Pregnancy at an Older Age

We’ve chatted away about having babies after age 35 here before, but when I received this question from Tracy in my inbox I knew it was time to peruse the subject again.

From Tracy: What are your thoughts on being pregnant the first time vs. this time as far as your being a little older?  I’m a 31 year old first time mom and my husband and I would love to have 3 or 4 children, so my age will certainly be a factor.  And if you don’t mind me asking, how old are you now vs. the first time around?  Lastly, what’s the age spacing between your kids?

I was already an “older mom” at age 28 when we had our first baby.  I had just turned 24 when we married, and our intentions of having 4 babies in the following 6 years simply didn’t happen.

While yes, we certainly would love to have started our family sooner, we refuse to bemoan our 3 years of infertility.  It is what it is, and without God orchestrating the events, who knows where we’d be today!

I turn 38 this week, so our fifth baby was born when I was 37.  Honestly?  I’m blessed to have good health and a body that handles pregnancy well.  I’m a firm believer that age has much less to do with how one feels during pregnancy than say, your diet and exercise plan.  It is possible to enjoy pregnancy at a more mature age.   My OB and nurse are always quick to tell me how “easy” I make pregnancy look, and it truly wasn’t more difficult the fifth time around.

While I know there are some who want to “get it over with” and have their children one on top of another (and sometimes that just happens!), it didn’t work out that way for us, and I am so very glad.  Our children’s birthdays are all between May and September.  Their ages are now 9, 7, 5, 2, and 3 months.  Having at least 2 years (or almost 2 years) between babies helped my body recover, and I love love love having older helpers around for my two little ones now.

Personally, my “older mom funk” comes about when I over-think things.  I’ll have a 2 year old when I’m 40!  I’ll be 56 before she graduates high school!  We’ll be old grandparents!  Will we ever be able to retire?!

Um, yeah.  Don’t go there. 

We have several friends whose children are in middle school, high school, or who have already graduated.  It’s sometimes hard to be taking a “big” trip to the city pool while they’re taking a big cruise.  That’s the worldly selfish woman coming out in me, I suppose.  I also fight back tears every once in a while when I realize I have more wrinkles and gray hair than the average mom of an infant.  {sigh}

On the flip side, there are benefits to being an “older” mom.  I have zero regrets about leaving my teaching career.  Yes, when my former teaching partner posts fun pictures, I sometimes want to go back… for an hour.  I was able to teach for 8 years (two part-time) before coming home to my family.  I have no desire to “hurry up already” and get back to my job.  Mothering is my job.

I’ve always been pretty laid back, and there isn’t a Type A bone in my body, but whatever may have been there when I was younger is gonzo.  Pacifier on the floor?  Rinse it off (or rub it on the jeans, whatever) and stick it back in.  Toddler climbing the bunk bed ladder?  He’ll learn.  Doc says I need to do this and that on this or that schedule?  Pfffffffft.  It may just be a personality thing, but I do think older moms tend to be more mellow.

What about the risks of having a baby with a defect?  Well, I guess I’ve just never thought about it.  Will I think about it if we get pregnant again?  (Will we get pregnant again?!)  I dunno.  Truly.  One baby at a time.  (Unless we’d have twins.  Ohmygosh, what if we’d have twins?!) ;)

Your turn!  If you’re an older mom, please share your experience.  If you’re a younger mom, does having babies later in life scare you away?  Let’s chat!  (These respectful, insightful chats we have are truly one of my very favorite parts of blogging.  Thank you for your kind participation!)

 

 

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Comments

  1. Lisa Koopman says:

    I am now 40 with a 7 year old daughter. I had one after many many many failed pregnancies. She was in fact the child they thought I would never be able to have. Her father, my husband died when she was just 22 months old. So she is a blessing in more then one way. When we went to kindergarten meet the school night, I walked into the lunchroom with all the other soon to be kindergartner’s and their parents. I was so embarrassed I went home and cried. I did. I was one of the oldest people there. I felt like her grandmother rather then her mother. Only time I ever felt ‘bad’ for being an older parent. I have been in public and people will actually ASK ME if I am her grandmother or assume… I get VERY angry. My mother back in the day also had my 2 sisters in her middle 30′s. This was the point in time where teen pregnancy was just about to become extreme. We went to a few garage sales. One women thought my sisters were mine… They were little toddlers, I was a young young teen. Times have not changed much. My advise: Age is not a factor to my daughter. I am mom, not a number. You never know what could happen tomorrow. Don’t wait to long. Never NOT have kids because you think your old. she is my absolute blessing. Created in marriage to a man I love(d), my soul mate in every way. I am honored to be able to become a mother at least once regardless of my age. Hope this helps your question. I would rather be mistaken as her grandmother then go through life without her…

  2. Older mom here. Pregnant with #5 at 38. My children are 15, 13, 11, 7. Thought God had closed my womb. SuRpRiSe :D God is amazing! I was 23, 25, 27, 31 when i had my first four. I apologize to my oldest (incidentally, my only son) from time to time. He was my “experiment”, my “how in the world do i do all this mothering stuff” child. We laugh now, but there were many tears in my early 20s.

    I enjoy being pregnant. I did do a few of the less invasive genetic testing to see what our odds were, just want to be prepared in the delivery room. Jesus is knitting our perfect for us child together. I’ll probably have a few more ultrasounds too. Labor and Delivery do not scare me, I know my body can expel this miracle from within. “NEVER will He leave me or forsake me”… a verse i draw strength from when Labor gets a little difficult.

    My children talk about how amazing it will be to spoil the younger children when they have jobs/careers/families of their own, although they are cautioned to not grow up too fast! *smile* We’re not into all the new fad products, so the cost of raising a child in this day and age (THE most common question i get as our family grows), isn’t as daunting as new, young moms who go out and buy EVERYTHING on the market.

    Experience has taught me, the best gift aside from Jesus I can give my children, is to be patient & breath before i react.

  3. I was 34 when I had my first baby and 42 when I had my 3rd child. We waited 12 years before being able to have a child. In my 20′s I was lamenting the fact that we weren’t able to conceive when I thought I wanted to. But in hind-site, God had his reasons! Not that I’m perfect now (far from it), but I needed those extra years to mature (in Him). I get discouraged when I do the math re: how old we will be when our youngest graduates from HS, but I just can’t go there. They are keeping me young and helping me to have the attitude of how important it is to stay healthy so I’ll be around to see my grandchildren!

    • I didn’t have 12 years (bless you!) but I agree on the maturing. I’m not sure if I would have been as willingly selfless at a younger age…

  4. I’m 36 with a 4 month old and a 9 & 6 yr old. I’ve never been embarrassed by my age but the idea if how old I’ll be when my youngest graduates is daunting. But I am sooo glad to have had a baby at my age. I truly appreciate and enjoy this one! I was in such a hurry 10 years ago, ready for my other two to get to the next stage so they would be more self sufficient. Now all I can think is ill never be able to pick up my 9yrold again the way I can pick up my baby. So please, enjoy your baby while he is small. People told me that all the time but I never really appreciated it till now.

  5. I think it’s funny that you think you were an old first-time mom at 28. When I got pregnant with my first at 25 (and had her at 26) people were like ARE YOU NUTS? YOU’RE SO YOUNG! That was in Nashville, which I’ve found is a lot different than the culture here in Chattanooga. I’m having my third at 30 (and last? maybe). I don’t find the pregnancy that different other than being exhausted from being a SAHM to two others 4 and under!

    • I had the same experience in Ohio! And, in fact at the hospital, and now that my son is in Kindergarten I am younger than many parents. Although, I also realize that for many of those families, this is their third child, whereas I view our family as just beginning.

    • Ah, see… location! JL says she’s the “young mom” in her east coast community, too.

  6. Your comment about having wrinkles and gray hair with an infant, Amy, makes me think of a saying that Russian refugees had:

    Old bread is not hard. No bread–that’s hard.

    Wrinkles and grey hair with a baby–not so bad. No baby–that’s hard.

    And besides, Amy, I’ve seen you in real life!! You look wonderful, without even considering the fact you’ve produced five children. I haven’t had any and I look at pictures of you and think, “Wow, I’d like to look like that, be that slender and fit.” Seriously, be proud of your appearance. You have good reason to be.

    • Well said!

      I longed to be a wife and a mom for years. God’s plan didn’t include marriage for me until I was 36 and motherhood until I was 38. No husband/baby = definitely hard! I am not concerned about what others think of my age with a baby. I can choose what offends me and that’s just not worth it. I’m just so thankful that God has chosen to bless me with one!

    • Old bread is not hard. No bread–that’s hard.

      Wrinkles and grey hair with a baby–not so bad. No baby–that’s hard.

      I agree 100%. These children are a blessing whenever they come.

      And thank you. I’m holding up okay for an old broad with 5 kids. ;)

  7. My only child was born when I was almost 35 years old. After being born with pnuemonia, followed by 6 weeks of colic, a night in the hospital after his first vaccinations, and finally projectile vomiting daily until he turned one, I now wonder what I would have done if I’d had him when I was a more immature 20 something. Life was hard that first year but I like to think I handled it better being an older mother. The good news is that he is now a well adjusted, hardly ever sick, 16 year old.

  8. Amy, you always come up with topics just when I need them! Really. I am 8 weeks pregnant with my 5th child, and I just turned 40 in September. This was a total surprise. My husband is so excited he wants to shout from the rooftops, but I’ve been reluctant to share because I know there will be people in our family who will be very negative. I, too, stare at the gray and think about my age. I didn’t really think about it until the doctor I saw initially (not my ob) said, “Well, you are 40…” With my second child I had a lot of trouble with misread tests and false positives, and even had to see a genetic specialist who told me I should “terminate”. (That would be my totally healthy, amazing 13 year old son.) Because of that experience I wonder, if I got that kind of treatment at 26, what will happen now that I’m older? Thank you to all the ladies who have commented. It really helps to read your stories.

  9. I can’t express enough how much of a blessing your blog and followers are to me! I’m 34, turning 35 in Feb and FREAKING OUT! We’re celebrating 1 year next week and I’ve been feeling the pressure of being an old mom. Being a worry wart doesn’t help the situation. Hearing the stories of your, others and all the blessings of being older and having perfectly normal kids is reassuring. I know that no matter how God gives us children, they will be the people that He needs us to have and I’m ready for that. Still praying that I have healthy children of course :) I have a lot of health issues and at the least, I don’t want them to suffer like I do most days (allergies, asthma, heart condition, genetic high cholesterol…) but all in all, I just want to say thank you for the inspiration and reaffirmation of faith that God is so much bigger than my worries, concerns and neuroses :) Be blessed!

  10. Hi! I am both a younger mother and an older mom. I had my first at seventeen and now, at 43, I have a five month old. There is a large age gap between the first and the second. Also the closest in age are a little over two years apart. As far as pregnancy goes the last was the hardest. Not because of my age. I have really fast labors (6 is my longest 20 minutes my shortest) and really strong Braxton hicks. Because of my age my doctor limited my exercize. Because of a previous miscarriage I listened. I’m a more relaxed mom usually. ;) I don’t think the resting instead of running around after my kids did me any favors. She was only 5 days early and healthy. However she is a bit more challenging because she doesn’t really nap. Even as a newborn she’d be awake for hours, sleep for 15 min and wake back up. I can sometimes get her down for a 20 min nap and rarely she’ll sleep for an hour. She’s up every three at night. Doctor says if she’s happy and growing it could just be her sleep pattern.

    I dont think my parenting has changed much from oldest to youngest but my confidence has. I do have moments of panic when I do the math but that’s borrowing trouble and we only have one day to live at a time. I have been blessed with a miracle. I’m just going to enjoy every moment.

  11. It’s interesting how people have such strong opinions on being moms younger or older in life :). I was pregnant at 18, and now pregnant again with our second at 22. If we only have 2, I’m done having kids at 22 and to me that makes me a little sad. I love being a younger mom. My mom was 27 when she had the last 3&4 (twins) and she loved it. We don’t think of careers and we only wanted to be wives and mothers. If I were to be infertile though until I was older, I would most certainly be ok with being an older mom. I am looking forward to those empty-nester years at a young-ish age though ;).

  12. As an older mom via adoption, I take my hat off to all you able to be pregnant, regardless of your age. For 17 years my DH and I tried, and this was with getting married at 27 for me and 36 for him. Medically there was nothing wrong with either of us. But ultimately God was and is in control. At this point, I have two 9 year olds (adopted when 3 1/2 from overseas) and will be almost 60 before they graduate from HS. But they are the joy of my life, and I thank God every day for them. God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us that is GOOD. This includes our children or lack thereof. (I always wanted 4 kids.) My job now, besides being mother to my children, is to trust the ONE who loves me and gave me the children HE purposed me to have. And since children are a gift from the Lord, I intend to enjoy my gifts regardless of my age. Blessings on all of you today.

  13. I was just shy of 31 when my first was born, and #2 is five weeks old, i’m now 36. My second pregnancy was surprisingly not difficult physically, and i was definitely not as physically fit as i was five years ago! I think being an older mom definitely comes with wisdom and maturity while being a younger mom lends itself to … How to put this … Being more informed via “the outside”. With my first, i did a ton of reading from various sources, asked a lot of questions, etc. this time. I’m going with the flow. :) most importantly, i think it’s best to give it to God and let Him be in charge!

  14. I married at 23, had my first child at 24 (almost 25) and my last (9th child) at 46 (almost 47)! Would I do it any different? No. Not unless we are blessed with baby no. 10 when I am 50 or older! Yes, my dear husband of 26 years was over 50 for two of our children. Do we know how old we will be when they are 20? Yes, we can add. Are we too old? Well, if we are too old we would not have had these lovely blessings (People who are too old to have a babies don’t get pregnant!). And we look way younger than our younger siblings. I think people age with their children. I have been told lots of times I look too young to have nine children and certainly too young for a 24 year old! Can I run and play with my little children? Yes, I can! Did I worry about children with problems? Yes, but God is in control. We did have a child born with a minor problem (cleft lip), but that was not due to age – and she is absolutely beautiful today! No one ever asked if I was their grandma – although they did think the younger babies were my older children’s child. That is just their misunderstanding and I am glad to be a light to our world. We all laugh about it because it is rather comical! I hope my home is always filled with laughter, joy and hope for a better world – I hope my life is always filled with happy families and lots of babies!

  15. I had my first child at 35 and my third right before my 40th birthday. I could not have gotten a better present! Sometimes I do feel my age – especially when I am so exhausted and asleep by 8:30 pm! I’m fortunate too because I have many friend who are also “older parents”. It can be hard sometimes but I feel very blessed and certainly wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  16. My husband and I always wanted to be young parents. We have 4 kids…9,7,4, and almost 3 months. I had just turned 23 when we had our first and turned 33 just after our 4th. While I would definitely say 33 is still young, there was a marked difference for me between being pregnant at 28 and at 32.

    I’ve never dwelled on how old I’ll be when any of them are at a certain age, but I almost cried when I realized that our youngest will start kindergarten the same year our oldest starts High School! Talk about an emotional start to a school year!

  17. Oh my gosh!! Well you all (and I do mean all) make me feel quite old. I too thought babies would not be a part of my life (especially after fertility treatments). But God is wondrous (and has an amazing sense of humor too). I had my first miracle 6 years ago at the age of 42 and my second miracle at the age of 45. Yes, sometimes I do feel out of place with the other younger moms at school functions (and Amy I had to laugh – you’ll be 56, I’ll be 63 when my youngest graduates high school). But most of the time, I don’t feel 48 and the other moms in our community have all been very accepting. So Tracy, enjoy every moment and if more children are what you want, then God willing, go for it Girl!

  18. I took a pregnancy test on my 32nd birthday and have had babies at 32, 34, and 35 (mere days before I turned 36). I am so thankful for my three little crazy kids. We are open to more babies if they are sent to us and although I kind of hope that I’m done by 40 I think they are all blessings! I’ve had good pregnancies and although it might have been physically easier on me to have babies younger I will never regret waiting until I found the right man to marry and raise those babies with!

  19. I had my older 2 at 21 and 23, then my firecracker at 31. what a difference. maybe it was just the personality of #3 but she about did me in(still feel that way and she’s almost 6, lol) Hubby is begging for a 4th but I dont know. im one of those people that HATED being pregnant so I dont know if I could handle another.

  20. Deanna Thompson says:

    I have four kids, the first at age 28 and the last at age 41. The last one was not planned but has been a true blessing. The last 2 pregnancies were hard, probably because I was more out of shape than with the first 2, most likely. Having older siblings to help with the younger ones has definately been a big big help. Especially since the two older ones are both girls and the oldest one just loves babies. I do feel kind of old when I go to my youngest son’s school functions and there are all these moms in their 20′s and early 30′s, but there are a few older moms as well. He is in 3rd grade now and smart as a whip.

  21. I had my first at 30 and am pregnant with my second at 31 (will be 32 when he’s born) and we are planning on /praying for a third eventually. My biggest (probably petty) frustration is that many of those around me use the term “young moms” to refer to ANY mothers of young children.

    Yes, I am a mom of a young child, but I am not the young mom that I longed to be (I also know I’m not an older mom too – I’d call myself smack in the middle!). The Lord clearly has a plan for our lives, but it still feels like salt in a slowly healing wound every time I hear that phrase.

  22. I was 35 when my youngest was born but I really feel like I can speak as an “older mom” because I am now in my 50′s.

    My oldest graduated from college and we attended his graduation, and I realized that some of the parents looked to be a full 10-15 years younger than us. I mean, I’m not positive because it’s a lot harder to tell the 40′s from the 50′s, lol! At least for me.

    But I also realized that they would spend their late 30′s and into their 40′s as empty nesters, while we were blessed to have both of our children living at home in our 30′s and 40′s.

    Matter of fact, we are in our 50′s and both our kids are still living at home. The 19 year old is in his second year of a local college. He is working his way through college and has some scholarships, but is living at home these first two years to help pay for it. Then he will transfer to a four year for his last two years and work his way through the last two years.

    The 23 year old just graduated in the spring (suma cum laude!) He worked for all four years of his college and had scholarships too. He moved back home this spring to finish paying off his college loans. He’s hoping to have them all paid off his year as he recently got another job with a higher salary.

    Some people would say they don’t want to be in their 50′s with children at home. But we love it. Our kids pay their own bills and help around the house, and they are old enough to take care of themselves, lol! We know that they will both be gone soon and we will enter “the empty nest.” Fortunately, we have worked at our friendship and our marriage so don’t fear it, lol!

    I know that some of our friends have told me that they love having their children gone in their 40′s (or 50′s) because then they can travel while they’re “still young enough to enjoy it.”

    Well, we had five years before the kids came and went on a couple of trips. The kids are now older and we’ve had several trips with them and made some awesome memories. Plus they are old enough to leave at home if we wanted to go somewhere by ourselves so it’s not like we couldn’t now.

    If we really wanted to travel a lot and take trips, we wouldn’t have had children because we couldn’t afford it as much after that, lol! Travel just isn’t a priority for us, but I applaud all those who love it and do it and enjoy seeing the pictures of it!

    But I have always told people that our children kept (keep) us young. And I mean it, too.

    My brother and several friends had their children in their 20′s. By the time they were in their 30′s their children were much older and by their 40′s they were empty nesters.

    I’m not saying they didn’t love it. But I noticed a bit of a change and more “settled” approach to their lifestyle as their kids got older. They became more homebodies and didn’t seem to like to go out a lot. They went to bed early.

    Now as a rule, you could say that I like that too. I loved/love being home and in many ways you could call me a homebody. But my kids force me to get out, which is a good thing for me, I think. Because of the kids we were busy going places and doing things then and to some extent now, and having fun with it!

    Because of the kids and their friends, I know who some celebrities are and who some of the singers are and what some of the latest fashions are, hahaha!

    I just think that having kids when you’re older can be great too. Because it forces you to be active and be alert and aware and realize that while you are getting older – you don’t have to get old.

    • I read an article recently about how skewed the American Dream has become. It didn’t used to be money and travel that people were after, but FAMILY and a way to support them. :)

  23. I’m another mom who had her last at “advanced maternal age.” What’s with that phrase, LOL? I had my first shortly before I turned 27 and #6 at almost 38. They’re spaced well at between 2-3 1/2 years between them (there’s a set of twins in there that makes that spacing work). I was talking to a gal when my youngest was a baby, who had 4 fairly young children all close in age. She was talking about how hard it was, “but at least they’ll all be out of the house by the time I’m 40.” Like you, I had a 2 year old at 40. And I like it. I think it keeps me young. But I will admit pregnancy was harder the last time than the first… though the twins’ pregnancy was the hardest. That last delivery was rougher and the recovery quite a bit worse, though. You’re right about health and attitude being a big part of things, but your body doesn’t quite bounce back as easily when you’re older. Still, I wouldn’t change a thing.

    I love that I had some time to be a kid, mature, get married at 25 and feel really ready for kids. I never felt like I was missing out by having them, and I was still young enough to have a large family. Kind of the best of all possibilities to my mind. And with the 11 year spacing between my oldest and my youngest, by the time my baby is leaving the home we should be lucky enough to have grandkids. ;) Sounds perfect!

    • ” I never felt like I was missing out by having them, and I was still young enough to have a large family. Kind of the best of all possibilities to my mind.” I like that perspective!

  24. I had my third baby at home with a midwife at age 39. I had my first at age 33. I was pregnant this past summer at age 41, but had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. I still cry about it! I do not worry about being older. I really feel there are some advantages and disadvantages to both, but we are on God’s path for our own family. You know, if women were “supposed” to be finished having children by 35 or 30 or whatever, then menopause would happen sooner! God made our bodies to do this into our forties. It’s a societal trend to be finished having children at a “young” age. And there is nothing wrong with that! My children make me feel young and I take care of myself – they are motivation for that!
    The Bible states that children are a gift and that we are blessed by a “full quiver” of them. There is no side note that says “unless you are over 35, then it’s just plain crazy.”
    Blessings to all of you “young” moms and “older” moms as you follow God’s leading for your families. :)
    Thanks for letting me share….

    • I’m so sorry for your loss over the summer.

      ” I really feel there are some advantages and disadvantages to both, but we are on God’s path for our own family.” Wise words!

  25. I was just thinking about being an “older” mom this morning. My kids were born when I was 31, 34, and 35. I was once asked if I was their grandma. I do feel old when I go on fieldtrips with my kindergartener and see so many other moms in their twenties.

    But generally, I like being an older mom. I got an extended education. I’ve had a career and supported myself. And then I got married and started a family. I’m not in a hurry to get to the empty nest, because I’ve already had the chance to do things for myself.

    I will turn 38 next month, but I don’t feel like I’m hitting middle age. I’m too busy chasing my kids around to dwell on the grey hairs and not-so-svelte figure. I just choose not to focus on where I’ll be when they graduate…get married…have their own babies… The fact is, whether we start our families early or late in life, there are no guarentees and we just need to worry about loving on our kids right now.

  26. My only daughter was born when I was 36. I have never felt “old”, but the nurses kept talking about my “advanced maternal age” which made me feel sort of insulted. Our bodies wouldn’t allow us to have babies if we were “too old”, would they?

  27. I am an “older” mom. I had my first when I was 38 and my second when I was 40. I feel quite blessed that I had my opportunities to travel and had a career before I had children. But now at 46, I’m starting to feel older and have less energy (even tho my kids are 5 & 7 and I need MORE energy), I don’t mind being one of the older parents. I feel like I have more wisdom than I had at 25.

    • “I feel like I have more wisdom than I had at 25.” And you have more life experiences to influence your parenting. I am really SO thankful for my teaching years. They help me better deal with my own children and their teachers.

  28. Melinda McCormick says:

    Started kids at 35, had #2 at 37 and #3 at 41. I did consider some of the “issues” that may occur with being older but at any age it’s all in God’s hands. Blessed beyond measure and yes I’m so old with my kindergartner’s parents but who needs to know and who cares, for real? Do I wish we had started sooner, if I had my druthers, yes, but this is all part of God’s plan and we are LOVING and ENJOYING these children.

  29. I had my four children by the time I was 25. I have longed for another baby, but pregnancy was so hard on me 8 years ago, I worry about doing it now. I was always told I would gain a bunch of weight, but I see from your pictures…that is not always true!!
    You look great! You are an encouragement to us all!

  30. My first child was born when I was 27. The last one was born when I was 45. We have six children (31, 28, 26, 25, 14, & 12). Yep, there is an 11 year gap between #4 and #5. The only thing with having a child at 45 was exhaustion. I am still tired and she is 12 years old. I have walked through the grocery store when #4 & #5 were babes. I always got the “What cute grandchildren!” Yes, they are my mother’s grandchildren. I homeschool, so I didn’t get the “only mother with gray hair in kindergarten.” However, I will be 65 when #6 graduates from college. Whoa! I agree that I am much more mellow with #4 & #5. My older children accuse me of putting Coke in the babies bottle. No, I have never done that – but I do raise these last two differently. I have learned a thing or two. You are NEVER too old to do whatever God has planned for you. Even having children in your late 40′s!

  31. I had my first at 33 and am now 37, at home with a three week old and feel more than blessed that I am at a great place in life to thruly enjoy this gift in my life.

    I want to write to Tracy as a 37 year old woman that was born to a 38 year old mother back in the 70′s. My mom and dad had their family, four kids in 7 years. They were HS sweethearts and married only months after mom graduated HS so she started having babies at 19. Eleven years after baby #4, I came along. She called it an accident, my sister called it a child of prayer and I call it a sweet surprise. My mom never spoke or worried about her age at my chlidhood events, often telling me how I kept her and dad young and so involved (as there are alot of things to be involved in Tiny Town). I tell people ALL the time that I had the best childhood as my parents marriage was solid as a rock, they worried less which contributed in confidence for me and they showered me with attention, knowing how fleeting childhood was. I also have benefited from seeing my mother as an incredibly generous and attention giving grandma. I was ten years old when my first nephew was born. I don’t remember life without mom being grandma as well.
    Tracy, I enlisted older moms to pray for me and talk me out of any cloudy days when my age started to worry me during pregnancy. I suggest you do that as well since they have lived it and have great advice to calm your fears.

    • You nearly had me in tears with this one. There is NO ONE more active in this town than your mom, including bouncing around at 5:30 am Zumba. Ha! :)

  32. I had my first baby at 28 and just had my last baby at 34. My boys are 6 and 3, my precious (long awaited) baby girl is 4 months!! I did not notice a difference in how I felt during my pregnancies, but I have easy pregnancies and I love the feeling of being pregnant. I did worry more about birth defects for child #3 (a lot more than the other 2). It kind of scared me sometimes, but she came out fine and she is amazing!! I am defintely more laid back and relaxed this time around. Not sure if it is due to age or experience. We will not be having another, I wanted to have my babies before I was 35. I have 3 healthy children and that is an amazing gift, I sometimes feel like I would be tempting fate if I have another. Selfish I know, but it is how I feel.

  33. It seems like whether you’re considered an “old” or “young” mother has a lot to do with where you live. Amy mentioned being an “older” first-time mom at age 28 and another commenter mentioned being the oldest mom in her child’s kindergarten class, yet stated she’s a 40yo mom of a 7yo (meaning her child was born when she was 33). Where I live, any first-time mom under age 30 is considered “young” and, at least among my crowd of friends, almost all have had their first child between ages 30-35. I’m due with my first in a couple months and will be turning 35 this month. Although I feel like I’m at the older end of average, I definitely don’t consider myself to be an “old” mom. My cousin is expecting her first next month at age 30 and she’s the first of her friends to have a child.

    In terms of being able to handle the pregnancy and parenting a small child, health has a lot more to do with that than age. I’ve had an extremely easy pregnancy and I attribute it to my healthy diet, regular chiropractic adjustments, and mild/moderate exercise.

    • So true, Bonnie. And I do look at some “younger” (in their 20s) moms who don’t take care of themselves and have horrible pregnancies, and think how sad. Health is often what WE make of it.

  34. I had our first at almost 22, second at 25, third at 26 and now at 36 I would gladly welcome #4 at any age. We joke that the oldest will be going off to college when we do get pregnant again. ;)

  35. I’m not an “older” mom… yet. But my {amazing} mother had her 8th and 9th child in her 40′s (44 and 46) after a six year gap from the 7th. I’ve always thought it kept my mom youthful and now her older children (me!) are reaping the benefits of our youngest siblings: 14 and 16. They are my favorite babysitters. My mom had an extremely difficult pregnancy with #8 that left her on bed rest and finished off with an awful emergency c-section (all the others, including the 9th, were natural). For her 9th, she changed her diet significantly and relied heavily on herbal supplements and had a wonderful pregnancy and delivery. Now that she’s 60 and has 13 grandchildren, she still seems like she did when she was 40. Also, I read somewhere once that the risks of birth defects and problems in older women is higher if it’s your first pregnancy, if it’s not your first, the risk isn’t quite as high.

  36. I was my moms miracle baby (at least thats what I tell my siblings). My mom was 43 when she had me, my sister was 11, I have one brother 20 years older than me, I was not planned by my parents, only by God. Growing up my mom was often mistaken for my grandma. My mom retired before I graduated highschool, and she was much older than all my friends parents. But now 30 years later she swears I am what kept her young.

  37. I’m 5 weeks pregnant. I’m 37. I had my first at 25. This will be #6.

    The only “difference” I really feel with the birth (God willing) of this newest blessing is that we do not have presence of my husband’s parents nor my grandparents. While that’s certainly not a reason to not have children, their love and support will be sorely missed. What a blessing extended family is!

  38. Baby #1 I was 33 because I apparently I had a huge learning curve to choose a good man. Pregnancy was perfectly healthy, right up until it wasn’t. He was born at 29 weeks due to severe preeclampsia which my perinatologist assured me was not age related and probably would have happened 10 years prior only then there was less know how and I’d have had a sicker baby (he’s great now, age 5). Baby #2 I was 35 and was a complete neurotic freak about problems since I’d had an unhealthy pregnancy before magic cut off of being an “older mom.” I had amnio (my doc was pretty 50/50 on the need) so I could have time to get my ducks in a row about what my community offered. Turned out all was fine. This time I’m 39 and felt like I already knew what my community offered as we used all the services with my firstborn (he was too little during pregnancy #2) so I was pretty relaxed but this time my doc seemed more leaning towards amnio, since he was ambivalent 3 years ago I felt sort of like I needed to do it. Again all is fine, so….I think as an older mom it’s harder for your body to bounce back just because you’re already in the slowing metabolism phase. But otherwise I think it’s been good. I think I know more, so I’m more cautious about some things, but overall I feel better equipped to decide what is a big deal vs what is not (like the binky on the floor, eh, no biggie). Yes, I worry about having a shortened opportunity to be active grandparents and enjoy our own retirement, but…those problems are not big enough to make decide it’s too late so we should be childless! My grandmother was 41 in 1953 and had a healthy baby. The other grandmother was 35 in 1943 with her FIRST! So you CAN and probably will be a healthy OLDER mom with a healthy baby!!

  39. typing one handed due to breastfeeding but thanks for this post!

  40. I started early and am still going at an ‘older age’. I’m pregnant with #7.
    My grandmother had her last at 45 or 46 and that is quite a bit older than me!

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