There were many moments (in my 30s) when I started freaking out about my age, and the fact that I wasn’t a mother, wanted to be a mother and wasn’t sure if it was ever going to happen for me.
There was a weekend when I was 34, when after hearing radio ads about a fertility clinic nearby, I looked up the cost of freezing my eggs. It was a stressful weekend where I felt both hopeless, terrified, and desperate.
There was a birthday dinner when I was in my late 30s, when I commented on a colleague who had given birth naturally at the age of 40 and again at the age of 42. I remember someone scoffing and declaring “well, that’s not going to happen for us, that’s an exception to the story.”
And I remember when a certain family member came up to me smiling, saying I had a “big birthday” that would be happening soon. Yes, I would be turning 40. And yes, I did very much know that fact!
By the time I met my now-husband, I was 37. My mother finished having all of us by the time she was 29. My older sister had my niece when she was 37. I hadn’t even gotten married, how was it going to happen for me?
The truth is, I had no plan to make it happen. But it did happen for me. Twice in fact. I had my first baby at the age of 40 (one month before turning 41) and my second baby at 42. If I had listened to all of the naysayers, if I had allowed my fear to rule the process, I don’t know if I would be where I am today, the mother of two amazing little boys.
My approach to motherhood started that weekend when I was 34. While going down the Google rabbit hole on all things freezing eggs and realizing, “hey, this is not how I want to feel” I made a conscious decision then and there, that I would not allow anxiety/fear/desperation to be a part of the process. Besides, I couldn’t afford egg-freezing, so that was off the table for me. As for becoming a mother, I knew I didn’t want to do it alone. I wanted to be in a committed, loving relationship with a man who would make an incredible father. For many years, I never met that person.
And as the clock ticked and my parents grew more worried about me and my single life, they tried to press me to meet someone – anyone. My father even suggested I consider marrying (in my parents’ culture, there is no “dating” there is only “marrying”) the son of his cousin! Um, heck no I would not be marrying someone I was related to. And I would not marry someone just for the sake of marrying them. I was 35 when I had this conversation with my dad.
After I met my now-hubby when I was 37, we fell in love and decided to get married when I was a few months shy of turning 40. We decided to try for a baby as soon as we got married, and I stopped by the doctor’s office to let them know our plans.
I told the nurse practitioner that despite being older, I wanted to try, and I didn’t want to use any fertility treatments at this point. She told me to try for six months, and if nothing happened, to come back and we could look at vitamins and other supplements.
We got pregnant within five months of trying. I remember seeing that nurse practitioner more than a year later at a Halloween street fair, holding my then 4-month old son, telling her that I “got pregnant and had a baby.” She congratulated me.
We knew we wanted to try for a second and since my age was a factor, we started on those babymaking plans right away. I got pregnant the second time when our first was just six months old. I delivered our second son when I was 42, during an unmedicated, vaginal childbirth.
Both of our babies were full-term and are healthy and growing little guys and I had no complications while pregnant or after giving birth.
I share this story for all of you out there who still haven’t met your person. Who are wondering if you can have a baby at the age of 40 or above. It is possible because it happened for me!