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By Heather Northrup, former Senior Healthcare Manager, Alberta, Canada.

In 2003, I got the call of my life: “You’re pregnant!”

They were the words I had longed to hear for so long. At the age of 39, having married later in life, I had heard only the negatives: “You’re too old; the risks are too high for you and the baby”, or “Perhaps you should consider adoption”, and so on. I soon grew to loathe the phrase, ‘advanced maternal age’.

But I established a motto that got me through many trials, tribulations and heartache: “I don’t believe that I won’t conceive!”

Sixteen weeks later, I was devastated

So, excitement doesn’t begin to describe how I felt when I heard the news.  But, 16 weeks later, I miscarried and was devastated. Instead of sharing news of the pregnancy with family, we were telephoning them from the hospital before I was due to go in for surgery.

It took a while to heal both physically and emotionally. When I returned to work, people seemed quite comfortable judging me, with comments like, “You think she’d know better at her age”.

Then, in 2005, I received another call of my life.  We were expecting once again.  I was now 41.

I followed all the credible advice I could find, including eliminating all caffeine, including giving up my beloved chocolate, along with all fatty and fast-foods, and trans fats. I ate lots of dark green leafy veggies, bumped up my intake of calcium rich products, took prenatal vitamins, including folic acid, and exercised (primarily walking). Luckily, I had been a life-long non-smoker.

At the age of 41, I went into early labor

Over the next few months, I must have looked at my abdomen and my profile hundreds of times, eager to see a small bump.  I felt so alive.

The pregnancy was smooth, and predictable.  The announcement at work and to family members was, once again, met with shock and disbelief.  One person even said, “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

At 33 weeks, at age 41, I went into early labor.  Fifteen hours later, a tiny boy was born. How I had longed for that moment.  And when it finally arrived, and I held my baby for the first time, I wept uncontrollably.  I had never felt such joy.

 

Doctor advised us to try to conceive our 2nd child quickly

In July 2007, when I as 43, we welcomed another son into the family.  The conception was 100% natural.  I remember telling my doctor that we wanted a second baby and he said to try to conceive quickly because the chances of a successful pregnancy are highest in the first year following a pregnancy and delivery.

In the years that followed, we always felt that someone was missing from our family.  I knew in my heart and soul that I wanted another child.  We began to try to conceive.  This time it proved far more difficult; 18 months went by and still no success.

We miscarried a child in 2009.  Eventually, I underwent a series of tests to ensure that I was ovulating normally.  The results came back positive.  My obstetrician encouraged me to reduce my stress and relax.  And I recalled my motto once again: “I don’t believe I won’t conceive”.

 

I gave birth again at 47, after a natural conception

At long last, in January 2011 we conceived out third child naturally. With our third child, we received some surprisingly kind and supportive comments.  I guess the novelty had worn off.

In November 2011 when I was 47, I went into labor on my due date.  Six hours later, after a very normal but fast labor, a healthy son was born.

While on the postpartum ward, I had the oddest experience:  there was a stream of nurses peaking into my hospital room.  After about the 8th one came in and then left again quickly, I listened at the door and heard them say: “She’s 47, can you believe it?”

 

Facing the pros and cons of being an “older” mom

Being an over-40 mom is a joy.  There are so many positives.  The boys are now 8 and 6 years old, and the youngest is 23 months.  They keep me young.  We lay in the grass in the backyard and study cloud formations; we ride our bicycles as a family every Saturday, travelling 25 km together; we go mountain climbing and hiking.

There is a stigma attached to being an older mom.  People often laugh or sneer, and I do feel socially isolated quite often.  I try to connect with other moms, but invariably they are 30 or under.  Although we have children of similar ages, we have nothing else in common

I cherish every moment, every diaper, every tear of sadness or joy, and every scraped knee.

Yes, I am tired; but a wise person once said, ‘If as a parent you’re not tired at the end of the day, regardless of your age, you’re not doing it right.’

I can offer my children things that I could never have when I was half my age—financial security, a sense of being grounded in knowing who I am, and maturity.

On the negative front, I have given up my career for the moment.  I had worked for 12 years as a senior manager in health care, with two university degrees. I rapidly learned that my former employer, while claiming to be family friendly, proved to be the reverse, and had no sympathy or understanding for my needs as an older mom.

Also, we have no family support.  My husband works away for much of the time, so I am often single parenting.  Ironically, our family views us as “older and wiser”, believing we don’t need help like young parents do.

 

Trying to conceive our 4th child naturally, at age 49

And so at 49, with 5 pregnancies, 2 miscarriages, and 3 births under my belt, we are trying for our 4th child. I know that the risks are also far greater, but perhaps that means that the rewards will be just as great.

My motto has changed:  ‘I’m trying to believe that I will conceive”.  Time will tell.

 

Notes for this blog:

For a list of articles on how to conceive naturally after 40, go to our “Pros & Cons” page and scroll down to the articles box in the section entitled: “The Mystery of Fertility After 40”:  http://achildafter40.com/challenges-benefits-baby-after-40/#section-3

92 Responses to I Had 3 Babies Naturally After 40, and I’m Trying for Number 4!

  1. Nicole says:

    Wow – congrats to you! I too got married later in life (worth the wait) at 40 and also had my daughter at 40 (only took 2 months of trying). Now, at 45, after 4 failed IUIs and 4 failed rounds of IVF, your story gives me hope. I cherish my soon-to-be 3 year old like the gift from God that she is to us – but I would love another, and to give her a sibling. Bless!

    • April says:

      Can all of you over 40 moms tell me what age your husband was? My significant other is 58 and I’m concerned about the kids having aneuploidies like spina bifida and retardation. Have any of you had health children with a man that old?

      • Heather says:

        Hi April! Thanks for your question. My husband is 51 and going back, he was 43, 45, and 49 when our three kids were conceived. You’re right – we researched the impact his age would have on conception and possible birth defects; we decided to take a leap of faith and proceed. I wish you well on your journey, knowing all good things will come your way.

        • Rachel says:

          If it helps. I was 40 and 42 at the time I conceived both children naturally. My husband was 49 and 51. We have two healthy children. I am 43 and my husband is 52 now. We have 5 month old and a 21 month old. Good luck.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Nicole! Thanks for your support and congratulations on your child and ongoing efforts! There’s a lot to be said for positive thinking – so I will keep positive thoughts for you on your journey. It’s worth it! I had my son talk to my tummy to ask for a baby – we had fun and boy was he thrilled when it happened!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Nicole! I posted a reply to you but it somehow was placed further down. Keep scrolling! :)

    • CC says:

      Nicole, I really hope you get your second baby! Were you 41 when you had your child? I was looking at the numbers and they didnt add up? Was just curious. Best wishes!

  2. Bern says:

    My friend got married at 36 and has had 7 naturally conceived babies between 36 and 49. So good on you for showing so much hope and loving life so much.

    I am having my 3rd with natural conception in my 40′s, try some Chinese herbs if nothing else works. The Chinese believe as long as you are conceiving it is possible. I will say a prayer for you.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Bern! Wow – your friend is an inspiration! Congratulations on your third – a blessing! Thank you for your suggestion on trying Chinese herbs. I’m still lucky and remain hopeful because my cycles are incredibly regular, with no noticeable signs of menopause. I wish you well on your journey!

    • CC says:

      This is amazing! So happy for your friend! I would love to have 7 kids but I doubt my hubs would get on board with that!

  3. cat says:

    Inspiring, giving women over 40 true hope. Thank you for sharing! And for reminding us to trust…

    • Heather says:

      Hi Cat! Thank you for your comment. You’re right – trust is so important – trust in yourself, in your body, in your hope, in your dream, and yes dare I say it – in the medical community sometimes! LOL Best wishes to you on your journey!

      • cat says:

        thank you, Heather, I will take your words and spirit of hope with me… thank you for YOU and your wonderful journey to share

  4. Cindy (http://www NULL.fertilekitchen NULL.com) says:

    Love your story, Heather! And your perseverance against the status quo to make a decision that is right and perfect for you and your family! I am looking forward to the day when older mothers are no longer stigmatized. I myself love being a mom! Wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I’m the 49 year old mom (it’s my bday today) of an 8-year-old and a 2 and a half year old. Good luck to you, Heather, on your journey to #4.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Cindy! Thank you for your comment And a belated Happy B’day to you! Your kids are pretty much the same age as mine, and yes it’s just so wonderful. I always say that it’s truly a privilege mothering my boys. They teach me so much. I keep on hitting that message – we are competent, loving, life-giving, and driven. Love knows no age limit. Good luck to you and your family and enjoy your journey!

  5. Sammie Brown (http://achildafter40) says:

    I too hate that phrase advance maternal age! I got remarried two years ago and have actively been trying for a little over a year. Thank you so much for giving me hope…

    • Heather says:

      Hi Sammie! Thanks for your comment. Don’t give up! Keep on down that road and remember the impact that positive thinking has on our lives. As long as we have hope, then we have something to cling to. Trust in your body and in your hope. I wish you all the best on your journey! And by the way – I like to think that ‘advanced’ also means ‘better’ and ‘stronger’ so I say to the docs – ‘you bet I’m advanced and I wouldn’t have it any other way!’

  6. Sammie Brown (http://achildafter40) says:

    I forgot to mention that I just turned 45 and my husband Is 35.

  7. Cheryl says:

    Thank you so much for posting your story. You are my absolute inspiration.Like you I worked for many years and was able to achieve great success in my profession. Then at you young age of 42 I had my first (naturally) and became a stay at home mom. I’ve just turned 48 and my husband, my son and I so desperately want another. I congratulate you for pursuing what was right for you family despite any social stigma you might have endured. You really are my role model.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Cheryl! Thanks for your comment! I’m delighted to hear that my story has inspired you! It’s an honor. It’s too bad that our working lives have taken a back seat, after so much effort and sweat to climb that ladder. But as I always say, I won’t get a ‘do over’ with my boys – it’s now or never. So job be darned! Keep on trusting in your hopes and dreams. Have your son talk to your tummy – I know that sounds funny but we did it and it was a bonding experience. And remember my stance that mind over matter works! Your body has the capability – never stop believing. And believe me – I continue to chip away at that dreadful social stigma. And when I was the winner at the elementary school’s field day Mother’s Race – the young mothers were surprised and shocked! And I lapped it up! Rock on! Best wishes on your journey! I hope to read about your future success on this web site soon!

  8. Rebecca says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. As the other ladies commented, it gives me hope. I had my first a month shy of my 38th birthday and would love to give my son a sibling. I am 42 years old now and will keep persevering.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Rebecca! Thanks for your comment! As I’ve said in other comments – please don’t stop trying. Trust, trust, trust. You are the perfect age and great things await you and your family! It’s truly worth the blood, sweat and tears. I wish you well on your journey!

    • CC says:

      Oh I really hope that you can give your son a sibling. I hear of MANY women getting pregnant at 42. Make sure your really tracking your ovulation. I know exactly when mine comes every month, there is no missing it, read up on the signs to look for.

  9. Mayela says:

    Love your story. I’m currently 48 and TTC my #6 child. I have 3 daughter from my first marriage. And an angel, and a 14 month old daughter from my current husband. I can relate on the fact how some people look at you cause you are older and pregnant but that didn’t make me feel bad cause like you said we are more mature and we know what we want.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Mayela! Thanks for your comment! Wow – you are wonderful! Congratulations on your successes. Sounds like you are building a tremendous family. We mature moms are truly wonderful; let’s keep on hitting that message hard. I wish you well on your journey!

  10. Kirsten says:

    Right on Heather! Inspiring and your love as a mother clearly shines through.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Kirsten! Thanks for your comment! And thanks for your kind words. Yes my life is so wonderful I can’t imagine it any different! It is a privilege mothering my boys and I wake up every morning with such gratitude. All the best to you and thank you once again!

  11. Barbara says:

    Hi Ladies,
    It is great to hear stories like that but I would assume that you ladies have had menstruations, ovulations and hormones in the right range. Right? In my case I was thrown into early menopause by a great stress 4 years ago and I have not been able to recover. This year I have had only 2 periods. Based on my FSH and other hormones I do not think that anything will happen. Unless, you have stories to tell otherwise.(LOL)

    • Heather says:

      Hi Barbara! Thanks for your comment! Yes my onset of menstruation was at 14. Then as I aged, and stabilized, by cycles and hormones became regular and stable, and thankfully remain extremely regular and predictable. I’m saddened to hear your story of your early onset on menopause. But I knew of a gal who had a similar story, and worked closely with a Chinese Herbalist, and also a Foot Reflexologist, and was able to achieve some correction and eventually conceived a child. She was able to have one child and no more, but that child was seen as a blessing by her and her family. So I share this with you in the hopes that it will give you some more hope. Remember that without hope, we have nothing. I hope to read that you have success soon! I wish you well on your journey!

  12. Maria says:

    Your story is so inspiring! Congratulations in your beautiful family and good luck with number 4!!
    I am 40 years old and pregnant with my second child (yayyy!!!!), I had my first when I was 37, when she was 2 we started TTC#2 and when we finally conceived it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy, it was so sad, and I was so worried it was going to be harder to conceive after that, but 5 months later we started TTC again and got pregnant in the very first month!! I know we were very lucky and I cant be thankfull enough. I am now 14 weeks pregnant and we already know is a baby boy! I am praying the rest of my pregnancy goes ok and we welcome out little man next june… and yes while I was trying to conceive this baby I have had people judging me, saying that I am too old, that I already have one child, that it is too risky to have another child at this age… gosh!!! I hate it!! like we have no right to have the family we want. Dont listen to them ladies, nobody has the right to stop us from having the joy a daughter/son brings to ones life. Good luck to all of you out there!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Maria! Thanks for your comment! And thanks for your kind words; I feel very blessed to have my family and I’m so hopeful that #4 will happen soon! I feel so happy for you about your success, and also saddened to learn of your ectopic pregnancy. I believe that you have a child waiting to meet you someday, just as I have my 2 lost babies waiting to meet me someday. People said to me, when we were trying for #2 and later, #3, ‘can’t you just be happy for the one boy?’ I really wanted to scream at them, but decorum took over. I am so hopeful for you that your pregnancy proceeds normally and is ‘uneventful’ as the medical community likes to say. I hope to hear good news from you on this site! I wish you well on your journey!

    • CC says:

      Congrats on being pregnant, may I ask have alot of people said rude comments or just a few? Were they from strangers or close friends and family? Also has your doctor said if she has alot of women around your age? I am 38.5 and want to get pregnant asap. I already have two kids and want more.

  13. Lylas says:

    I can’t wait to see pictures of baby #4. And please let us know how friends, family and nurses respond when you deliver ;-) . You were fortunate that the nurses actually came into your room after giving birth. None of the nurses wanted to come into my room after I had my son at 51. I think they were afraid I’d have cardiac arrest and they wouldn’t remember how to do CPR. And I can relate to friends and family not wanting to help out. My sister keeps saying she doesn’t remember so she has no advice to offer from her experience.

    • Susan says:

      Thank you for sharing your story! I had my son at 46, conceived with IVF and when I was seen at 36 weeks in the hospital by a new OB-GYN, he said women my age could only have a baby with the help of modern medicine. Although I had used modern medicine, I couldn’t believe that an ob-gyn could be so ignorant as to think it was not possible to have conceived naturally at 46!

      • Heather says:

        Hi Susan! Thanks for your comment! That comment from the OBGYN is insulting and makes me want to scream! Makes me wonder what they learn in med school! Congratulations on your child and family. That comment, and so many others over the years, makes me push even harder to have success with conceiving #4! We mature moms should not be underestimated! I wish you well on your journey!

      • ania says:

        Hi Susan, convratulations!!!! May I ask you whether you have conceived using your own eggs? I’d like to try with my own eggs but my re said after 45 I have to use egg donor. My husband is against egg donor :( . I’ve just turned 46, had my first one at 43 naturally.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Lylas! Thanks for your comment! I kind of giggled at your comment about having a cardiac arrest and the absence of nurses! I think sometimes they just don’t know what to do with us! Or what to say! Good for you – 51! There’s hope for me – I turn 50 in July. I remain hopeful that I will have success conceiving #4 soon. While it is very upsetting and disappointing about family not helping, I try to tell myself that it’s their loss because they are losing out on wonderful times and memories with a little person who only asks to be loved. Keep on persevering and I wish you well on your journey!

  14. Sheri says:

    I’m 41 and have a 2 year old – thank you for this connection – I completely understand how each moment is cherished in a profound way as an ‘older’ mom. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Sheri! Thanks for your story! Thank you for your kind words. As I said in another comment, I truly cherish every moment and am profoundly grateful for the privilege of mothering my boys. I’ve seen a lot of life at this point, and understand how important it is to cherish, cherish, cherish. I wish you well on your journey!

  15. Jennifer says:

    It is very encouraged to know your story, Heather. It is also sad to know there are still people in this world treat old moms like this. I got my girl (by natural) at age 42, she is 5 now. (I got pretty much grey hair afterwards.) One day I had walked in to a elematery school while the staff asked if I am the grandmom. When I corrected her that I am the mom, she gave me a face. Lucky I moved out of that school zone and never go back to that school.

    Most of my friends and families did tell me they forgot their nursery experience. I had to read books to gain experience, and some of those experience doesn’t apply to my current location. I felt isolated, and afraied to get another child.

    I also realized the younger mom does get more attention since people feel they are “young and none experienced”. Well, we are “experienced but non-professional for nusery business”, people don’t seem to get that part. That’s why we have this website….to help each other, and support each other. We are not alone.

    I believe people’s body has much more potential. We all know to live longer than 70 years old was kind of impossible in centries ago. But situation changes. Maybe in one of the future days, The 50 years old women to be natural concieved and give birth won’t be a news.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Jennifer! Thanks for your comment! I was saddened to hear of your experiences at the school. I am very involved in my children’s school also and just want to say to you – just keep on going. It doesn’t matter what people say, as long as you are building memories with your child. And I also agree with you – it doesn’t matter what the age is – we all need help and support sometimes. And support can come from anywhere – this web site included! We mature moms are poised to take over the world! LOL!! :) I wish you well on your journey!

  16. Janet says:

    Heather,
    Thanks so much for sharing your experience and energy – three children, and trying again! I delivered my first and only wonderful daughter at 52 years and now she is three and lively. My husband and I adore her greatly, and are glad our friends think it’s great, as did my AB O&G specialist. I was considered high-risk by age, but nothing else.
    If you ever wish to start an AB support group, I’m in!
    all the best in your quest.
    Janet

    • Heather says:

      Hi Janet! Thanks for your comment! Wow you are an inspiration! 52! Well done. It’s so wonderful that you have supportive friends. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I continue to forge ahead, trusting in my heart, soul, and body. Love the idea of an AB support group! I’ll put some thought into it. Until then, I wish you well in your journey along with your family!

    • elle greffen says:

      May i ask if yiu used egg donation since i am 50 and we failed several rounds of ivf and i know regret nitbtrying ivf i am happy for you lol

      • Heather says:

        Hi Elle! Thanks for your comment and question! I was one of the lucky ones, in that all my pregnancies were with my own eggs. No medical / scientific interventions at all. I struggled to conceive our third son and so underwent a series of tests to check on the viability of my eggs. I was super relieved and excited to learn that they were still viable. Having said all this, I do believe that had I not been as lucky as I have been, I would have opted for assistance through IVF or egg donation. My drive to be a mother was and is so strong, I would have stopped at nothing to make the dream a reality. I just want to add that I hope the very best for you, and please don’t be too hard on yourself. We make our decisions and choices at the time with the information we have available to us at that time. Hind sight is tough to live with. All the best to you on your journey! It’s not too late!

        • Elle says:

          Thank you Heather. I appreciate your kind words. I am happy for you. It’s a strong desire and I hope you conceive! Lots of love

  17. Angel LaLiberte (http://www NULL.AChildAfter40 NULL.com) says:

    Hi Janet & Heather,
    Love your enthusiasm! Anyone who wants to start a support or social group for women in their area who are over 40 and TTC or have already become moms, can do so here on this website. Just go to our social groups page to see the existing groups, then email me with your request. Happy to oblige! http://achildafter40.com/moms-over-40-social-groups/

  18. Carissa says:

    Heather–

    You are my new heroine!! I am 45, I conceived naturally my first time at 38, and miscarried. It was so devastating. I was referred to an RE for evaluation and treatment to try again, and I conceived during the clomid challenge (see, my eggs were okay!), and, this time, I gave birth to my beautiful, big (9 lbs, 4 oz.), healthy boy at age 40.

    My boy really wants a baby sister, so we started trying again last year.I conceived right away–and miscarried right away. Nothing since, but my cycles are regular as rain.

    You give me hope, Heather!!

  19. Tracy says:

    Hi Heather! I love your story and your positive thinking! After experiencing six years of infertility, I gave conceived naturally and gave birth to my first baby at age 27, second at age 31, third at age 34, fourth at age 39 and fifth at age 41. Sadly, I recently miscarried baby #6 at 12 wks at age 43. We have been ttc for 4 cycles now since the miscarriage and I’m feeling discouraged. I usually work out and am in such great health, but since the miscarriage I can’t even drag myself to the gym. I want to regain my positivity, but it’s so hard going against the medical community and family that think I’m too old and that we have enough already! My dh is 7 years younger than me and had a vasectomy after baby #5 but the procedure didn’t work! We really felt that another was in our future..but now I’m just not sure. Hopefully reading your story will be the pick me up that I need! Thank you. : )

    • Heather says:

      Hi Tracy! Thanks for your comment! Wow you have a lovely large family, and congratulations on your goal of expanding it further! I’m sorry for you about your miscarriage; my two were heart-wrenching. I would say that if your husband’s vasectomy failed, then it is most definitely a sign that you have success coming your way. The timing will happen when it’s meant to, so in the meantime, I would strongly encourage you to remain positive and trust that it will happen. As for negative comments, I get them all the time too, and yet I continue to try to number 4 even though I will be 50 when the child is born. I DON’T CARE. In fact, to my family and friends who choose to ridicule and judge me, I say to them, “as you don’t help us with your time or your money, then you are not in a position to criticize and your opinions don’t matter”. That shuts them up pretty fast. I will close by saying, please don’t be too hard on yourself; we all heal at different rates and it sounds like your miscarriage is still relatively recent; remember that too much exercise can be tough on our cycles too; and I wish you the very best on your journey!

  20. Heather says:

    Hi Carissa! Thanks for your comment and kind words! And I’m sending a cheer for your eggs!!! I can completely understand the drive and desire for another child – even from your son! Congratulations on your success – your son – and I want to say, keep trying! It’s all worth it. Every experience along the way. They make us who we are. Yes, miscarriages are horribly traumatizing; but for me, I do believe that one day, I will meet my ‘angels’ – the children we lost along the way. So, keep on truckin’ as they say. Great that your cycles are so regular. Mine too, as I mentioned in a previous reply. However, having said that, I have an appointment next week; I need to advocate for another round of testing for myself, to check on the viability of my eggs. We have been trying for some time for #4, and at my age of 49, I’m hopeful that the results will come back positive, just as they did in 2011, when we went on to have our third son with my own egg. So, time does march on, but I believe we have to march with it, and do everything in our power to make our dreams our reality. I hope to read a successful story from you soon, on this site. And I wish you tremendous success on your journey!

  21. CC says:

    Thank you for sharing your personal story and I am so happy for you that you have been able to have your children. My heart goes out to you that you have felt some isolation and have had to deal with a few comments. People can be so rude.

    Can I ask did the nurses coming in and out of your room just to get a peak at you, did that happen only with your last baby? Or did it happen with the others too? I am going to try for a baby and would be 39.5 and am wondering if the nurses will be shocked and doing that to me too. I do look young for my age, but they would see my age on the chart.

    I had my two kids at 30 and 32 and plan to have more and I am 38. I am sure you could find stuff in common with younger moms, its not about age, its about the person and what there interests are. And yes interests can be the same at any age. I happen to love decor and reading blogs and taking my kids to do fun things, also we love doing road trips etc. Anyone at any age can do those things. I guess my point is that women love finding support and good friends and age is relative in that. Anyway I admire you because you have a thick skin, your not letting anyone who might judge you, get in the way of the happiness of your family.

    • Heather says:

      Hi CC! Thanks for your comment! Well I guess I would say that the nurses coming into the room did happen with each delivery, but it got more pronounced the older I got. I didn’t bother me at all, in fact I found it quite amusing. I chose to take it as a compliment because I too look far younger than my years! I would say to not worry about it and proceed, because life is too short to worry about what others think! Thank you for the compliment, and I agree that we need to enjoy life, and seek out opportunities to make life joyous and meaningful. I always tell myself that I absolutely will not let the silly comments or viewpoints of others, cause my children to miss out on life’s special moments. I try to not let that stuff bother me; it will always be there, and as I age, perhaps it will be more pronounced; who cares! I wish you tremendous luck in your journey!

  22. crystal says:

    While I am 38, I cannot conceive naturally since I lost 3 babies through ectopic in my early 20s. Oh how I want a baby more than anything in this life. (I feel so empty and incomplete) I also wasted over 6 years with a man who even watched me go through the testing for in vitro only to learn he never had any intentions on paying. Wasted precious time and now alone (yes, I left him) I want nothing more than to do this, even if it means a donor. However, the $ situation is the problem and our marriage has now left me in financial ruin. I haven’t given up hope. Please pray for me. But I cried tears of joy reading your story. God bless you and your family. You deserve every minute of happiness and thanks for sharing that personal side with the world. ~Crystal

    • Heather says:

      Hi Crystal! Thanks for your comment! Boy, I just ache for you. I can’t even for one moment, begin to know what you are going through. I would say that even though you are alone now, you are likely stronger and better off. Everything happens for a reason. I’m so sorry about the ectopic pregnancies and that they left you unable to conceive. You say that the only option left is the donor route. You may be right, and yes it’s expensive, but shop around. Keep on trusting, keep on driving and pushing forward, keep on asking questions and networking, keep on staying healthy physically and emotionally, and keep on believing! I believe that there is someone waiting to unite with you and plunge you deep into a new relationship – that of mother and child! I have and will continue to pray for you and I trust and believe that your dream will come true. I wish you the ultimate in happiness and joy as you travel along in your journey; you are a young 38 and have A LOT OF YEARS left to realize your dream!

  23. Gina says:

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I am both happy for you and your family, and encouraged by your story. I know that everyone’s body is different but I find your story nonetheless encouraging.

    I’m 45 and have not generally been overly preoccupied with having children. I’ve been married for 19 years (separated now for 2 of those years). When my husband told me years ago that he didn’t want to have any more children (beyond the three daughters he already had), I sort of contented myself with that reality. I also have long been the “mother” to my family (including my mom and siblings and now niece and nephew), so I sort of rationalized all these years that I was living out my maternal instincts anyway.

    But two recent “baby cases” — two good friends who are expecting in March, and then another who recently gave birth — are causing me to reflect on whether I made the right choice to just “be okay” with my husband’s position against having another child.

    AND … I wasn’t smart enough to freeze my eggs in my 30s, which I’m now learning is what I should’ve done to give myself the best shot of so-called “late motherhood.”

    That’s on my mind. And frankly, it has been making me sad. Maybe it’s the New Year, too. Lots to ponder about what I hope to experience this year. And in the years to come.

    But as a separated woman in her mid-40s, I am finding it quite the struggle to stay encouraged. And as someone who has spent her entire life overcoming obstacles, I cringe at the idea that I may have waited too long to have a fighting chance here. I have been kicking myself lately for not knowing more about freezing eggs in my 30s.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Gina! Thanks for your comment! Thank you for sharing your feelings and your worries. Your situation is so different from mine, I wish I had something wise to say. It sounds like you have a very full life, but the ‘what ifs’ are rearing their ugly heads. I don’t think that you are being fair to yourself by stating that you ‘weren’t smart enough’ because you didn’t freeze your eggs years earlier. We can’t knock ourselves down, but rather use it as momentum for pushing forward to turn a dream into reality. I understand the drive, the incredible urge to attain the end goal. I know it’s tough to witness other people experiencing new chapters in their lives – I resented it for so long wondering why it wasn’t happening for me. But I found that by keeping my eye on the ‘prize’, it kept me motivated. I want to say that it’s not too late. Your eggs may still be viable. I’m sure you have thought about the various options (including sperm donors). As you say, you have overcome so much, and I believe this situation can also be overcome. Remember the importance of trusting yourself because you know what the right choice is. Be kind, good and fair to yourself – and forge ahead. I truly do wish the very best for you and your journey.

  24. Amy says:

    Thanks so much for your encouragement to older moms and for being strong enough to ignore negative and insensitive (and ignorant) comments from some others in your life. I am 42, having gotten married at 40 and had my first beautiful baby at 41. The social isolation is tough to deal with, though it’s possible I feel this way just because of the town I live in. My husband wants another, I’m not sure I do. But if it happens, I would love another child and I would have to be more proactive about looking for more support and community (which I’ll soon be doing anyway with my 18 month old).

    • Heather says:

      Hi Amy! Thanks for your comment! Yes it can be tough to find that support; I continue to seek it out! It really is an ongoing process. Going online has been wonderful! I would say that we need to be true to ourselves, our children, and our needs; and in so doing, we encounter people who are true in these respects also. Then it’s a good fit! I would say that if you did have another child, your current one would love a sibling! I would also like to say, please don’t let your current feelings of social isolation deprive you of a wonderful future; everything always works out the way it’s supposed to, so love your life and trust in it; GO FOR IT!

  25. Lunesa Rubin says:

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and I’m sure that you will be blessed more of doing it. Congratulations of having 3 children in your late 40′s and you know what, I get jealous sometimes if someone had thier baby in thier late 40′s and I still don’t have mine. I am already 45 now and still working out and hoping to have a baby even one. I’ve been trying to conceive for almost 16 years but until now still hoping especially that I am really inspired your story. Please give me some tips and advice what Im going to do to boost my fertility aside of eating green leafy vegetables. Thank you very much and God bless you more!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Lunesa! Thanks for your comment! I would say, please don’t be too hard on yourself; as I have said in so many comments included herein, trusting in yourself and the future is critical. In terms of advice, I was and continue to be, VERY CAREFUL not to consume caffeine whatsoever. I researched where caffeine was hiding, in which foods and beverages, and completely eliminated them all. I also was and continue to be, diligent to take a good quality prenatal vitamin with folic acid. Yes dark green leafy veggies are a regular in my diet, too! I avoid all artificial sweeteners, never drink diet sodas, and read all labels to eat as naturally as possible. I try to eat foods with ingredients that I can actually pronounce! I avoid all trans fats, including fried foods in food courts. And in terms of exercise, less is more. I know that sounds weird, but research showed me that too much of it could actually negatively affect my cycles so I chose to walk everyday and that was it. So, after all this, I can say that I continue to follow all these tips while trying to conceive our 4th child. I do believe that following all of this helped us succeed thus far. I would also suggest that, if you have not done so already, have a thorough physical and advocate for yourself; tell the doctor what your goal is. I have had to do this several times, including several weeks ago when I asked for blood work to be done to check on my female hormones (FSH etc). The results told me that my levels are still thankfully in normal range and theoretically, pregnancy is still possible even at my age of 49. I’m not premenopausal yet! So I found that lots of research (credible sources) and advocating for myself has helped. Good luck! I wish you tremendous success on your journey!

  26. maggie (http://maggieforwholeness NULL.com) says:

    What an inspiring story! I just turned 44 and my husband is 55. We have been TTC on and off for the last 3 years. We are making our goal to have our bundle of joy this year. We believe that it is possible. We pretty much adhere to a clean diet for the most part; however I drink tea and hubby about 2 cups of coffee daily. Any dietary recommendations or suggestions to prepare our bodies?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Maggie! Thanks for your comment! I would say please read the comments in my reply to Lunesa above, for dietary and lifestyle suggestions and tips. I would also respectfully suggest that perhaps, if you have not done so already, have your husband undergo a sperm count. You can ask your family doctor for information on this. As he is 55, I believe it’s important to get a thorough picture on the health of the partner as well as oneself. As for caffeine, it’s a killer in more ways than one! Once it is entirely eliminated for the diet (yes even tea and hubby’s coffee), it can take weeks for traces of it to be out of the system; and caffeine negatively affects conception. Research also is clear about the clothing choices of men, and the health of their sperm. Boxers are better! And finally, try to eliminate stress. People say it’s not possible, but in reality, the calmer we are in trying to achieve conception, the better the chances. Don’t obsess, don’t be self-critical, and do trust and love the journey! I do wish you the best on yours!

  27. Arlene says:

    Thanks Heather for your great story. We are TTC for our second. I’ve just turned 45 and I have to say, hearing all the stuff about older moms, mature moms, is she crazy, how old are you going to be when your child is 20 – blah blah blah… it’s really hard to dismiss the naysayers but if it’s a dream and a longing in your heart – then more power to all of us. And who cares? we are the ones living our lives and if having children now is right for us then that’s all it is. Nothing more. nothing less. The media just perpetuates it all and it drives me crazy some times. thanks for all the positives.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Arlene! Thanks for your comment! I shared some thoughts on the naysayers in an earlier reply to Tracy, which you might find interesting. In addition, I would say, that we have our children when we are meant to, period. And it always will be right. That’s it. WE ARE EXCELLENT PARENTS. We made informed choices and as a result, we are living the lives we chose. All the best to you as you strive for number two; I wish you much joy and happiness on your journey!

  28. Christine says:

    You have given me such hope! I am 44 and currently 5w4d pregnant. This is my 6th pregnancy with no live births and I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is “the one”. I saw and RE after my last blighted ovum and he told me that I’d be more likely to win the lottery without buying a ticket than getting pregnant again and giving birth. It would be the cherry on the top if I could send him a picture of me holding my bundle in September. Thank you again for sharing and offering hope :-)

    • Heather says:

      Hi Christine! Thanks for your comment! WOW – I’m so happy for you and I pray that this one will continue normally and that you will be blessed with a bouncing bundle of joy! You’ve been through so much! I know from all my years and everything I have been through, that there are medications to help to fight off miscarriages but of course, if the ovum is blighted, then the fetus is not viable anyway. I also know that there are certain medical tests and procedures to check on the quality and quantity of eggs, as well as the basic blood work to assess our female reproductive hormones (FSH etc) which I regularly undergo. In addition, my husband gets his sperm count checked, which also checks not only the count but also the motility. Just some food for thought. It may also help to have medical support from someone who is actually supportive, and not cold and calculating. As you know from my blog, I had a couple of miscarriages; I truly believe that one day I will meet those little angels and we will be together again. I believe that they were and are watching over me and my family, and were pivotal in our eventual conception success. A lot of people find that theory to be weird, but then they don’t walk in my shoes. I hope to read of your success, on this site, and I truly do wish to much joy and success on your journey!

  29. Michelle says:

    Hi Heather, i gave birth to my 5th boy at 41yrs and my long awaited baby girl at 45yrs after conceiving naturally. I would love to try for another, but was apprehensive until reading your story and that of the other mums. Thank you for sharing x

  30. LongingToHoldOurSpiritBabies (http://spiritbabycomehome NULL.wordpress NULL.com) says:

    Heather, thank you for sharing your story and for inspiring the other lucky women here to share theirs.

    I’m 43, had 2 miscarriages before our one healthy child, conceived naturally at 40 born at 41. I’ve had 3 more miscarriages and a chemical pregnancy this month after my one and likely only IVF. I see an acupuncturist and take Chinese herbs and a gob of supplements and am praying for another Miracle baby but was losing all hope. Reading your and others’ successes here have given me something to think about and reason to restore my faith and renew my hope. Thank you and all the best with your beautiful family.

  31. Michele says:

    Good morning. I just wondered if you had any concerns about the testing that you had to endure during pregnancy. I am 36 and was called today re: higher than average test results for Down Syndrome (2 percent chance)…they make it seem so dire. Trying to stay positive but extremely nervous…next ultrasound is not for two weeks. I am 17 weeks.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Michele! Thanks for your comment! Yes I had all the tests and all the negative comments etc. With a 2% chance of Downs, I would say that means a 98% chance of no Downs! Go ahead and proceed and along the way you will feel so empowered and positive. Don’t let the negative nellies out there, deter you. Being nervous is understandable, but remember that statistics can be spun in many directions. Keep the dream alive. I wish you so much luck and success on your journey!

  32. Eva says:

    Hi. I always come to this site when i’m feeling low, and your story is just incredible! I am 44, had my first at 41 – natually concieved, a whopping 4kilos and an amazing little boy! We didnt start trying again till he was 15 months, and have had one pregnancy (lost at 8 weeks), (a year ago) and poss a few very early miscarriages of only a few days. We are both in good health, my husband is 5 years younger than i, and we just SO want this to happen again for our family – I know exactly what you mean when you say it feels like someone is missing from our family – even our son said, randomly ‘mummy just needs another one of these’ pointing to himself! We are temperature charting daily, using a sensor that you wear and upload the bbt. We have had very negative encounters with fertility clinics. I got my measurements – yes, slightly high fsh, low amh (but not that bad)! but were told we needed to go the donor route, no-one would countenance using my own eggs for IVF so we are now steering clear of any medical help and just feel so alone with our struggle. …May I borrow your mantra? Thanks again for the inspiration! somewhere I so know that this is doable!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Eva! Thanks so much for your comment! YES!! Use my mantra by all means! I’m so glad that my story has given you some encouragement. That’s lovely to hear what your son said – you see – he knows something. I believe that. I’m glad that you had your hormones investigated. I did too once again recently, to find out that my levels are perfect, with no sign of menopause. So at 49, we are continuing to try to conceive. Tracking my bbt never worked well so I continue to track my cervical mucus, which has never failed me before! I know that sometimes it does feel like a ‘struggle’ but please try to forge ahead in spite of all the negative nellies and comments. I have never pursued the fertility clinic route, because they are just not understanding. We made the decision long ago, that we would push through it all on our own, knowing and trusting in ourselves and our beliefs. I would suggest that you search for an understanding and supportive OB/GYN, and then undertake all the available testing. Get a clear picture about your health, your levels, the patency of your fallopian tubes etc etc etc. A supportive OB/GYN will work with you towards your end goal. Keep the dream alive and know that your eggs are NOT too old. It is very doable! Continue to seek support online and understand that you are not alone. Your son is behind you, as is your husband. With that kind of support, how can you go wrong! I truly do wish you the very best on your journey and trust that we will read positive news on this site in the near future! All the best.

  33. Teresa says:

    Hi Heather:

    Congratulations and Best Wishes to you :-) . I was so encouraged when I read your story. I am 44yrs old and have been actively trying for over a year. We had all the tests done (FSH, Semen analysis, etc). My FSH level was high on day 3 (12.7), but I was told that this number could change from month to month. I was diagnosed with “diminished ovarian reserve”. I have since then changed my diet, lost 25 pounds and decreased my stress levels. I continue to think positive and pray for my little one. Any suggestions for me (smile)?

  34. angie says:

    HI HEATHER,
    READING YOUR STORY INSPIRED ME, TO NEVER GIVE UP.I AM 43 FOUND OUT THAT I WAS PREGNANT. BUT @6WEEKS I MC. VERY HEART BROKEN. I WOULD LOVE TO TRY AGAIN BUT I READ SO MANY STORY ON WOMEN OVER 40 GO THROUGH 2 TO 3 MISCARRIGES BEFORE THEY ARE LUCKY. I”VE ALSO WAS TOLD YOU CAN CONCEIVE QUICK AFTER A MC. I”M JUST CURIOUS HAS ANYONE KNOWN TO HAVE DONE THIS.

  35. A T says:

    I really hope you can provide me with some advice. I’ve recently turned 48 and I’ve always had vaginismus but this didn’t prevent me trying to get pregnant when I was 45. I tried a long time to overcome the vaginismus and eventually had to try and get pregnant with diy insemination. I became pregnant twice at the age of 45 and miscarried on both occasions. I tried to get pregnant after the miscarriages but it didn’t happen and I stopped trying about a year ago. Thing is, I thought I would be able to cope not having children but I realise now how depressed I am and I know that I really would like a child. I’ve always believed that I would be a good parent because I would appreciate them so much and would give them plenty of time. Is there any hope now at my age to have a child? I really don’t want to give up, please can someone give some advice that will help me to know what to do. I’m worried that I’m too old, what should I do? I wish I had overcome my problem so that I could have tried to get pregnant sooner but I left it until I was in my 40′s to try.

  36. Julie says:

    Hi Heather,
    Thank you so much for posting. This is so encouraging to hear! I’m 38 and started TTC just this month. A few weeks ago, I was told that I had a high FSH, a low egg reserve, had a “very low chance of concieving” and was given the donor egg speech. This was really shocking because my periods are still pretty regular and I have no other symptoms of menopause other then some hair thinning.

    I started reading over 40 blogs because I assumed the grim news from the doctor meant my body is “functioning at an older age”.

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring story! I really needed the encouragement after reading all the doom and gloom!

    As a friend of mine put it, “Our great grandparents had 10 or 15 children or more. Do you think they had them all in their 20s?”

    I wish you all the best of luck. The odds are in your favor ;-) .

  37. Josi says:

    I’m so encouraged by all of your posts. My best friend had her first child at 41 and is pregnant with her third at 44 all of them naturally conceived.
    I have recently been trying to conceive. I am 44 and my partner and I are very very optimistic.
    Will keep you all posted as I take this leap of faith.
    May all of our hearts desires come true. Good luck ladies.

  38. Karema Williams says:

    Hi, your story is a lovely one and I am very happy for you :) I am fifty and would dearly love to have a child with my much younger husband.. a natural conception if possible, I still have monthly regular periods and no symptoms of menopause… Any advise would be so appreciated

  39. verla says:

    I feel for all the older moms and the ones who are still trying. I too have had the looks, the comments, and judging of myself for having a child after 40 and closer to 50.I used to get so angry and disgusted at people. Over time I have learned to ignore their ignorance and enjoy my life and my children.Good luck to all of you and future older moms!

  40. Kelli says:

    Heather,
    Your story has inspired me. Thank you. I am 45 and my husband and I have 7 kids ages 26 to 2. My last was when I was 42. My older daughters each had babies so I have 2 grandkids! Now I rsalize I really want another child. It is much more difficult this time. My obgyn was nice but frankly a bit sceptical thst I would conceive. Said it was egg quality. He did give me a prescrip. For 6 cycles of Clomid if I choose to try. I am using ovulation kits and taking vitamins. I need to try and be patient and positive rather than the control freak! I am not ready to give up yet. My periods used to be 28 days…….for most of my life. Last year they began to go from 25 days to 35 days and in between. But I am still ovulating at least 80% of the time. We will keep on trying. Thanks again for sharing your experiences. We love our big family!

  41. brigid says:

    Hi
    Thank you for posting your story. I delivered my first at 49 going on 50 – it is great no matter what people think or say.

  42. Maria says:

    Dear Heather,
    Thanks for your great comments…You are a truth inspiration to me at this moment that I am trying to conceive.
    I will be 45 in May 21. I have a daughter 11 years old and I am praying for another miracle and a second chance from God. I keep praying and hoping everyday.

  43. Tillo (http://chrome) says:

    Hi everyone!
    Believe me it’s so comforting to read all this. I have three kids, my third was born when I was 34 years. A year after only I stopped using contraceptives and wanted to have my fourth child. I will be 40 this year and still haven’t conceived! May be because I am over weight or I don’t know what! But after reading all of this I still find hope in my heart that may be I will also conceive. Hoping for the best everyday!

  44. April says:

    I am so happy I came upon this site.I am a 47 year old mom of a 28 year old daughter and a 7 year old son .My husband and I are praying for another child.After reading all of these stories I have found hope and encouragement.I am also happy that there are other women out there like myself. Will keep you posted.

  45. Marla Hall (http://achildafter40) says:

    I’m so glad that I found this website and there are other women out here that I can find inspiration and support from. I am 44 years old and have a 22 year old from a previous relationship. I met my soul mate 2 years ago and we have had 2 pregnancies naturally and both were miscarriages. I’m just devastated. With my last pregnancy, I was 9 weeks along and after seeing the ultrasound and being told everything looked normal, I was devasted when we lost the baby. Both times, I had to go to emergency and have a d&c. It was physically and emotionally so brutal. For so long it was just myself and my son and when I found my fiance’ it all seemed meant to be. To think that we could have a child in our forties was so unbelievable and exciting. We’re both healthy and fit and my doctor wasn’t surprised when I became pregnant, offering his congratulations and support. I was a little nervous about my job b/c there was one woman that had a child at 42 and my coworkers made her feel horrible about being an older mom. Needless to say, after 2 miscarriages, my fiance’ doesn’t want to try again. He said he’s worried about my emotional and physical state if I have another miscarriage. I just feel alone because I want another child, I’m just afraid that with the miscarriages, it may not happen.

  46. Kathy says:

    Thank you for your inspirational story. I am 45 with 3 children age 19-11, I have a new partner of 3 years who is a little more than 11 years younger. We conceived naturally in November of last year and found out during 11 week screening ultrasound there was no heart beat, after having ultrasound at 8 weeks and seeing baby moving and being told everything incl heartbeat was great and baby was growing well. We were devastated but took it as a sign that this one wasn’t meant to be. We have been trying since a month after D&C and still no luck. I was beginning to accept the fact that we were not going to get pregnant again, until I read your post. I’m not having much luck with the bbt charting so thinking of trying your suggestion of monitoring CM. Was starting to get worried with long than usual cycles and no high temperatures. I’m planning to go for acupuncture next cycle hoping there is baby dust in our near future. Nice to know there are others out there feeling the same way and willing to share their stories and offer support. We are praying daily and believe if it’s in god’s plan for us it will happen. “I’m trying to believe that I will conceive, time will tell”

  47. Smita says:

    Congratulations Angels! Your three babies look gorgeous!
    And thank you for sharing your story. It is so very heartening and faith-restoring for me, and I’m sure many others in a situation similar to mine – looking to start my family later in life by choice and by circumstance, and looking to do it naturally.
    All the best to you and your lovely family!

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