Current Residency: Chicagoland suburbs
Child’s name and age: Joshua Merrit, age 8
Profession : Top Recommended LinkedIn Marketing Strategist at Power Marketing & Coaching
How long were you trying to get pregnant?
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.
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