40 is the New 20
This was baby number three. Three short years ago, at the age of 36, we brought our second healthy, energetic child into the world and I’ve only become healthier; more aware of what I eat and the exercise I do, since then.
Near the end of the gathering, two of my friends who were sitting at the table, privy to the conversation came up to me. One friend asked if I was okay with everyone giving me their opinions. I said I hadn’t really noticed. I have been blessed or cursed with this natural talent to ignore most negative comments said to me. The only one that stuck was the comment about my age. The other friend, a natural writer, nurse and inspiring, acquirer of knowledge, suggested I write a blog on the misconception of women having children later in life.
It can be a challenge to listen to the opinions of people, specifically conversations between women and women who are pregnant later in life. Yes, there is a lot of information regarding the risks of miscarriage and birth abnormalities as we increase with age, but shouldn’t we be supportive of our fellow mothers instead of having conversations that instill insecurity and stress into their pregnancy?
After that afternoon, whenever I felt doubt, I allowed my mind to slip back to a conversation I had with my doctor back in Canada, we mentioned might want another child and her only comment was, “you're in good shape, I don't think you will have a problem chasing after another one.”
Having two kids already, I did not feel the same pressure to become pregnant as a first-time mom might at 39. I do sympathize with the strain of becoming pregnant for the first time, though. Wondering whether it will happen or did I wait too long? "Nearly one-third of women older than 40 will struggle with infertility." (www.fitpregnancy.com) Furthermore, “Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but menopause may occur as early as ages 30s or 40s, or may not occur until a woman reaches her 60s.” (www.medincenet.com) It’s not fair, but it is a reality.
More and more women are waiting to have children until later in life. So when is the perfect age to have kids? According to popular opinion, if you have children in your 20’s you’re considered young. If you have children in your late 30’s you are considered old. So the socially acceptable window to have children is between the age 29-33 give or take a year? How’s that for a small window.
After doing a little research, I started thinking, society spends a lot of time on the topic of age and pregnancy.
Perhaps the topic should be addressing is not at what AGE, but the PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL CONDITION you should be in, to start or continue having children?
According to www.acog.org Excess weight during pregnancy is associated with several pregnancy and childbirth complications, that read very similar to the list of possible problems in pregnancy over 35, including high blood pressure, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes. Obesity during pregnancy also increases the risk of birth defects, especially neural tube defects.
“Maintaining an ideal weight through exercise and healthy eating offers some protection against Hypertension and Gestational Diabetes. If you have gained weight over the years, your risk of Hypertension and Gestational Diabetes increases." www.fitpregnancy.com
In an article written for www.fitpregnancy.com “New moms over age 40 often fully embody the "I can have it all— serially" philosophy. "They feel like they've done the things they wanted—whether that's climbing Mount Everest, practicing law or partying—before having kids," Gregory says. They report feeling more comfortable in their own skin and having more patience than they did in their 20s or 30s.” www.fitpregnancy.com
My friend who had her two boys around the age of 40 said she really focused on positivity during her last pregnancy. Trying to block out any negativity and tried to remain in a constant state of calmness and enjoy the experience of her final pregnancy until her little guy arrived.
Coming into my third trimester, I continue to concentrate on what I eat, how much I exercise and my overall health. I cannot change my age, but I can manage how healthy I am. I am concentrating on what I can control.
Pregnancy is a beautiful miracle. Enjoying it, don't stress about it!