In Season Mom

MEET CLAIRE HEGARTY

By September 13, 2014 Featured Moms
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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 Blog, First-Time Expectant Mom Over 40
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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
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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
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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.

When Everyone’s Getting Pregnant In Their 40s Except You

By August 4, 2014 Blog
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Throughout the years, you’ve held onto your faith. But lately, you’ve started to think your waiting for a baby is in vain. What’s even worst is that regardless of where you go, another 40-something woman is pregnant! When will it be your turn?
I believe it’s more difficult to deal with the “everyone getting pregnant except you” perception when you’re 42 rather than 22. After all, we’re inundated with information that our biological clock is not only tickling, it’s sounding the alarm.

Here are excerpts from a few leading online pregnancy resources that offer coping advice on dealing with your emotions. This advice is beneficial regardless of your age.

Don’t hold it in

While it’s not necessarily a good idea to unleash all that pent up anger and frustration at a pregnant family member of friend, it’s also not a good idea to keep it all inside either. Find an acceptable way to unleash your anger and sadness. Write in a journal, go for a run, even have a good cry every now and then.

Source: www.conceiveeasy.com

Be honest with your feelings

Jen Brandon of Orange County, California, has struggled for nearly four years to have a second child. She’s suffered multiple early miscarriages, taken three rounds of Clomid, undergone five cycles of artificial insemination, and weathered two surgeries. All she has to show for it is a huge hole in her bank account. “I try not to be bitter,” she says, “but sometimes when I see a pregnant woman, I think, ‘I hate pregnant women!’” Dr. Madeline Licker Feingold, PhD, a reproductive medicine psychologist and fertility counselor based in Berkeley, California, says, “It’s a normal, natural, negative thought. It’s the pain and grief speaking.”

Source:www.babyzone.com

Throw yourself a pity party…but don’t overdo it

Yes, you can feel sorry for yourself. “I do believe in throwing pity parties,” says Shoshana Bennett, PhD, a clinical psychologist. You don’t even have to stop at one pity party. But here’s the trick: You want to end on a positive note each time, or else it could lead to more depression. So pick a time and place and let it all out — cry, yell, write in a journal — however it is that you can get your feelings out. But give yourself a time limit: Party’s over in 15 minutes, that kind of thing.

Source: www.thebump.com

Skip the shower

If you don’t feel comfortable attending all of the baby showers, gender reveal parties, bringing home baby parties, etc, don’t go. Simple as that. If the person who invited you is a truly good friend, they will understand. And, if they’re not, who cares? Send a gift if you feel like it, but don’t subject yourself to pain and being uncomfortable if you are not ready to deal with it. You don’t have to feel guilty about this one, you get a free pass!

Source:www.conceiveeasy.com

Join a community

“It’s important to keep in mind that you’re in very good company,” says Shoshana Bennett, PhD, a clinical psychologist. “Connecting with a group of women in the same situation can be very useful, as long as it’s a group that’s positive. Make sure everyone is supporting each other and not just complaining and bringing each other down.” Not only can the other women help boost your confidence, they can be sounding boards when you’re stressed. They can also help you with fertility info that you may not have known. You can really identify with the other ladies and find a great support system.

Source:www.thebump.com

What do you think of these suggestions? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below or on https://www.facebook.com/pages/InSeason-Mom/127950410596026

First Time Moms Over 35 Myths

By July 29, 2014 Blog, Featured Home, Popular Posts

pic9-Pregnancy Emotional SupportWhether I’m in the hair salon or in the bowling alley, I am seldom surprise by the popular misconceptions about having a baby after 35.

According to the National Vital Statistics System, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, first birth rates for women aged 35+ rose in nearly all US states from 2000 to 2012.

In 2012 there were more than 9 times as many first births to women aged 35 years and older than there were 4 decades earlier. My translation: It’s likely that you know a first time mom over 35, even if she hasn’t revealed her age to you.

With such an impressive and mind-blowing increase, you would think the popular misconceptions have disappeared or at least changed throughout the years. But they haven’t.

Let’s look at 4 of the most popular myths:

1- MYTH: Women in their 40s can only get pregnant by medical reproduction intervention.

 FACT: According to Netmums Getting Pregnant study, twice as many women over 40 have surprise pregnancies than younger women in their teens and 20s.

Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard said: ‘UK women spend tens of millions each year on getting pregnant with a high pressure fertility industry designed to worry them into spending even more – but it seems we are more fertile than we realise.”

One of my favorite quotes about giving birth after 40 comes from cyber-sister Catherine who publishes Pregnancy Stories by Age. Catherine has collected over thousands of stories of births over 40. She says, “At least 90% of the stories pre-date the Donor Egg era of 1990, or were a complete surprise to the over 44 year old mom-to-be. How can it be so rare, so impossible, such a miracle – when I can find so many?”

2-MYTH:  Babies born to mothers over 35 are unhealthy.

FACT: Most healthy women who get pregnant after age 35 and even into their 40s have healthy babies.

I remember the woman as clearly as if it happened yesterday. She told others in the hair salon that her daughter wanted to wait until her late 30s to have a baby. The disapproval showed on her face as she said, “I told her that she must want the doctors to have to use a crowbar to pull the baby out!”

Whether she was concerned about her daughter or the future baby’s health or in the percentage who believes you shouldn’t have a baby a day pass age 25, I do not know. I do know she didn’t approve of her daughter’s decision.

Dr. Glade B. Curtis, author of Your Pregnancy After 35, states, “most women who become pregnant in their 30s and 40s are in good health. Pre-existing medical conditions are the most indicator of a woman’s well-being during pregnancy and the health of her developing baby. Today, many health care professionals gauge pregnancy risk by a pregnant woman’s health status, not her age.”

 3- MYTH: Women who give birth after 35 were too focused on their careers to give birth earlier.

  FACT: Study conducted by researcher Kristy Budds showed delayed motherhood is more a matter of circumstance rather than choice as portrayed by the media.

  I will admit that I’m more defensive about this assumption than any other. I married for the first time years after 35, conceived naturally and gave birth twice to healthy children. I enjoyed my career but I wasn’t so caught up in a high-flying career that it stopped my desire for marriage and children.

Researcher Kristy Budds of the University of Huddersfield (UK) found motherhood after 35 is more a matter of circumstance rather than choice as portrayed by the media. In a paper, presented to the British Psychology Society at St. Andrew’s University, the UK psychologist stated:

When women give birth in their late thirties or in their forties, it is not necessarily the result of a lifestyle choice — putting off motherhood for career reasons or from a desire to “have it all”. Nor should they be accused of selfishness or taking undue health risks. For a lot of women it isn’t a selfish choice but is based around careful decisions, careful negotiations and life circumstances.

4-MYTH: Women who give birth after 35 will die before their children reach adulthood.

  FACT: A 2014 study concurred with previous research which showed women who give birth in their late 30s and 40s lived longer than those who did not.                                                                            

According to the July 7, 2014 online issue of Forbes, a study conducted by Thomas Perls, director of the New England Centenarian Study, found women who are able to have children after the age of 33 have a greater chance of living to age 95 than women who had their last child before the age of 30.

“The natural ability to have a child at an older age likely indicates that a woman’s reproductive system is aging slowly, and therefore so is the rest of her body,” said Perl.

While I do not know the participants of this study, I do know one of our neighbors who gave birth to her 11th or 12th child in her 40s lived until she was 100+! My grandfather lived until he was 101 and was dancing at his 100th birthday party!

Although I reference this study, I know that only God determines when a life begins and ends.

I do not tell women to wait until age 35 to conceive. I do provide support during their season of having a baby if they are over 35 and in their 40s. I’m a firm believer in different seasons in everyone’s life. The key is never allowing anyone (except God) to determine where you should be in your personal or professional season of life, even if you have to deal with misconceptions.