If someone would have told me that all those years I spent worrying about my eggs was a waste and that I would have a baby when I was 40…I would have still worried 😳. I mean, I didn't know any better. And the information I had access to was saturated with doom and gloom. So I braced myself for the struggles of conceiving as a 40-year-old.
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A Baby at 40?
I set an intention to address my anxiety during the whole trying-to-conceive/pregnancy process. I had enough stress in my life and adding pregnancy into the mix (and hello hormones!) meant I needed to have some tools to ground myself. One of the best resources I used was Hypnobabies. I will go through many aspects of the program in some of my other posts but the main reason I loved this tool is that it was completely in line with my chill-out-while-being-pregnant intention! Hypnobabies is a program if you are interested in having natural childbirth, but even if you are not, the course is jam-packed with a ton of information that made me feel empowered, brave, and at peace with the choices I was making! I loved loved loved the wonderful affirmations and visualizations and knowledge-based facts on the reality that pregnancy can be an amazingly joyful process with little to no complications!
I used Hypnobabies when I pregnant with my first baby at the age of 40 after five months of trying to conceive. And I used the tool again when I got pregnant with my second baby just one month after trying – when our first baby was six months old!
Both of my babies were healthy and I had great pregnancies. No complications, no issues whatsoever. Not only did I give birth to two full-term babies, but I had both vaginally. In fact my second baby I delivered without medication, in a birthing center room, and was back home the very same day to introduce our toddler to his new baby brother.
The Internet Doesn't Know Your Story
I share all of this not to boast, but because everything I was reading and the people I was talking to, told me otherwise. None of what I experienced as a 40-year-old was possible, according to “those who knew.”
Here is what I read and what I heard: after a certain age, your body cannot have a baby naturally. It's just not equipped to do that. I heard the latter at a dinner party with a bunch of older moms, some with their kids in tow, who knowingly told me that after 25 years of age your muscles “down there” are not tight enough to push a baby out – yes, that's what they said. I also read about a woman's ovarian reserve diminishing after turning 35. Forget looking up the odds if you are 40. And this: even if you were to get pregnant, you would likely miscarry due to chromosomal issues. And the icing on the cake: I was bombarded by all sides with radio ads from a local fertility clinic about the benefits of egg freezing.
It was enough to drive anyone insane!
MISINFORMATION ABOUT PREGNANCY IN GENERAL
Here is the thing I realized during my pregnancy and trying-to-conceive journey: there are a TON of misconceptions out there about pregnancy in general. In fact, most of the cited data on pregnancy risk at 35 years and above is from French birth records from 1670 to 1830! That is absolutely outrageous.
There is supreme ignorance around anything pertaining to the female body and reproductive system in this country. Not only that, but as soon as you do get pregnant as a 40-year-old, all of your well-intentioned family and friends will be dropping all types of myths and (debunked) theories in your face. Get ready for that…
I wish there was more support out there for women who desire to have children but don't want to go crazy while doing it. And this is exactly why I'm sharing my story!
Despite knowing that everything I was reading about pregnancy was grounded in fear and made to make me feel desperate, I knew I wanted to try to have kids. But the hardest thing of all to overcome: I come from a generation of women who all started having babies young. My mother, my grandmother, even my cousins. It had never been done before. So who was I to think that I could do it?
All I had was the desire to try and to keep my sanity intact while I did. I focused on what I could control by continuing the mind and body practices that helped me feel somewhat grounded and the knowledge base from Hypnobabies.
All this to say: it is indeed possible. It is not a fluke. You can be older than 35 (heck, older than 40!) and have babies. Read more of my story to learn more.