In Season Mom

MEET FRANCESCA KOTOMSKI

By October 3, 2014 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms
fran alone

fran alone

Name: Francesca Kotomski

Age: 47

State of residence:  Massachusetts

Children’s names and ages: Lucas, 7,   Matthew 3

Current profession:  Fitness instructor, personal trainer, instructor at career school http://www.francescakotomski.com/

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

 I was trying 4 years.

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 40? 

Slowed down, exercise, went BPA free bottles, meds and followed my cycle carefully.

SUPPORT 

The Medical Community

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy? 

My ob is not supportive of older moms.  I could tell and with the second one, I didn’t even see him until after the first trimester.  I thought he would tell me something bad. And when he had the chance, he did!   He was absolutely wrong!  I was so glad he didn’t deliver Matthew. A female doc in his practice delivered Matthew.

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors? Why or why not?

I only changed doctors from the IVF people to a very healthy Catholic doctor who used natural fertility methods.  His methods are proven and it worked!  I changed to this doctor because he had a very healthy and pro-life way to deal with fertility issues.    After Matthew was born, I saw my non supportive ob/gyn once.  I switched for my gyn appointments to a regular doctor.

Family and Friends

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy? 

Family and friends were supportive; although my mother said she was scared and felt that I was very lucky to have healthy kids “at this age.”  She said that more than once.  But everyone was very happy.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not? 

Yes, I took a class for the first baby.  Then after the first one, I realized that most of what I learned didn’t seem to apply!  Giving birth is fairly natural and the nurses coach you through.

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

The first one was induced, long and painful and I had epidural. The second was quick and painful but with no epidural because it was so quick.   What I remember most: pain and then happiness to see my baby.

I’M A MOM

fran with boys2

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you address these concerns?  

The future is my concern, getting older,  slowly down naturally, as well as retirement as they enter college. Hopefully, I can give my children enough lively exciting experiences.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

Feeling more settled in who I am, stronger in my will to do the right thing!  It’s good to know others who are in the same place.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

I appreciate the little things.  I appreciate when I get time alone and quiet time.   It’s slowed me down, but that’s good.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?

Get into good, healthy shape.  You will need to be strong in will as you deal with others ideas of a younger mom vs older mom.  You also need to be physically able to handle the demands of an additional person who depends on you.

 Do you have any additional comments?

I like to surround myself with other moms and support groups to do play groups or library groups.  I work hard to attain a balance between professional life and time with my little guy, especially before he goes into school.  That’s a big struggle because I want more out of my professional life and I realize that time as a young child is short.  So, older moms will have that struggle as they are settled into their career.

I think it’s best for moms to be open to changing their hours or the way they do work.  I work a variety of hours and that helps with my balancing act.  Also, doing exercise at home through the home workouts saves me a lot of time. And, allows my children to participate in programs that are scheduled the same time as traditional gym classes.

InSeason Mom Cynthia would like to thank InSeason Mom Francesca for sharing her story and for being an inspiration to all of us. To learn more about Francesca’s fitness and personal training program, visit http://www.francescakotomski.com/

 

You Can Have A Healthy Pregnancy After 35

By October 1, 2014 Getting Pregnant After 35 and 40, Popular Posts, Uncategorized
pic10-Midlife motherhood myths dispelled

There is not an expectant mother alive who hasn’t had some anxiety about her baby’s health. She wonders whether her baby will be born healthy. Thoughts that never entered her mind are present.

Movies, books, television, the nosy woman in the hair salon tell birth horror stories that increase a pregnant woman’s anxiety. Combine all of this with the hormone changes that take place in the body during pregnancy, and it’s a wonder that any woman survives pregnancy with her sanity in tact.

An expectant mom over 35 is hit with a double dose of anxiety. She worries about her baby’s health and worries about the role her age will play in her baby’s health.
Here are eight guidelines to ease your mind and to help you achieve a healthy midlife pregnancy:

1.CHOOSE AN OBSTETRICIAN OR MIDWIFE WHO DOESN’T VIEW MIDLIFE PREGNANCY AS A PROBLEM.

Ask if your prospective health care provider has concerns about pregnancy over 35.
Listen carefully to make sure the concerns are medically-based rather than opinion-based. Opinion-based concerns are those that do not have any medical validity.

Your health care provider may be concerned that collectively the medical history of pregnant women over age 35 shows an increased risk of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cesarean birth
  • Chromosomal defects

Remember that these studies are based on the results of midlife pregnant women as a group and are not based on your individual medical history. Select an obstetrician or midwife who respects your right to have your pregnancy viewed individually.

2. DIET MATTERS.

A pregnant woman needs an extra 300 calories a day. You can get these calories by eating a variety of foods that are high in protein, calcium and iron.

To prevent bacteria and parasites that could be harmful to your unborn baby, avoid unpasteurized milk or soft cheeses and undercooked or raw meat, fish, shellfish or eggs.
Also, wash all fresh fruits thoroughly before eating.

You’ll need to increase your intake of protein and folic acid. Protein is crucial for the development of all new cells. A minimum of 60 grams per day is needed for the physical and cellular development of your baby.

Taking a multivitamin supplement that includes 400 micrograms of folic acid daily is beneficial to a pregnant woman as well as all women of childbearing age. Folic acid helps in the developing the spinal cord and the brain of an unborn baby.

During pregnancy curb your craving for caffeine. Consumed in large quantities, caffeine can cause irritability, nervousness and insomnia as well as low birth-weight babies.
Some studies show that caffeine intake during pregnancy can harm the fetus. Other studies state “there’s no proof that small amounts of caffeine, (1-2 cups of coffee daily) cause problems during pregnancy.

Until more conclusive studies are done you may want to limit your caffeine intake while pregnant.

3. NO TO ALCOHOL.

No one knows how much alcohol a woman has to consume to put herself at risk for a miscarriage or her baby at risk for fetal alcohol syndrome.

Fetal alcohol syndrome may include mental and growth retardation, facial malformations, liver and kidney abnormalities.

Because there is such uncertainty surrounding the level of alcohol consumption and pregnancy, most health care providers recommended that pregnant women avoid alcohol.

4. STOP SMOKING.

Smoking during pregnancy puts your baby at risk. Smoking while pregnant reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to your baby, which may impair the growth of your baby resulting in a greater chance of having a premature or too small baby.

Smoking increases your risk of miscarriage, vaginal bleeding and infant death.

5. LEGAL AND ILLEGAL DRUGS.

Legal Drugs- Some medications are not safe for a pregnant woman. You should review all drugs including prescriptions, over-the-counter and herbal medications with your physician before, during and after pregnancy.

Illegal Drugs- I will not get into a debate about what drugs should or shouldn’t be legal. I will write that legal and illegal drugs can kill your future and the future of your baby. If you are addicted, find a support group or treatment.

6. EXERCISE REGULARLY.

Never begin an exercise program without first checking with your doctor. Exercise is a good way to get and keep your body in shape. Exercise also relieves stress during pregnancy.

7. REST.

The body goes through many physical and emotional changes during pregnancy. Fatigue is common discomfort of pregnancy. Listen to your body. Rest whenever possible. Stop or cut back on many activities that sap your strength.

8. LIMIT YOUR CONTACT WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE.

All expectant moms, regardless of age, run into unwanted advice about everything from clothing to weight.

As a mom over 35 you will run into people who applaud your decision to give birth later to people who tell you outright that you are too old to have a baby.

The key is not in what others say but in how you react and believe the message they are saying. Like a soldier who puts on her physical attire for combat you must put on your mental gear to protect negativity from penetrating your spirits. Most of all enjoy your pregnancy!

MEET CLAIRE HEGARTY

By September 13, 2014 Featured Moms
CiCi-Mam-and-Dad-pro-photos-058

Name: Claire B. Hegarty

Age: 45

Residence: Dublin in the Republic of Ireland

Child’s name and age: Ciarán (pronounced Cirawn), 4 years old

Current or former profession(s): I am on a five-year career break from an executive assistant job in Tourism. Between parenting, blogging, pet sitting, caring for my mother and squeezing in and at yoga, I am busier than I ever was.

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

Around three years

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?

At age 38 and after years of thinking I didn’t want children, what I thought was mythical – the body clock – suddenly kicked in! I didn’t do anything much to increase my chances as I just assumed it would be okay. Then when nothing happened except a miscarriage, I considered IVF but after research discounted the idea. IVF seemed to take over the lives of people. If IVF didn’t work, the devastation would be even more unbearable for me.

When I hit 40, I thought that was it. My chance was over. I decided that parenting probably wasn’t the path for me. I put it out of my mind. I threw myself into other aspects of my life. Then, out of the blue, at age 41, it happened! The amazing thing was that I was three months pregnant before I even realized! The idea had gone so far out of my mind. I had even lost track of my cycle because I wasn’t thinking about it anymore.

THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY 

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy? Were you surprise by their reaction?

My doctors were reasonably supportive. I did feel though that they were more worried about me because of my age. They seemed at pains to point out the statistics of abnormalities in the babies of more mature people but I was only slightly worried myself.

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors? Why or why not?

No. I found my doctors to be fine. Although one did say that because I would be almost 42 when I gave birth, the chances of having another would not be very high and I would be ‘pushing it’ to be expecting to have a ‘normal’ outcome if I tried.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Who was the first person you told about your pregnancy and why?

I told my husband and then my mother because they were the two most important people to me at the time.

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?

Most of them were delighted for me but my mother was worried because of my age. A few thought I was selfish and someone else said I was brave.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not?

I went to antenatal classes because I thought that is what I should do. I found the classes informative but embarrassing especially when partners came along. I did meet another forty something mother to be there though. We had our children within weeks of each other. Our children are the best of friends now!

Where did you give birth?

I gave birth in hospital. I thought up until the last minute I would have a natural birth but then I had a panic attack. I really freaked out so they decided they would do a c-section.

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

I don’t remember much except that wonderful moment when they put my son into our arms! I now understood what people meant when they went on about it!

I AM A MOM

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you compensate for this fear?

I am sometimes concerned that I will die before he is a fully-fledged adult. I compensate by taking better care of myself mentally and physically than I did in the past. I eat better. I drink less, exercise more and I take yoga classes during the week. My mother always says ‘you don’t have to be older to die’ and she’s right. I know many mothers who are much younger than I am but are less healthy and less energetic.

I also have concerns about him being an only child. I had two miscarriages at age 43 and 44. Now, I am almost 46, giving him a sibling doesn’t look likely.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I am more aware of how quickly time goes and how important it is to cherish the moments I have with my child. I used to be embarrassed if someone mentioned that I was an older mom but now I revel in it.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

I am less selfish and I have reconnected with the fun side of myself, a side that had been waning before I had him.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?

I would just say go for it as soon as possible. If you are anything like me, you will want to have another. I had a total turnaround in my attitude to being a mother and I am thankful that I got the chance, at least once.

Any additional comments?

Check out more of my story at http://www.fortysomethingfirsttimemum.blogspot.com/

InSeason Mom Cynthia would like to thank InSeason Mom  Claire for being an inspiration to moms across the world!

Should You Change Doctors During Your Over 40 Pregnancy –Lisa’s story

By September 2, 2014 First-Time Expectant Mom Over 40
Ava_Rae_093_1_
Lisa with then one day old Ava

I started my pregnancy in a traditional OB-GYN medical practice.  What surprised me the most about my visits was the way I did not feel listened to.  I felt they pushed their agenda onto me and expected me to go along with their ideas.  I even had the office manager call and confirm an appointment with a genetic specialist and I didn’t even know the office had scheduled one.  I declined and had to explain to the nurse practitioner why.  I did not feel comfortable when constantly bombarded with all the risks involved with having a baby over 40.

 

The other issue was that I saw only the nurse practitioner at every appointment and she didn’t even deliver so I wasn’t able to have any of my questions about the actual birth answered.  I had one brief appointment with the practice’s midwife and was again pressured to have certain tests done.  I didn’t want to make any decisions based on fear.  So I had to continually tune out the external stimuli in order to go within and make decisions based on what I really needed or wanted.

 

Finally, at 5 months pregnant and frustrated, I spoke with a midwife in my town who suggested a home birth.  I was a little skeptical, but thought we should at least meet with the midwife she recommended.  My husband and I met with her for over an hour and were very pleased with her calm demeanor and attitude toward childbirth.  She provided information in a way that allowed me to make my own decisions.  It was more of a partnership than the traditional doctor-patient relationship.  Once I switched, my pregnancy was so much calmer and I worried less.

 

I highly recommend interviewing your potential caregivers.  I believe it is so important to be comfortable and validated.  I believe in listening to one’s own heart when making decisions, but having the right information presented in a gentle and unbiased way is crucial.

 

To read more about Lisa Bruchac, visit at http://www.inseasonmom.org/FeaturedMom-Lisa.html or   http://www.findyourtrueessence.com/index.html

MEET DEBORAH ROONEY

By August 5, 2014 Blog, Featured Moms
rsz_gg-featureddeborah

Name: Deborah RooneyInSeasonMom_Deb-2

Age:  45

Current Residency: Chicagoland suburbs

Child’s name and age: Joshua Merrit, age 8

Profession : Top Recommended LinkedIn Marketing Strategist at Power Marketing & Coaching

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

Two months!

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?

Deborah:  I had been taking a multivitamin/multimineral supplement in my late twenties, before I was married, to make sure I fed my body healthy foods.  When we decided to prepare for becoming parents, I ate “as if” I were pregnant, making smart food choices with my fertility in mind.  I also worked on decreasing my stress levels to stay positive and healthy.

SUPPORT

MEDICAL COMMUNITY

InSeason Mom: How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

Deborah: My doctors were very supportive and thorough in my exams, since I was 36 when I conceived and 37 when I delivered.  Because every member of my family (grandmothers, mom, cousins) had children “later” in life, having earned advanced college degrees and marrying later, I fully expected to start my family when I was ready.  I was blessed almost immediately and continue to be so grateful of this every single day.

InSeasonMom: Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors?

I was happy with my doctors and wouldn’t have considered changing them.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Who was the first person you told about your pregnancy and why?

I called my friend Christine because she knew that I had been managing a very stressful family situation for a year and I was focused on moving forward to start a family naturally.  I was convinced that if I could cut out the stress and became more relaxed, it would benefit trying to conceive.

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?

Everyone was thrilled for us because my husband and I love kids and we’d been married 5 years at this point.  We delivered Joshua 10 years and 1 day after our first date.  I’d chosen my son’s name 20 years before he was born (I was in high school, watching the movie, “The Ten Commandments”), so it was great to finally meet and love him.  I’ve shared with Joshua many times that I’d dreamed about him and named him years before I met him.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not?

I took all of the hospital’s childbirth classes to prepare myself for delivery and birth.

Where did you give birth and what do you remember most about the birth experience?

I was in great hands delivering at Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Illinois.  On my last doctor’s visit, they decided to induce delivery because I was overdue, and I had an emergency c-section because of the umbilical cord being around my son’s neck.  The challenge I experienced following delivery was that I developed high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia) so I had to take medication for one month.  I healed well, never felt any discomfort, and immediately lost all of my baby weight.

The one thing which the classes hadn’t prepared me for was not having enough milk to breastfeed and the lack of sleep.  The classes taught that babies slept 16+ hours each day, but my son took one 45-minute nap during the day (that’s it!) and ate every 2 hours, around the clock.  So, waking up every 2 hours was rough — we couldn’t get him to drink more milk so we could all get much-needed rest. Things got better after 10 months.  I called that period of time Sleep “Deborah”-vation.

I AM MOM

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you compensate for this fear?

I’m a late bloomer with everything, so to me, age is just a number and I have no concerns.  I’m going to work to be the best person I can be, at any age.  I’m fortunate to have 4 cousins and a brother who had  children after age 35, so I have like-minded family members with kids Joshua’s age.

What do you enjoy about being an older mom?

I feel that I’m more grounded and mature than when I was in my 20’s, a time when I was completing my master’s degree and finding my career direction, not yet married.  I was definitely blessed with my husband and my son at the right times in my life.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

Before you have a child, you have absolutely no idea how you can possibly love another person with such intensity.  Yes, we all love our husbands and family members, but this profound feeling of LOVE for your child is powerful.  There’s nothing like it.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?

Ladies, if you have a dream in your heart to conceive (again), God put that dream there and you need to embrace and follow it.  Currently, there are so many ways to seek support, nurture and feed your body:  find a mentor (trusted maternal confidante), consider holistic practitioners (with a great patient record) to heal / improve your body’s energy flow (acupuncture, chiropractic, reflexology), and eat life-giving foods (green veggies) that nourish your body.

Also, your belief system in your fertility is critical in accomplishing your goals, so visit the www.circlebloom.com mind-body website to check out their fertility iPod and CD programs to grow your confidence in your body to conceive.  Your self-talk and mind-body intelligence effect your belief and health.  Rhonda Byrne, author of “The Secret”, also published “The Power”, which you can get on CD to help you think positively, in general.  Listening to encouraging Christian music and motivational speakers in your car will grow that belief in yourself. And above all, pray.

Any additional comments?

Ladies, there are so many of us who support your efforts to have a baby after age 35 — Cynthia and her website are great belief-builders, so tune out any doubts and negativity, stay away from people who don’t share your dream, and focus on you.  You’re not alone and there are a growing number of us older mommies, so don’t give up!

InSeason Mom Cynthia would like to thank InSeason Mom Deborah for encouraging other women. Visit her at http://www.linkedin.com/in/drooney

Trying to Conceive in Your 40s Coping Tips

By August 5, 2014 Featured Home
tryingtoconceive

Trying to Conceive in Your 40s Coping Tips is a quick-read ebook, without all the depressing medical jargon or statistics. Filled with over 30 practical spiritual, mental and physical coping tips! Perfect encouragement for woman 35+ who’s trying to have a baby! Email cynthia@inseasonmom.org for buying details.