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Pregnancy at an Older Age


We’ve chatted away about having babies after age 35 [4] 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 [5]and exercise plan. [6]  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?! [7])  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!)