I had that old familiar feeling we women get when we know
something is up with our body. I had become a “young woman” at 9 years of age so when I skipped a period at 39 I didn’t think much of it I figured it was time for menopause to start. I was feeling miserable and tired so I called my midwife for a check up. I don’t like Doctors; I had awful experiences with healthcare.

First question from my midwife was have you taken a pregnancy test? I looked at her laughed and stated no way, it’s menopause I know it is! Well, let’s do the test just to be sure she said. I made her do the test 3 times. Those 3 times came up positive. I was horrified I whined at her I am almost 40 years old my kids are 7 and 11 I have no baby stuff! Then another thought occurred which I uttered out loud what do I tell my husband? She smiled at me and said, “Well tell him you’re not sick.”

I honestly think I walked around in shock most of my first trimester. You know life has a way of laughing at you while you are making plans. I had a great job. I was working around my kid’s school schedule home when they were off I was in the next phase of life, right?  I couldn’t help but wonder how was I going to handle an infant at 40. Then the mom brain kicked in. I got excited. Feasibly this would be the last time as woman I would feel life growing inside me. This alone is a very humbling experience and very powerful.

I put my body and my baby above all other needs except those of my older 2 children who were absolutely thrilled. I kept very healthy through this pregnancy. I learned more about myself then any other time in my life. My Midwife, Dawn is an amazing woman. We formed an amazing bond. I don’t know if it was because at the time I was her oldest client to date, but we are still friends.

I made this not just my pregnancy but also a family pregnancy.  I have some wonderful memories of carrying my over 40 gift baby.

I made the decision to opt out of all the tests a doctor’s office would have forced me to take because of my age. No unnecessary poking. I knew we would go ahead with the pregnancy regardless so I felt I didn’t need them. I did have one ultrasound. Starting over I wanted to know the baby’s sex.

During the ultrasound baby was on its tummy. There was no way for sure to find out whether it was a boy or girl, just a guess! I was fine with the news of everything looked wonderful. I brought a cake home, had it decorated pink and blue, “It’s a BABY!” Then took everyone out to dinner to celebrate.

Believe it or not the months flew by. I was an assistant manager at an outlet clothes store. I got first pick whenever our trucks brought baby things. I bought a lot of green and yellow.

I walked out of my job at 7 and one half months pregnant because my bosses expected me to unload a merchandise truck by myself. Funny thing about being older you don’t take a lot of the disrespect you might have taken when you were younger anymore.

At 8 months the exhaustion set in. At 39 weeks my best friend came from Tennessee to be my coach. I had decided on Home Birth and I knew if anyone could get me through it she could. All our lives she always managed to make me laugh at the most horrendous moments. My baby would have none of this “being born on time” stuff. She went back to Tennessee and to this day thanks to Lyme’s Disease keeping her ill has yet to see our beautiful baby except for in photographs.

As my 40th birthday arrived my family played no practical jokes. It was July in Florida, I was a whale, I was miserable. I was 2 weeks over due. I would talk to myself and say, great I have now felt life inside me now eviction notice served enough is enough! I swore as a joke my baby would be born on my 40th birthday. Actually she came 3 days later.

We now sit 11 years later I am 51 she is in the 6th grade. My over 40 baby is the best thing that ever happened to me. I learned my other children grew up way too fast so I savor and am thankful every single day I have had her. I credit this baby for giving me the gift in life of keeping my perception wonderful and the ability to stay young something I may not have experienced without her.

I also sometimes feel guilty because I am certainly much more laid back and tolerant of certain things then I was when I was younger. We bend the bedtime rule a lot. We skip school sometimes just to play (she is an honor roll kid). We have even had just dessert for dinner.

Life can be cruel at times but when seen through the eyes of your child you somehow see what really
is important. I also think sometimes I am staring right into a mirror of myself born again as a child. That alone is the biggest gift anyone can give us in life.

Image courtesy of papaija2008 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Contributed by Ann M Sawdo, The Babycountdown