What’s it like to be pregnant at 40?
A woman asked me that question at the doctor’s office at the end of my third trimester. She was 40 and hoping to one day have a baby, too. I had survived the “what if I can’t get pregnant at this age” emotional rollercoaster and had almost made it to the finish line. I honestly felt good! And since it was my first pregnancy, I didn’t have anything to compare it to. Is this what it feels like to be pregnant at 25? I didn’t know, and it didn’t matter. All that mattered was the baby was healthy.
During my maternity leave, I watched a lot of Food Network and HGTV. I’ve heard the same from other women so it may have something to do with the nesting instinct. I had never watched Fixer Upper before. I know, what planet had I been living on? Like millions of others, I quickly became a fan of Joanna Gaines. It just so happened she was also having a baby at 40.
Joanna’s news of course was all over social media. I remember seeing someone comment on Instagram, “My worst nightmare would be having a baby at 40.” It stung, and I’m not sure why. I don’t personally know Joanna, and I certainly didn’t know anything about this person reacting negatively to her having a baby.
I looked at my son, and I was so grateful. It was the best thing that could have happened to me at 40.
While women have a biological clock, life doesn’t always run on that schedule. I have a master’s degree and a career. I waited until I was 37 to get married because I was determined to marry a man I truly love. And when it came time to start a family, I knew there was a possibility I had waited too long. And while I didn’t dread turning 40, I hit that milestone with a smile on my face that masked an internal fear that I may never know the joy of being a mom.
Those fears soon subsided, and I feel so fortunate to say that. My doctor assured me that, regardless of my age and the associated risks, my good health would be good for the baby.
Was I uncomfortable at times? Yes. Did I worry and cry sometimes? Yes. But being pregnant at 40 was wonderful. I tried to cherish every moment – good or bad. And it was mostly good. I couldn’t wait to meet him, and once he was here, I felt like he had always been a part of my life.
Are you waiting to have children? Did you have a baby later in life? I’d love to hear about your experience.