I always wanted to have three kids. But I never thought I’d be 35 when I had my first. I thought I’d be in my mid-20s, and I’d be this cool young mom. Alas, life circumstances meant that motherhood was put off until I was 35 and 40—and I never ever thought I’d be pregnant at 40.
Pregnant at 35
When I became pregnant at 35, I was horrified to discover that I was considered to be a woman of advanced maternal age. I didn’t feel like I was at an advanced age! My birth certificate may have said I was 35, but I still felt like twentysomething me (with a little more education and a better job). In fact, most of the first-time moms I knew were in their early to mid-30s.
My pregnancy was uncomplicated. At 35 I became a mom to a perfect baby girl.
Pregnant at 40
Since we waited so long to have our first kid, I thought that we’d have the second one right away. But I had no idea how exhausting parenthood would be! We even considered stopping at just one. Meanwhile, our daughter was declaring her desire for “another princess in the house.” I thought the one we had was quite enough, thank you very much! By the time she was three, my friends either had a second child already or had just announced their second pregnancy. Those announcements confirmed it for me—I wanted to be part of the gang that was pregnant again, too.
My goal was to have the second before I turned 40. I became pregnant fairly quickly, but sadly, miscarried at seven weeks. I finally got pregnant again late in 2006. By the time the baby would be born, I would be 40. Close enough.
Being pregnant at 40 wasn’t so different than being pregnant at 35, but I felt slightly more deserving of the “advanced maternal age” moniker. I found the amnio harder the second time around, though. At 35, it was as close to a walk in the park as having a giant needle inserted into your belly can be. At 40, it was okay, but the cramping afterward terrified me. As did the thoughts of what I had to lose if things went south again. Luckily they didn’t, and my rainbow baby (a boy!) burst onto the scene after a relatively short labour and ten really intense pushes!
#momlife in Midlife
I just turned 50 this year. When my mom was my age, she already had two grandchildren!
Being a mom to school-aged kids in midlife keeps me feeling young (albeit more thirtysomething than twentysomething these days). I’m fitter and more active than I was in my 20s, when my only concern was being thin. My kids are out there biking and snowboarding and I want to be right there with them. In the car, we crank up the tunes and sing along together, whether it’s the Clash, Blink-182 or Panic! At the Disco—I’m a cool older mom!
But there’s a downside. My son does what I call “future math.” He’ll say, “Mom, when I’m twenty, you’ll be sixty. When I’m fifty, you’ll be ninety,” as if it’s a sure thing I’ll still “be.” Then he’ll ask, “Why did you wait so long to have me?” And that makes me sad.
It’s All Good
My journey to motherhood may not have gone the way I had planned, but honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. Sure, I could be slowing down, planning for retirement, and thinking about becoming a grandma. But I’m not ready for that just yet. I’ve got a couple of kids to raise, a snowboard to ride and music to listen to.
What about you? Did your path to motherhood take the route you thought it would? Tell us your story in the comments.