My heart was racing with excitement. Modern technology affords us many luxuries; the kind that our grandmothers didn’t dream about having, and our moms didn’t have… the kind I didn’t enjoy when I had my first two daughters in my twenties. I logged on to the account so I could check out my pregnancy file and started to go through each detail. I avidly devoured each piece of information with a big smile on my face: it was only the beginning of my pregnancy, yet I was relieved it was all going well.
And then it happened. There was a “condition” listed… something was wrong! I sought comfort in one of my usual silent one-second-prayer and took a slow, deep breath as I read “elderly pregnancy.” With deep indignation, I called my little girls into the dining room so they could read this for themselves. “Can you believe that?” Usually, the term “elderly” would be endearing, and one that we truly cherish as a family that values legacy, heritage, and wisdom.
“I am ONLY 36!” I kept saying to my daughters, to my husband, and especially to myself, in an effort to not allow my hormonally emotional state get offended. I had made the decision long ago to choose to be entertained when labels and other distasteful judgment happens, yet I knew I was especially vulnerable at this time and I must admit it infused fear in me. I felt different. I went from being pregnant to being at risk, just because of my age.
I decided that while there was really nothing entertaining about it, I woudn’t let this “diagnosis” rain on my parade or predict my pregnancy. I started thinking about my daughter being a teen when I get into my 50’s. Terrifying thought, I know, especially now that I see how much energy and what a strong will she has. She’s definitely a reflection of both my Ying and my Yang. I literally just got my first gray hair and I named it “Eliana,” just like my now 20-month old miracle.
What is the best age to have a child? I don’t think this is determined by a biological clock ticking or by what society wants us to believe. I feel in my heart that it is a personal decision that has nothing to do with age, finances, or peer pressure. Yet somehow, it is often because of these reasons that we delay or accelerate our journey into motherhood.
For example, I postponed marriage and child-bearing until my mid-twenties because of money, career, and education. As a re-married single mom at 35, I recognized that it was possibly the worse time to have a baby. Having pre-teens meant that calmer times had arrived. My career as a speaker, blogger, and mentor had taken off, and our honeymoon would soon be over. I made the decision of just allowing God to decide whether I would conceive and not tamper with the process. He sent me a compact package of pure joy!
For my friend, (let’s call her Martha) becoming a friend in her late 30’s was all she ever dreamed of. She wanted to wait until she was secure in herself, in her marriage, and her career. She knew that she wouldn’t be as committed to the wild ride that is parenting until she felt established. She ignored the “fertility nay-sayers” and she was successful getting pregnant and becoming a mother, on her terms and her own timing.
The truth is, no one ever feels 100% ready to have a baby and every woman is wired differently, even when it comes to fertility. Mothering, and every choice related to it, must feel right to you as a woman.
And to me it felt right – even after the scary and slightly frustrating label. I decided to embrace my choice of being a 30-something mom. If that is your choice, be assured that:
- You have the stamina to parent young children.
- You know yourself enough to honor your instincts, which are the best tool to mother your child.
- Your body knows what it is doing. Monitor your pregnancy and take care of yourself, not because you’re over 30 but because it matters to you.
And let’s tackle these with some tips that I know are going to be useful at any age:
Equip Yourself: Do your research about the options that are available to you. Take classes, Google your questions, read books and trade publications about parenting today.
Empower Yourself: Find the courage to do what resonates with you, and don’t let anyone tell you what to do or how to do it. This is your pregnancy, your birth story and it is a sacred time for you and your baby. I literally fired by obstetrician and worked with a midwife, instead. She understood my vegan lifestyle, and the values that drive my choices. I’ve met moms who confess they wish they would have done it, but didn’t want to be rude or mean.
Encourage Yourself: Everyone is entitled to their opinion and they can choose whether or not to be supportive of yours. Sometimes self-motivation is the only motivation we’re going to get… and trust that it is enough. Tell yourself “I can do this!” and be your own best friend… it will make life easier and it will make you a better mom to your child. You can also find a mentor outside of your circle to guide you through this unique experience.
And lastly, but more importantly, enjoy your “elderly pregnancy.” Motherhood starts with conception and it is a partnership with God, a sacred privilege, and a powerful calling… at any age. The truth about being pregnant in your 30’s and really in any other stage of your life is this: you are blessed!
How old were you when you had your children? I’d love for you to comment below and share your experiences with me. I promise to comment back 🙂