Yep, it's official. We are trying for a third. And I am definitely feeling two ways about it (notice the question mark and exclamation point.)
Hubby and I had a long conversation about why I didn't want to try for a third: 1) I love having two and giving them all the attention they need 2) Dealing with weight gain as a result of breastfeeding my second (yep you read that right, not the actual pregnancy but breastfeeding, which accelerated my hunger and appetite like crazy!) 3) I want to focus more on work and life outside of my two babies and 4) Climate change.
I still feel ambivalent about bringing kids into this world given the shitshow we have created, but after a long and continuing heart-to-heart on this, hubby and I have decided to try for a third. So here we go!
I'm frightened and terrified but if there is anything being with hubby has shown me, it is that he has stepped up in so many ways when I need him to.
Anyways, this post is all about the many misconceptions that are out there if you are over 35-40 and trying to have a baby.
1. You are “high risk” if you are over the age of 35 and trying to conceive.
One of the reasons I loved working with midwives and doulas is that they have a very different approach to impending motherhood. First off, it's not considered a medical condition or an ailment and they treat you as such. They are practical without amping up your anxiety and they ease whatever worries you may have. Any time (without fail) I dealt with doctors while pregnant, there was always a worst-case scenario issue due to the fact that I was Advanced Maternal Age. But with midwives and doulas, I wasn't considered high risk just because of my age. I didn't have any complications while pregnant – not preeclampsia or gestational diabetes or any other issues – so they treated me based on the symptoms I had, not on the ones I might have. And that made all the difference in both of my pregnancies!
2. You will need to be induced.
A lot of friends and acquaintances have asked me if I needed to be induced with either of my babies and the resounding answer is: no! There was talk in the 39th week of inducing if I got to week 41 but that never happened – either time. With my first, my water broke six days before my due date and I ultimately gave birth three days before my due date. They say first babies are always late – not with my experience. With my second, he also came early. So in both cases, my body did what it had to do and no induction was involved.
3. Bedrest is part of geriatric pregnancy.
I have to admit that even I was surprised at how I was able to continue most of my pre-pregnancy activities while pregnant. I was under the assumption that because I was so old, I would be monitored closely and my movement would be restricted due to…I really don't know why? Likely all of the misconceptions out there on pregnancy. My experience was the exact opposite. I was encouraged to continue my gym routine (while making sure I listened to my body and scaled back) as well as my job and any other activities that kept me sane and sound. I credit my years-long adherence to the 5-days-weekly hour-long workouts, supplementing religiously, and addressing my anxiety through meditation, as some of the main reasons why I was able to have wonderful pregnancies (and was able to get successfully pregnant!) at such an old age.
4. Having back-to-back babies will lead to pre-term birth.
We got pregnant with our second baby when our first was just six months old. It had taken five months with our first and we didn't want to waste any more time since my age was the biggest factor in spacing out our babies. Of course I went online and read all of the things that can happen if you don't give your body two years to heal from childbirth including an increased risk for miscarriage and pre-term birth. Again, none of this was my experience! Our second baby was as healthy as our first though my recovery was definitely longer and more drawn out this time around.
So that's it! The many misconceptions that are out there if you are over the age of 35-40 and trying to get pregnant. Comment below if you found this post helpful or if you would like to share your own Trying to Conceive story!