I am writing this blog for therapeutic purposes and to reach out to other more mature mothers. It can be a lonely business being a forty something first time mum.I want to 'speak' to others about my experiences and hopefully hear of the experience of others. As time goes on, I also hope to provide helpful information and tips on our situation.
Maybe you are wondering, if I am so worried about being an older mum, why I left it so late? The answer I will give now is I really do not know. The answer I would have given in my twenties and thirties about not having children would have been that I did not want to be poor, trapped and miserable. After all, that's what had happened to my mother for part of her life, not to mention some of my peers, who had children at a young age. And so, I spent my twenties and thirties in a partying haze, pushing kids to the very bottom of my list.
Even when I married at age 34, I wasn't that keen on having children. Luckily, my other half did not pressurise me or seem to mind too much. In fact, he once said he thought I was too immature to have kids! The pot and the kettle come to mind in that regard! We both had good full time jobs and enjoyed going away, drinking and going out for meals. I didn't believe in the biological clock either or that it would ever tick for me. What a shock I was in for!
At around age 38 , I suddenly started to take a big interest in my nieces and nephews. Although I loved them, I really couldn't be bothered before. My brothers never asked me to babysit much and everyone said I preferred animals to kids! I guess, in hindsight, it would have seemed that way, but deep down I think I was just trying to avoid the whole issue. I had issues around childbirth and parenthood for sure. I couldn't even bear to hear about childbirth or watch a scene on TV involving it. I felt it was a humiliating and degrading experience for the woman and that as usual the man got off scot free. It really scared me when I started to ogle babies in their prams, and wonder what it would be like to have a child of my own! What was happening to me? Had I been wrong about the biological clock because it sure seemed to have started ticking for me, however late.
I started to feel I wanted a child and my husband started to feel the same. We tried, but unfortunately nothing happened except a miscarriage. I didn't even realise that was what it was at the time so ignorant of all things of that ilk was I! As time went on and I hit the age of forty, I decided to forget about the whole idea. By that stage I felt that it was probably my own fault that I could not conceive and carry a child. I had spent the best part of 38 years saying I did not want children.I had completely shunned the whole idea. Now it seemed as if my body was responding in kind. I remember someone saying to me at that time, that since I was forty, I might as well face the fact I would never have kids. I was sad but decided to get on with life and not think about it. Parenthood is not the path for everyone and it is not in everyone's life journey. I thought that was probably the case with me.I didn't want to go down the ivf route as I had seen before how it takes over peoples lives. I went part time in my day job, set up my own dogwalking and petsitting business and felt for the most part content with my life.
Then, at the age of 41, it happened! I was pregnant! And whats more I was over three months gone before I even realised. I had lost track of my cycle because I had put it out of my mind. I was not sick and had no other symptoms. In fact, I felt great and had loads of energy. It was only when my husband asked me if I had been keeping tabs on my cycle because he hadn't heard me complaining about it for yonks, that it even crossed my mind. I was soooooooooo happy when the test came up positive. In fact, two tests and the one at the doctors came up positive, positive, positive!!
Other people were shocked and urged me to have all manner of tests done because of my age. I went for some private counselling just to be sure it was something we could handle. We then decided that we would forego the tests and just accept whatever and whoever was sent to us. I just knew then, that even if those tests had showed up any abnormalities we were ready for it. Some would say you are never ready for that and I know the reality might be different but at the time we felt that way. Thankfully, all was perfect and in November 2007 our beautiful son was born. It really was the best day of my life! Now I knew what people meant.
If I had known before what I found out that day and what I know now, I would have tried to have children a lot earlier. I realise now that even if it did cause me to be trapped, that having a child is a wonderful, beautiful blessing. In fact, parenthood has not trapped or frightened me in any way. Of course it has and will have it's challenges but so far it is a bonus and an enhancement to my life.I can speak for my husband there too.
Since then, I have wanted another child really badly. I have a strong longing for that but I also wanted it for my little son. I would like him to have a sibling so that having older parents won't be a burden to him in later life. Sadly, I had a miscarriage last year age 43 and it was devastating. We are so so so thankful for the child we have and I am so grateful my body clock ticked loudly and woke me up before it really was too late!
In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would become a forty something first time mum but here I am!!! Yippee!!
If you are an older mum or 'later mum' as I have heard it termed, I would love to hear your experiences and comments.
All the best to you and thanks for reading.
Positive. Positive. Positive.