Age 41, this Marin mama shares her pregnancy story of heartbreak and joy on her journey to being a mother of two. She birthed her first child, a son, at age 37. Conceiving was easy and other than morning sickness her pregnancy and delivery was an easy process. But a couple years later when she and her husband decided to try for a second child the experience was completely different.
“At my first prenatal appointment, there was no heartbeat. I was stunned. The possibility of miscarriage hadn’t really occurred to me. Until then, I didn’t know that miscarriage was not only a possibility but, now at 40 years old, a likelihood,” said Marta. “It was a very emotional experience for me and my husband (and our families).” These are some of the very real and heartbreaking facts when over 40 and pregnant.
Marta realized having gone through pregnancy and miscarriage that she more so than ever wanted to have another child. For her son to have a sibling. So, her and husband conceived again a few months later. This time, they received good news – the fetus had a heartbeat. However, the fetus was measuring small. A few weeks later at an ultrasound appointment, the doctor confirmed what Marta feared most: the fetus no longer had a heartbeat. Dealing with a second miscarriage within six months was devastating. “My husband and I agreed soon after that we’d try one more time as neither of us could bear the physical and emotional pain of many more miscarriages,” said Marta.
“When it was time to start trying again, I spoke to the universe and simply said that if I was meant to be a mom to two children and if we’re meant to be a family of four, that it had to happen in this pregnancy because this was going to be the last time we’d try to have a baby,” said Marta. “I truly released my expectations and hopes, and trusted that the universe would show us what our family was supposed to be.”
The universe indeed decide they were to be a family of four and blessed them with another pregnancy. This time, the fetus was growing and thriving as expected. “When my son was born, I thought it was the closest thing to magic that must exist,” said Marta. “But the experience and process of losing two pregnancies, and now being eight months pregnant, eagerly anticipating a little girl, has clarified for me that birth is truly a miracle. By the time we’re born, we’ve already won a whole series of life’s lotteries!”
How does it feel to be over 40 years old and pregnant? “Waiting to have children until my 40’s has empowered me by making me a better mom. I’m ready. I have more life experience, I have a partner in life, we’re financially secure, and I have more self awareness and emotional intelligence,” said Marta. “By spending the first 37 years of my life focused on myself, my career, my friends, interests, and my marriage, it allows me to focus my 40s on being a parent. As a result, the sacrifices that naturally come with being a parent don’t feel as much like sacrifices to me because I’ve already lived so much of my life for myself and my own interests. I’m ready and able to dedicate myself to being a great mom.”
Her best advice to mom’s considering pregnancy after 40 years old is, “There are pros and cons for having a baby at any age so there’s little point in focusing on age. The bigger picture is about being a parent!”
In some ways, Marta feels that living in the Bay Area has empowered her to be a mom in her 40’s. “I do believe living in the Bay Area, where there is a greater population of older parents, certainly made me feel less concerned about my age,” Marta said. “That’s very clear to me, particularly when I compare myself to most high school peers (from a small, rural town in Oregon) whose children are in high school or even college. Heck, some of my former classmates are already grandparents and here I am just having my second child! When I think of it this way, I suppose the Bay Area in general empowered me.”
What do you think about being pregnant after 40 years old? I’d love to hear. And please, feel free to share your own motherhood story.