Giving Birth after 40: The Sweet and the Sucky
By dusty earth mother on July 25, 2010
So I've been doing research for an article I'm writing for a brand new website. The article is called "Mid-Life Motherhood".
Okay, that's not really what my article is called. It just seemed appropriate for me personally since I gave birth for the first time at 40 and am really hoping to make it to 80.
An amazing statistic: in the past twenty years, the amount of first-time moms over the age of 40 has risen 81 percent. 81 PERCENT! Shocking what we old ladies have been doing with our naughty bits since 1990.
I got married at age 37, had a daughter at 40 and a son at 42. I know I am one of the blessed ones. So many women have difficulty getting pregnant and staying pregnant at any age, but particularly in this age bracket. And given that I was told I had about a 1% percent chance of getting pregnant without IVF and then went ahead and got pregnant twice without IVF, I really know how blessed I am.
(Please keep my gratitude in mind when I talk about the sucky parts of giving birth after 40.)
SWEET STUFF ABOUT MID-LIFE MOTHERHOOD:
1. When you wait that long for a child, you are really really grateful when it pops out with two arms and two legs. And that's about all you need. If it has a head, you are on your knees praising Jesus.
2. This might not be the case for everybody, but for me, I was psychotically selfish and self-absorbed in my 20's, and semi-psychotically selfish and only slightly less self-absorbed in my 30's. By 40, God had worked on me enough to where I would not forget my baby on a bus on the way to an audition.
3. In my great accumulated wisdom of 40+ years, I have realized that building character in a child is more important than 1. Being their friend 2. Them having loads and loads of fun and 3. A great education. This realizations helps when 1. They tell you that they hate you for not buying them Barbies in sparkly dresses 2. Loads and loads of fun involves matches and/or long pointy knives and 3. You're tempted to put them in private pre-school even though one year costs more than your entire four-year college tuition in the '80's.
SUCKY STUFF ABOUT MID-LIFE MOTHERHOOD
1. I.Am.So.Tired. I have absolutely nothing funny to say about this. Because it makes me want to cry. Because I.Am.So.Tired.
2. Four years ago I went through childbirth. Now I'm going through perimenopause. So sorry to confuse you, Womb.
3. I am ten years older than many of their friends' parents. Thank goodness I'm so sassy and sexy, otherwise this might really be a problem! (Check back with me in ten years. Then it will be a problem.)
4. My children's grandparents are pretty old. Luckily, they too are sassy and sexy. But for how long? This also makes me want to cry.
5. My stomach looks like a shar-pei dog. And no amount of exercise is going to fix it. The skin has lost its elasticity and it's all downhill from here.
6. I don't believe in plastic surgery (see #5 above).
7. If my children follow my example and wait until they are 40 to have kids... well... I really really hope I make it to 80.
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