I am a vice president of communications for a non-profit. It’s my full-time job and it’s my dream job.
I am proud of this title and it didn’t come without struggle. In the past three years alone, I’ve had four different jobs.
FOUR! I am not someone who jumps from job to job (or rather, that wasn’t my motivation) it’s just that in every single one of those three jobs, I was working for or under people who were terrible and dysfunctional. And I don’t stay in situations like that.
It took me a long time to understand how much the people around me affect my entire being. My sense of self, my ability to show up for my family — my ability to be my best self. So I left. I am not proud of being a quitter! It flies in the face of everything I was taught about building my career. I was taught to stay where I’m at, put my head down, and do my work. But ultimately I’m not that person. Especially as an empath, I recognize the huge toll that dysfunctional people have on me. It’s a non-starter for me, and I don’t do it.
What does this have to do with pregnancy at an older age, you may ask? Well, everything it turns out. I am not asking you to quit your job, don’t worry!
Right before I got married, I realized I didn’t need or want to continue having people in my life who made me feel bad. That meant bosses, friends — and even family members. People who never took accountability for their bad behavior, people who treated me like a punching bag, and people who couldn’t show up for me in the way I needed.
I am not saying this is easy. It’s extraordinarily hard. Every person I have let go of upends me in some way. But I also know that on the other side of that, of the closing of those doors, I’ve created a life I never thought possible because I am surrounded by people who not only believe in me, but they want me to have the best life possible.
Going back to why this is significant in older-age pregnancy: you will be bumping up against a lot of strife on this journey. There is traditional Western medicine that will tell you it’s impossible, there is Mr. Google and the Internet, and there is the fear and the doubt and the anxiety that creeps around your head. I have never felt more terrified and anxious than I did while pregnant. Because everything was on the line. I wanted this gift inside my body so badly and there was only so much I could do to ensure all was a smooth ride.
I won’t mince words: you don’t need a jerk in your life to tell you that the odds of you getting pregnant are slim to none. Or that at an older age, you won’t able to produce enough breast milk for your baby. Or that you need to save up $35K if you want to have a baby. (These last two are gems two people in my rearview told me.)
Invest in yourself. Believe in yourself. Shore yourself up with people who are happy and want you to be happy. And when you do — your life will transform. That’s what happened to me.