Many of us are inspired to begin businesses when we have children due to our new life perspectives and experiences.
75 weeks ago, in the Spring of 2012 I gave birth to an idea that has grown to over a hundred articles and contributors.
As some of you may know, at age 40 my life changed with the birth of my first son and by age 44, life looked completely different with two more children (a girl and a boy) in our family. I had been part of a childless couple for many years so one might say the change was drastic. Along the four-year journey I took some time to reflect. In my midlife, I’ve learned to better trust my intuition more than any other time in my life.
Over and over I reminded myself that when I am positive and optimistic, great things happen.
During my first pregnancy, a traditionally trained obstetrician overtly gave me the “advanced maternal age” stamp. Somehow she felt compelled to share general risk statistics with me at each prenatal visit though they were at complete odds with my health and medical history; she had been my gynecologist for over 10 years.
If I listened to her, I certainly would have developed a stress-induced condition. Instead, I was empowered to overcome any barrier that came my way.
How could I improve the odds of not developing one of many conditions that rise with pregnancy after 35 such as hypertension or gestational diabetes?
- I took care of myself with ample sleep, water, a healthy diet and exercise, including brisk walking, swimming and yoga.
- Being older meant that I knew myself better and was more resourceful and determined to be healthy.
I felt compelled to tell people that I was 40 and having my first child. Once born, I showed him off, raved about his APGAR scores, our glowing health, and told a story of risk factors unfulfilled.
By age 43 I was pregnant with my second son (surprise!) and wanted the same healthy outcome. I the challenges were greater. This time, our first son was 3 years old and we cared for an infant girl who we were fostering and trying to adopt. I had founded one business and was recruited to help start a second one that same year. Wow, what a busy time it was!
Again, I surrounded myself resources, more than the first time, including a very supportive team of an OB, midwife, massage therapist, doctor of oriental medicine (for acupuncture) and a prenatal yoga instructor.
With another healthy outcome under my belt just one month shy of my 44th birthday, I was proud of myself, my bundle of joy, and even more vocal.
When my second son was six months old, I decided I was ready to take my tell my story to a larger audience and went online. I sought out others’ stories of first-time motherhood after 35 to share a range of experiences. Gathering experts to comment on prenatal care and resources felt right. I shared everything I could find that came from a credible, up-to-date source.
I soon discovered that we advanced maternal age moms are a growing demographic trend by reading the Centers for Disease Control annual reports of births and texts such as Ready by Dr. Elizabeth Gregory.
In conferring with Dr. Gregory, head of the Women and Gender Studies Department at the University of Houston and many other experts, I determined that no one was researching or writing about the wide range of experiences midlife women faced around pregnancy and childbirth. This work, the Advanced Maternal Age Project was born in March 2012.
It is a place to share our wisdom from experience. We discuss barriers and how to overcome them with resources.
We follow mothers’ intuition on what our audience wants to read and seek feedback through ongoing research with women. In less than 1.5 years we have over 100 articles and stories we’ve shared. My youngest child is going to be 2. We’re just getting started!