside from being blissfully ignorant, I had other reasons to be joyfully confident.

    The day I stood in my bathroom and saw that immediate and bright second pink line, I had an extremely strong sense that I had entered into some sort of covenant with God. Now, I’m not one of those people who get messages from God or has ever been clear on His will for my life. I’m just an average girl with an average faith, but this was a single moment of clarity.  I wish I could describe to you how it felt.  It was like an atomic blast of joy that endured throughout the entire pregnancy and remains in the sparkle and light of a funny little boy.

    As many of you who have read my story know, I had been through several years of surgeries and infertility treatments only to be dismissed at the age of 41 as hopeless.  It took me three full years to accept the fact that I, and the best medical technology, were powerless to make this happen.  I simply could not accept my powerlessness.

    But finally, three years later, I conceded. For my own well-being, lest I shrivel up into a bitter old raisin, I had to abandon this dream, I had to move on.  So I shook my fist at God and said, “Fine! You win! Have it your way!” And then I stomped off and enrolled in graduate school and scheduled a hysterectomy.  And it was shortly thereafter that I got the second pink line. I was already seven-weeks pregnant.

    I have so often wondered if maybe because I am so stiff necked and so self-reliant, if maybe I had to be broken so completely, if maybe I had to yield my power so unconditionally —  to the point of seeking a hysterectomy — in order to make room in my heart for God to give me this incredible gift.  I don’t know.  I don’t pretend to know the mind of God.  I do know this:  He gives life, not me. I’m clear on that now.

    I tell you all of this to say that, for me, I knew deep in my heart, somewhere beyond the realm of logic and words and statistics, that God would not bring me that far only to crush me.

    And so I was filled with joy the entire pregnancy and I simply did not worry about the outcome.

    I lived each day of my pregnancy with gratitude for this unexpected and undeserved gift that had been dropped into my lap when I wasn’t looking for it.  I now understood that I wasn’t in control of anything so I just laid around with my feet propped up like a big fat queen, watching A Baby Story and sobbing into my Saltines.

    What would be, would be, and worrying about future sorrows would do nothing for today and certainly nothing for the little boy growing inside of me.

    And so, I didn’t worry much. I trusted everything would be okay one way or another and if at some point I had to adjust the definition of okay, then I would see to that at the appointed time.

    So if I have any advice for you, it is this:  Don’t read those books with all those scary statistics.  Information is not always power.  Put your feet up and rest your hands on your belly and appreciate this awesome gift that has dropped into your lap and remember this:

    Joy crosses the placenta; take in as much as you can every day.

    ***

    If you experienced a late-in-life pregnancy, I’d love to hear how you dealt with the fears and concerns that older moms have.  Any advice or encouragement you might offer would be great too! ~ AM

    57 Comments »

    1. ShackelMom says:

      Yep, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I worried and fretted through one of my pregnancies, and it was a waste of energy. The birth went the way I hoped it wouldn’t anyway. The next time, when I had surrendered my ‘demands,’ I didn’t even pray about the things that had worried me before. I knew it was up to Him, and I was just interested to see how it would be. I was full of joy and free of worry. Much better in every way.

      Life comes from God, and He is good.

      January 30th, 2009 at 12:49 am

    2. Sue says:

      Beautifully written. I was in my young 30’s and had about given up hope, but prayed to be blessed with a baby. God said, “Yes,” and then blessed us with another one in 2 yrs.

      I realize some people’s prayers are answered in a different way. One wonderful Christian lady I know adopted a baby who is perfect for their family– even looks like her, As she said, we choose how we face our problems.

      January 30th, 2009 at 1:06 am

    3. Minnesotamom says:

      This is a dose of good (joy) medicine for me. Here I am, 29, wondering if my ovaries are withering away while Husband takes his time deciding if we should “try again” sooner or later. God IS in control. And He just IS, which is good enough for me, His feeble child.

      Thanks, AM.

      January 30th, 2009 at 1:14 am

    4. Trisha says:

      Amen, sister! Being pregnant remains one of my favorite God-experiences of my life. After our years of infertility, we finally got pregnant the “clinical” way and then for whatever reason my body figured it out. We have 4 beautiful children and one in heaven and each pregnancy has brought an intimacy with God that is indescribable. If participating in the miraculous isn’t joy, I don’t know what could possibly be! Bless you for sharing your story with us. The emotion of it all never goes away, does it?

      January 30th, 2009 at 2:29 am

    5. Brigitte says:

      I was lucky enough to have the kind of pregnancy (at nearly 41) that would make many women green with envy. I never felt sick or logy or like my movements were impeded in any way, my complexion and hair were glowing, and I actually LOST some weight (I am rather hefty). I just had a little indigestion.

      I think that my physical well-being had a lot to do with my lack of worry. I only worried about the baby and about the birth occasionally, and just usually coasted in a “what will happen, will happen” zen.

      In fact, it went so well that I wish I could trick my body into thinking it was pregnant more often!

      January 30th, 2009 at 6:28 am

    6. Theresa says:

      My mom was 27 when she had my older brother. At 32 she miscarried a baby girl at 5 months. Then nothing. UNTIL she turned 39, and found out she was pregnant with me. I was born 5 weeks before she turned 40. My younger brother was born 3 years later. Being an older mom made life tough on her at times, she just couldn’t keep up with us. But she kept the BIG brother around to do that. (Mom and Dad separated when I was 5.)

      However, as time has gone on, I have become the caregiver. And even though she is now in a nursing center, I still make sure she’s getting the care she needs.

      January 30th, 2009 at 9:15 am

    7. Amy Sue Nathan says:

      My first was not a later-in-life pregnancy, but because my mother had lost five babies, I assumed that I would as well. So when I got pregnant (and I was lucky, it was not a problem) I had to have a little talk with myself. I decided, consciously, to be happy and excited because I didn’t want to miss out on any of that. Because WHAT IF the baby was born and was healthy and thrived. I will have missed out on so much time of joy that I wasted worrying. I was also convinced that setting joy aside would not diminish my grief should something happen. So I reveled in every moment.

      My son is almost 17.

      January 30th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    8. Friday Link Love | Mommy Points says:

      […] People who are writing beautiful things about parenthood that inspire you, like Antique Mommy. […]

      January 30th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    9. jj says:

      I was 42 when our son was born. He is a real joy. I didn’t worry during the time i was carring him. Why do that GOD is taking care of you and he will do all the planing just sit back and take care of your self .

      January 30th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    10. Robin Sampson says:

      Pg with number 9 at 46. Hes 7 now and the joy of our life. God always provides.

      January 30th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    11. Meg says:

      I was one of those moms who emailed you about my “advanced maternal age”…though my experience was slightly different… I was surprised to be pregnant with my 5th child after 8 years!
      I am sure you will remember, I was terrified. I was obsessed with the statistics and they were certainly stacked against me.
      You offered similar comfort and I enjoyed a relatively easy pregnancy. And once I embraced “God’s Will”…I, too, was free of fear and anxiety.
      It certainly was a lesson on who is really in charge!!
      Almost a year and a half later, we wonder how we lived without this beautiful baby girl who will be a year next month!
      I will always be grateful for the kind words you offered me. You single handedly “talked me down”! (At the time, I don’t think I had told anyone, except my husband, about the pregnancy….I was out of my mind—to put it bluntly!)
      I hope another anxious mom reads this post and is able to feel the same healing touch!
      Meg
      Milford,CT

      January 30th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    12. Robin Sampson says:

      You know you’re old when–46 taking a PG test, neither hubby or I could see the second pink line–without finding our reading glasses first!

      January 30th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    13. Shoe says:

      Enjoy! You may only get the experience once. I was thrilled and after 10 years of marriage and being over 30 was joyful to finally be expecting! I firmly believed God wouldn’t let this happen just to take it away. I refused to let them tell me the sex of the baby because the family wanted a boy so bad and I wanted to enjoy the experience and not be told oh it is too bad. It was a boy. Only child. I still thank God everyday and that was almost 30 years ago!

      January 30th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    14. monica says:

      Oh how I needed this today! I am 34 and pregnant for the first time in my life! I’ve left comments from time to time, we have been married for 9 years, approved for adoption in May, given up on biological children and so excited about adoption. When…. I came up with a ton of strange things going on and wondered what the heck was happening. I finally took a test and found myself 7 weeks pregnant. No one was more shocked than us! My husband said “how did that happen”??

      We give all the praise & glory to God, he is good. My current favorite phrase is “he likes to shock our socks off, just cause he can”. We’re still active with adoption, we felt like God led us there for a reason too!

      The thing is, I have been the most paranoid preggo woman in history. I find something daily to worry and panic about. I pray countless times a day for me to trust God, this is totally his plan. I know fear is just a lack of trust, but it’s so very hard. I have also come to the conclusion too much information at our fingertips isn’t a good thing. Books, google, you name it and it can freak you out.

      I’m 21 weeks, he’s a boy who shall be named “Raymond Cole Tanner” and I am trying to trust, trust, trust the one who sent him to us to see he gets here just fine!!

      ***
      Yes, stay away from scary information, books and Google and chat rooms where everyone knows someone who’s sisters boss had some horrible thing. Nothing good comes of that. Commit to focusing on the miracle and joy of a new life. ~ AM

      January 30th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    15. Ann says:

      I’m afraid I’m an example of what not to do. After 3 miscarriages — one of which was a molar pregnancy — and an abortion in my early twenties, I was full of fear, shame and guilt when I became pregnant at the age of 40. I was not yet a Christian, so I had no clue of how God is watching over every detail of our lives. I worried, fretted, was terribly sick every single day of my pregnancy. Still, God was faithful and merciful. Three days before I turned 41 (and after 17 years of marriage), my precious baby girl was born. Two years later, she and I were baptized together, and every day (even the difficult ones) she has been a reminder of God’s immeasurable grace. Blessings to each of you. I pray that you will trust in God’s will. He is with us moment by moment.

      January 30th, 2009 at 10:32 am

    16. Nette says:

      My pregnancies were not late-in-life, by standard, but I completely get your first feeling when you saw the pink line.

      With my first, I was in the bathroom at work. I still remember the feeling. It was a solid and definite “there’s no turning back now” feeling. It’s the same feeling I get when I get on a roller coaster and I’m locked in and we’re treading up the steepest of inclines. I can’t get out of this now, I’ve already made my decision to get on this thing and the only thing left to do is hang on and scream! I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine!!

      January 30th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    17. momof8 says:

      We prayed hard for number 8. I was 44. I just figured no matter how bad those statistics got, the bigger chance was always that things would be fine. A million to one or ten to one, the odds were always in favor of a positive outcome. And if not, well, we would deal with that when it happened. My son is 6 now and is a total joy. He’s perfectly fine.

      January 30th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    18. momof8 says:

      PS I had 5 of my kids after age 35!

      January 30th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    19. Missy says:

      After 9 years of infertility and having our first beautiful baby through adoption I came to find myself pregnant when our first baby was just 6 months old. I’m 34 and although I don’t consider myself old I suppose I was a little up there in age for a first pregnancy! God’s ways are so much better then mine thank goodness because instead of worrying about the pregnancy I spent most of the 9 months worrying how I’m going to take care of a 14 month old and newborn. Again though God provides…our second miracle baby was born in December and so far so good! Thanks for sharing this, some of the comments have brought tears of joy for the amazing faithfulness of God.

      January 30th, 2009 at 11:22 am

    20. Mom24@4evermom says:

      I was 35 when I got pregnant with my 4th, 36 when she was born. I never really worried, but my OB was a real killjoy. I got so tired of hearing about AMA and all the risks and concerns and… I just wanted to enjoy what was most likely my last pregnancy.

      I did not want to have the AFP done, so my OB recommended a level 2 ultrasound. She was fine with that choice. The high risk specialist who ‘read’ the u/s, was not. He berated me and belittled me and went on and on about how much I should have an amnio. He kept telling me he couldn’t guarantee me a healthy baby. Well, I knew he couldn’t guarantee me a healthy baby even with an amnio. There are no guarantees.

      My advice (assvice?) would be to live in blissful ignorance. Don’t read too much. Stay away from blog (or real life) horror stories. Once you get that positive test back, it’s so out of your hands, concentrate on the good, try to ignore all the ‘could happens’. Most of the time, even with AMA moms, good things happen and it’s horrible to look back and realize you wasted that beautiful pregnancy being an anxious wreck. Honestly, even if something is wrong, it doesn’t change anything to worry anyway.

      ***
      We did the amnio and the genetic counseling, not because we wouldn’t go through with the pregnancy if the results did not please us, but because if there were issues, I wanted time to come to terms with it and work through it. It’s really just a personal choice. My doc and his nurses were amazingly positive and professional and sensitive and encouraging and I’m so grateful for that. ~ AM

      January 30th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    21. HarryJacksMom says:

      Your already said it – relish every moment because it is an amazing gift and not a moment of worry will help any possible problems. Finding other antiques helps a lot, too, imho. Best of luck to everyone out there starting this amazing journey, and thanx AM for reminding me of all those blissfully terrifying days. Happy weekend!

      January 30th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    22. Jeanne A says:

      Do you want stories that didn’t end with a happy ending, too.

      ***

      I’m not so much looking for stories as for words of encouragement for some of my sister antique mommies. This is probably not the post for unhappy stories.

      To be clear, I’m not saying “Oh if you’ll just be joyful, you are guaranteed to have a happy healthy baby.” Not at all.There are no guarantees in life.

      I understand that not all dreams for motherhood come true and that not everyone leaves the hospital with a baby, and for them, I have great sympathy — which all the more points out the undeserved blessing and gift I received.

      Today I’m speaking to women who are in the midst of a late in life pregnancy who are entertaining fear and worry about possible outcomes. I am hoping that my readers will join me in lifting them up and encouraging them to turn away from the barrage of bleak information and to set aside their fears, to live in the moment with joy and gratitude.

      I’m not universalizing my own experience – I had joy and you can too! Just follow my ten easy steps! It’s just my story. Your story and your life’s journey and your choices are no doubt different. ~ AM

      January 30th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    23. sheilah says:

      I think what AM says about enjoying your pregnancy is such good advice. My son was conceived at an even later time in my life than AM’s (and with a great deal more medical intervention) and I had so much on my plate at the time that I couldn’t really revel in the fact the I. Was. Pregnant.

      I was lucky in my pg in that I had no symptoms other than an expanding waistline and yet because of other circumstances in my life at the time being pg was just not foremost in my mind.

      If I had it to do over I would record everything, keep a journal (or a blog) and sit down a little each day just to marvel in what my body was doing.

      It truly is a miracle.

      January 30th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    24. Jeni says:

      I’m not an “antique” mommy, but I totally understand about the covenant thing. We tried & tried to get pregnant with #2, and were elated to finally have that positive test. Then two weeks later, I started bleeding, and the ER folks told me that a miscarriage was imminent and “this is not a pregnancy you’ll ever have a baby from.” I was upset by what they said, and I had a hard time believing it – I had faith that God was granting us this baby.

      The ER staff was wrong. We’re now 22 wks pregnant with a healthy baby boy, and have had no further problems.

      January 30th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    25. Sarah says:

      I love this blog..

      that’s all I wanted to say…

      January 30th, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    26. zoom says:

      I have three close friends whose mom’s had them in their 40’s. We are all approaching 50, so this was in the olden days before testing, etc. I have known all of them since childhood, and there are some things that all three have in common.

      All three were thought of as gifts from God. One mother in particular had 9 miscarriages before she had her miracle my friend J. That story makes me cry now just thinking about it. Although they were treasured, they were never spoiled. All three make my heart smile with their kindness, thoughtfulness, and humor.

      None of us ever thought of the three kids as having older parents. Ever. It wasn’t until I was well into adulthood that I did the math.

      January 30th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    27. Kathy says:

      I was 42 when I became pregnant, 43 when I delivered. About a week before the test came back positive, I was at a christening party. I was standing in the back of the room with another childless woman, and we were talking about how different things were for us two, who had no children. I told her “You know, I think I’m finally okay with it.” This is how I know that God has a sense of humor. He heard those words and laughed, then cried out “She’s comfortable now! NEW RULES!”

      So, about a week later, I was late, and I had an old pg test sitting in the closet and… it came back sort of positive, definitely not negative. Nooo… I thought. Can’t be true. Must be stale. I called the 800 number — the lady congratulated me. No… still disbelieving, afraid to hope, afraid to celebrate, I went to the store, and bought TWO more tests. I went to work and used BOTH of them there. That’s not a good idea by the way. Much better to test in the privacy of your own bathroom. Then you don’t have to dodge around traffic so nobody sees what you are doing, or asks why you’re laughing/screaming/crying/shaking/whatever while you stare at yourself in the mirror. 🙂

      My feelings were a weird mixture of absolute joy and absolute terror. Terror because I had never had a successful pregnancy before, only traumatic miscarriage. Terror because I was older. Terror because I had given up on this and now found it literally in my lap. And I couldn’t tell ANYBODY but my husband for the first 10 weeks because my baby sister (16 yrs younger) was getting married, and I wasn’t stealing her thunder. I was in the wedding party too, and terrified I’d miscarry during the ceremony. I even carried a sanitary pad with me just in case.

      While I didn’t like the “geriatric maternity” title (advanced maternal age seems nice to me, in comparison!), I did like the red carpet medical treatment I got because of it; extra visits, extra scans, extra time with the doctor. I based my amnio decision on the results of my genetic screening numbers and the nuchal fold translucency test; they came back good, so I opted out of invasive testing, and just rode the ride from there. For what its worth, I was told I “pushed like a 19 year old” when it came time to deliver, so age didn’t affect that either.

      The best advice I can offer to any pregnant woman, not just the older ones, is to stay away from the advice books, stay away from the Discovery health channel, and stay away from TV hospital drama; find a doctor you trust, and listen to what they tell you. Don’t listen to people with their scary “This happened to me / my sister / my cousin / my neighbor” stories. All that does is make you scared and stressed, and if you’re like me, you can do that to yourself all by your lonesome, without any help from anybody.

      Now I have a healthy, bright, beautiful son, who just had his third birthday.

      Yes, he wears me out sometimes.

      Yes, I worry about what happens to him when I get old and he’s still a young man.

      Yes, I worry about him growing up without siblings, and feel guilty about a ton of things that come with having done things your own way for your own self for 42 years then having to switch up your entire life.

      Yes, its weird when people think I’m his grandma — I correct them and say “I’m his mom. I’ve always been a late bloomer.”

      But he brings me so much joy, and fills me with his own sense of wonder and awe at the world around him, that I can’t help but feel so very very lucky/blessed that this little soul found his way to me and my husband.

      January 30th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    28. Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home says:

      Love this, girlfriend. I try to keep a positive attitude in pregnancy, too. I’ve never read one of those “emergency c-section prep” chapters in the childbirth books.

      January 30th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    29. Grafted Branch@Restoring the Years says:

      Everybody should be careful about reading too much! That’s VERY good advice you gave, AM.

      *whisper* I hate to be the one to say so, but having had a similar discussion with my 50-year old husband last fall, I must tell you that if you are pregnant in your 40s, you are pregnant in your 5th decade of life–not the 4th.

      It’s all good…

      January 30th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    30. edj says:

      I had that moment of joy too, although it was mixed with pure abject terror, when I saw on the ultrasound monitor not one, but two little blinking heartbeats!

      Great post, Tina.

      January 30th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    31. Steffj89 says:

      For their era, my parents were “older” parents as I was born when my mom was 31 and my sister when mom was 35. We followed a similar age bracket, I didn’t have the good fortune of finding my husband until I was 30. We married a year later and by my second anniversary I was the mom of two little boys who ARE NOT twins. I’ll let that thought sink in a bit…but we thought we were done, we had tried off and on again over the last few years and no success so we had pretty much given up. I told my husband last February if we were not pregnant by the end of the year we were going to find out what it would take for me to have a tubal anyway. I found out in late May that I was nearly three months pregnant. Our last lil boy was born Dec 22. 2 months and 6 days shy of my 38th birthday.
      This pregnancy was far easier in many ways, the worries I had with the earlier pregnancies never even entered my mind I was so in awe of everything because I could savor it. However it took its toll on my body in ways I hadnt thought of either.

      I had my tubes tied after this one because I am tired and ready to just savor my years of baby and toddlerhood with sawyer and then I will be able to enjoy all the growing stages as well….
      steff

      January 30th, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    32. Kristi says:

      I was married on my 40th birthday for the 2nd time. My husband desperately wanted children. My boys were then 9 and 16 and I felt ready to start all over again. Three miscarriages later, and a declaration from my doctor that with my fibroids it was never, ever going to happen we gave up. So thoroughly gave up that I went ahead and had the radiation treatment for my thyroid that I had been putting off in the hopes of getting pregnant. Seven months later I was planning a trip to Disney World for the family, and just knew that I was pregnant. I was 45. My OB Gyn was livid. She actually accused my husband of trying to kill me! Then she refused to see me. She referred me to a perinatology group in Kansas. I had prayed daily for a miracle. I bargained for a miracle, I begged for a miracle. I was not afraid at all. Not when I went into premature labor at 4 months, not when I was put into the hospital for the duration of my pregnancy. I was filled with a contentment that cannot possibly be described. Almost everyone I spoke with questioned my sanity, asked me what makes you think this time would be any different? My mind always took me to the story of Abraham and Sara. God supplies miracles every day, you just have to see them. Abigail Grace was born on New Years Eve 2005 at 3:16 in the afternoon.I was 46. She is now 3 and her brothers, now 25 (and having a child of his own in July) and 18 think that she hung the moon. She is a constant source of joy to everyone she touches. I believe that God knows just how (and when) a blessing is due. Be ready for it.

      January 30th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    33. Kim (aka Doodles) says:

      “I simply could not accept my powerlessness….”

      Thanks for this reminder – I “try” to accept it and/or “try” to let Him in….

      Moved beyond words and to tears with this one – I felt EVERY emotion you portrayed with your words. THANKS!

      January 30th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    34. Heide says:

      I went through ten years of infertility, had some tests run, decided not to go through with treatments, attempted an adoption that did not work out, began adoption proceedings a second time, and realized belatedly that I was pregnant, three months short of my fortieth birthday. Eight weeks pregnant.

      We elected not to go through amniocentesis because of the risk that it might cause the pregnancy to end; we were prepared to accept any baby that was born and deal with whatever we had to deal with. (We had all the non-invasive tests, and all of them suggested that things were fine.)

      I had no idea about how joyous I would be once my son was in my life, and if I have a regret about the pregnancy, it is that I did not enjoy it more, did not revel in the life growing inside me. I wasn’t worried about the statistics so much as dumbfounded at the possibility, after all that time, that my body could actually produce a live baby. But when he was born, even though he was whisked immediately off for what would be a brief stay in neonatal intensive care, I was flattened by the miraculousness of it.

      Since my son’s birth, I’ve lived pretty much every day in awe and joy at this gift. Even last night, as I sat up and rubbed my son’s back for half the night as he coughed miserably, I savored the opportunity to be with him, hear his breathing (between fits), feel his small body beside mine. Fortunately, I was able to sleep in until noon today.

      And another thing: we antiques might have less physical stamina, but we have more mental resources and reserves. And more laugh lines.

      ***
      I’m pretty sure I don’t have more mental reserves. I do have more lines, laugh or otherwise! ~ AM

      January 30th, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    35. Dawn says:

      Beautifully written! And spoken with pearls of wisdom 🙂 I had my last child at the age of 42 and was still learning to… Put my feet up and rest my hands on my belly and appreciate the awesome gift that had dropped into my lap and remember this:

      Joy crosses the placenta; take in as much as you can every day.

      January 30th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    36. Carrie says:

      Thank you for sharing your story again- what a blessing our babies are! I’m not of ‘advanced maternal age’, but I waited a while for God to bless us with our little boy…and my story was similar, a dr. told me that I might not be able to conceive for a while, and through the pain, I gave it over to God in faith & 3 weeks later I found out that I was already 3 weeks pregnant at that dr. visit!

      January 30th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    37. Jan says:

      I had made the decision not to have kids but then changed my mind when I turned 39 and gave birth at 40. It was easy to get pregnant and once I was, I just turned everything over to God, a higher power, whatever you want to call it. My boy is 8 and the joyfullness I felt on the day I found out I was pregnant is still with me even now. Every single day. I’m not kidding.

      ***
      This idea that one could choose to get pregnant and then immediately get pregnant is kind of amazing to me. ~AM

      January 30th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    38. MM says:

      AM, I feel like the Lord is using you today to say exactly what I need to hear.

      After a decade of infertility and loss, my husband I finally laid our family at God’s feet. We had been through three months of treatment and decided to take a break and enjoy our holidays. We had finally come to a peace that a childless marriage was still going to be a pretty awesome marriage for us. It was that month that we got pregnant and after two traumatic M/C, I was wrought with fear the whole 9 months. But God delivered our child (and me!) safely and we now have a happy, precocious, brilliant little 17 month old that just lights up our lives. I am now 37, thrilled, exhausted, content, and I think, a more patient mother than I would have made at 25. (When I thought I “should” be a mom.)

      We are now pregnant for the 4th time (we had another M/C last spring) and you’d think I’d have learned my lesson about enjoying where God has led me. But I am a stubborn late bloomer too. The first 8 weeks were tenuous at best. I bled and cramped for weeks and was sure I was headed for yet another M/C. But medication, rest, and lots and lots of prayers have helped bring me to my 16th week tomorrow. Praise, praise, praise!

      While I might not fret so much about losing the child now, I am severely fretting over having a special needs child because of my age and family history. I have my quad screen next week and every day closer has gripped my heart just a little bit tighter to where I can barely breathe when I consider it too long. I am terrified of not being a good enough mother, of not being able to afford the care, of how another (even healthy!) child in general will affect my marriage and relationship with my firstborn. After years of IF and P/L, and you’d think I’d be thrilled beyond belief! But I think what I’m having a hard time with, is your statement above:

      that God would not bring me that far only to crush me…

      Because that is what I thought with all of my babies now in Heaven. And yet, I was crushed at each loss. Yes, I survived, but the rollercoaster of hope and then pain, excruciating. I wish it on no one.

      I am obviously still having a very hard time with this, but I wanted you to know what an encouragement it has been to me to read your words. (And all the words of other commentors.) Thank you. I want desperately to have a joyous pregnancy…I guess it’s up to me.

      January 30th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    39. Roxanne says:

      That is beautifully written. . .and I think ANY pregnant woman needs to read it. Your perspective on this as a gift needs to be shared by more mommies. . .it’s not our planning or creating that brings this gift of child-bearing to us. It’s God.

      If I knew how to nominate a Perfect Post, this would be it.

      January 30th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    40. Gwen says:

      Greetings AM!

      When I was 43, after 10 years of marriage & trying to get pregnant, I assumed it wasn’t meant to be. I tried to deal with it by not dealing with it. And then in the middle of winter I started having problems with nausea & vomiting. I attributed this to the occasional problem I have with spastic colon except this nausea didn’t go away. We considered that maybe I was pregnant, but nah, that couldn’t be it. It’s been 10 years after all. So I made an appointment with my doctor. She scheduled me for blood tests and a few days later called to tell me why I was sick all the time. I’ve never laughed so hard or felt so GIDDY in all my life and I believe I started babbling some nonsense to her.

      When we went in for my first visit, we didn’t know you could hear the baby’s heartbeat so early (10 weeks). When my doctor rubbed the wand over my tummy and we could hear the heartbeat through the speaker, I looked over at my husband and then I turned into a puddle. I never knew a person could laugh & cry at the very same time, but I did, and I wish everyone could have that same joy.

      I would second your advice NOT to read the statistics & bad stories. I would also advise making the most of your pregnancy. Apparently some women feel like it’s a waste of money to buy new maternity clothes since you only need them for a short time. I considered this for about 2 minutes. This was a SPECIAL time and I was going to treat it as such and so I bought new, attractive maternity clothes throughout my pregnancy. I didn’t spend a fortune and it was money that, to me, was very well spent.

      January 30th, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    41. Julia says:

      You have such good perspective. I had trouble conceiving, too, but not to the extent you went through. God had His way of showing me who’s boss… and fortunately it’s not me. His timing seems so confusing sometimes. But I rest (somedays) in the knowledge that He knows what’s best for me – and for my children!

      January 30th, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    42. Pat T. says:

      Statistics can be so misleading. I am a mom of 4, delivering at 18, 26, 41 and 43 (2nd marriage for the 2nd half.) One with the help of IVF and PGD. My wonderful OB/GYN told me to take the statistics with a grain of salt since it’s all relative to numbers. As we get older statistically there were less pregnancies to older moms than younger ones so the statistics 1 in 100, vs 1 in 2000 (or whatever #) also reflects a lower “pool” of older moms, hence somewhat skewing the numbers.

      Take each day as a blessing and take good care of yourself and the baby. I put my trust in God and of coursemade sure I did what I needed to do (ate well, prenatal vitamins, excercised, etc…) Enjoy this time It’s natural to worry, and believe me it doesn’t stop there. Once they’re here you stand over their crib when they sleep to make sure they’re breathing, you worry everytime they get ill as a child ad then, when they grow up you still worry about them. Just try not to worry too much.

      And remember every pregnancy; woman to woman, and even from child to child can be so very different, just like milestones for bvary from child to child. Read the statistics and milestones if you must but remember every pregnancy and child is unique. Relax and enjoy the ride.

      January 30th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    43. Pat T. says:

      that should read “milestones vary from child to child”

      January 30th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    44. Heather says:

      “Joy crosses the placenta.” Perfectly said.

      January 31st, 2009 at 7:06 am

    45. Shalee says:

      That beautiful analogy fits into everyone’s lives, pregnancy or not. God, who is in control, has so many blessings to give if only we will not be stiff-necked and hard-hearted and open to receiving them.

      And you’re right about not letting the world’s statistics, logic and information not stealing the joy of a beautiful gift. That’s a lesson that people really need to hear.

      January 31st, 2009 at 9:05 am

    46. Kelly @ Love Well says:

      Joy crosses the placenta” would be an awesome book title.

      Hint, hint.

      January 31st, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    47. Susan says:

      I’m 43, pregnant with twins, and trying not to panic about all the things that can go wrong in the coming months.

      Thanks to this post, I will try to read less and focus on the joy more!

      Thank you!

      January 31st, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    48. MB says:

      I married late in life, at age 32. We hoped to start a family right away, but years passed without success. We sought out help, and underwent all the testing/procedures/etc. with “unexplained infertility” as our label. We did not give up, but sought out all the fertility assistance available. After many years, (and many tears) we finally had success through the procedure of IVF. I was 37 when our beautiful son arrived. Needless to say, we were thrilled beyond words!!!
      Well, our story does not end there…. We were blessed with a little girl when I was 41. This time we had no assistance from the medical side, but saw her as a gift from God. We were so thankful for this unexpected bonus.
      Then, we experienced our biggest shock to discover that I am expecting #3 at age 44! I only have 4 weeks to go until our little one arrives, and have been in awe that I am pregnant again at this age. I really never dreamed that this could be possible with our history of “unexplained infertility”, but it is a reality and we are looking forward to the joy of having another child. Each little life is a gift. It matters not what age we may be…God works on his own timetable and his ways are much higher than ours.

      February 1st, 2009 at 3:07 am

    49. Faerylandmom says:

      I am definitely not an antique mommy, so I can’t add anything here. Just appreciation for such honesty and such a beautiful testimony to the amazing grace of God!

      There are a few books out there that aren’t fear-based. I could recommend a couple of books chock-full of positive, uplifting birth stories that are fun and informative. 🙂

      February 1st, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    50. Jenni D. says:

      When I turned 40, DH and I decided to see what God wanted for us. We already had a 3 kids and were wishy-washy about having a 4th: Some days it seemed like a great idea, other days, the idea made me think I’d have to take up smoking crack. When I got pregnant after a couple of months, I was joyous and thankful. Then I miscarried and figured God was showing me that he really does giveth and taketh away. So. I figured no fourth baby and that’s fine and look at these 3 we’ve got, we’re blessed and why would I want more chaos anyway. You know what’s coming. I got pregnant (with my husband’s baby) while he was out of the country. Seems I forgot that health lesson about how the sperm can stick around for a couple of days looking for an egg, any egg, to call home. Cut to now. We have a beautiful 5 month old girl and she rocks our world. I was tempted to worry while I was pregnant with her. It seemed that everywhere I went and in every book or magazine I read, there was someone with Down’s Syndrome. But I figured– God got this baby in there with no calculating on my part. He knows who is there and He knows who we need and He will provide us with just what we need.
      Faith helps a bunch. But worrying is wasting energy and joy. Babies are miracles, plain and simple. Why not enjoy getting to be part of one. You will loooooove that baby, no matter who it is!

      February 1st, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    51. Cee says:

      I got married when I was in my early 40s (after a courtship of 10 years!) and was pregnant 3 months later without planning it. I never thought I was too old to have a baby then and the pregnancy was easy and actually fun and my son is very healthy.

      The only time I’ve been nervous in hindsight is when I see some article or show about what could go wrong in pregnancy in general and particularly for an older mom.

      Strange thing was that I got pregnant that first time without trying and then a couple of years later when I actually was trying to get pregnant, I didn’t. So I’m very thankful for my son! He’s the light of my life.

      February 1st, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    52. Jenni says:

      AM, you’re such an amazing writer. I just stand in awe.

      I had my last baby right before I turned 40, but as I had eleven babies before him, I guess you could say my attitude was already pretty well fixed at “He’s (God’s) got it covered”. Having a few miscarriages humbles and destroys any ideas that you are in charge of the reproductive process, so I was ever-mindful to be joyful for every kick and flutter.

      Thank you for the blessing of your blog.

      Jenni

      February 2nd, 2009 at 10:54 am

    53. Laura says:

      I’m 40 and have a 6 year old and a 6.5 month old. This carries on a family tradition as my mom was 45 when she had me, which just wasn’t done back in the late ’60s. In fact, they didn’t even tell anyone they were pregnant, although, of course, eventually, it became obvious!

      I wasn’t worried at 34 with out first, nor was I really worried at age 38 when we got pregnant (easily) a second time. Then I miscarried. Then again. The doctor chalked it up to “old eggs” – so reassuring! (On a humorous note, this totally offended my mom – “Did you TELL her how old I was when I had you?!”) So this last time, I worried pretty much the entire pregnancy. And, of course, everything was fine, and we have a second beautiful baby boy. Who would be more beautiful if he decided to sleep a little more at night.

      AM, I’ve been lurking a lot without commenting, but truly appreciate your blog, and am glad to be in the company of other vintage moms.

      February 2nd, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    54. Tanya says:

      God’s hands … and only God’s hands gave me babies at almost 48 years old. Yes, he guided the hands of the Doctors, and I delivered triplets after 4 devastating miscarriages. Now I’m Mom again, almost 52, and life couldn’t be better. My youngest of four was twenty years old when Sam, Jay and Meg were born.

      Even though I was too sick to read books, I wouldn’t have anyway. I knew from the moment I found out that there were three that he would protect them and me and all would be well.

      Not only is God good … he has a amazing sense of humor. I was pregnant with my daughter and daughter in law .. who delivered shortly before me.

      Sense of humor? Yes … we have six “4 year old’s” and a one year old. Somedays I don’t know if I’m Mommy or Grandma!

      Joy definitely crosses the placenta!

      Tanya

      February 3rd, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    55. Jill says:

      I was 38 when I got pregnant, 39 when I had my sweet son. In my mind I was not “later in life”, but according to the doctors I was. So I skipped all those blood tests and went straight to the amnio, just to be prepared for whatever God had given us. All was fine, thankfully. And the only “parenting” book I’ve read is “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” No potty training books, no books on the strong willed child (what child isn’t?), no books on to spank or not. No books on pureeing vegetables or teaching sign language. I figure ignorance is bliss, I guess.

      February 3rd, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    56. MomsReality says:

      Thanks so much for this post and for all the comments. This is my 2nd pregnancy (since my 1st born is 9 it feels all new to me!) and as a later-in-life mommy I’ve had all the old worries but magnified it seems.

      I’m going to follow your advice to quit the worrying and just enjoy this time. And stop watching the baby medical shows. I know, I know – what was I thinking?!

      February 6th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    57. mama speak says:

      It kills me to hear “I married late, at age 31” or something. I got married at age 32 and wondered if I was too young, so there you go.One of my best friends, J got married at age 20 (we’re a month apart age-wise) and her kids are in high school now, mine are 5 and 2 and I just turned 40. When I tell my local friends about J’s kids they’re shocked to hear her kids are so old. But her marriage & pregnancies were planned. I guess a lot has to do w/where you grow up. I was raised & still live in Silicon Valley. We (women) worked very hard to get our educations and want to make sure we’ve established ourselves before we start a family. My whole neighborhood is full of SAHMs w/grad degrees, but we wouldn’t change a thing. Most of us have toddlers and we’re in our early 40s. Having the experiences we’ve had, we know that this is exactly where we belong.

      When pg at 34 w/my 1st I got my AFP screening back as high risk. I got this news on a Friday night via a phone message that said, “Please leave your phone # w/the dr exchange so she can call you from her home. She wants to talk to you tonight!” By the time she called me back it wouldn’t have mattered what she said I was a wreck. After lots of drama we discussed what difference it made for us. My husband works in genetics and probably know too much w/out talking to Dr. Google. We determined that we would not bring a child into this world so that it could suffer for a few hours/days/weeks/months and die painfully. (I know some of your readers won’t like that, but I’m being honest & I’m not sure I could’ve gone through w/it knowing what I know now. But that’s what we decided.) So, did it change anything? No, it didn’t. Would be love this child any less? No we wouldn’t. Knowing that, do we need an amnio? Yes, because if this child had issues than we wanted to give this child the best care possible from as early as possible. That meant being as prepared as possible to deal with whatever it was from the second our child was born. It also would allow us to mourn our idea of the “perfect” child that would not be coming, so that when this child “our perfect child” did arrive it would be a joyous occasion as it should be.

      The amino was actually a very fun event, as the US tech was a dr from another country and upon realizing we had some med knowledge was showing us individual fingers, toes, heart valves, etc…Our “perfect” baby girl turns 6 in May.

      I know some of my comments in here won’t sit well w/all your readers, and I’m sorry for that. But I did want to be as honest as possible about it.

      I had a 2nd baby in 2006, at age 37. We signed up for the amnio from the beginning. She is also fine. “A bundle of energy,” in fact. She’s the reason I’m done having kids. If I get another “bundle” like her I won’t make it to see them graduate from high school. 😉 I’m happily exhausted.

      February 10th, 2009 at 4:56 am

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