Erin’s Story of Motherhood at Age 46

Erin, Jorge and Kiera

Erin, Jorge and Kiera

During my twenties, my focus was more introspective. I finished college in my early twenties and spent time on gaining work success. At 26, I became very unhappy at my work and decided I wanted to travel abroad. I sold nearly everything I owned, paid off my credit cards, and saved money. It took a couple of months to prepare and that allowed me to plan my itinerary. My destination was Seville, Spain where I spent two consecutive summers. I found work through a Peace-Corps type organization where I worked on an archeological dig, an excavation of a Roman ruin called Italica. Being able to live in that beautiful city and be immersed in the culture had a long-lasting impact on me. Everyone was really kind and valued the quality of life over work or money. I fell in love with the culture so much and have traveled to Europe quite a few times that those experiences inspired me to become a travel agent.

In my early thirties is when I began my first serious relationship. We ended up getting married when I was 35. Unfortunately, we drifted apart and having children was not on his agenda. . I had married my ex because I felt the clock ticking and thought he wanted a family too. He didn’t want to have kids with me, because he wasn’t sure I was “the one”. Obviously, I was not and he has since had 2 kids. After my divorce I thought I wasn’t going to have a chance to have children so I looked into adoption on my own.

During this process I began a new relationship with a wonderful man and we “accidentally” got pregnant. We were both thrilled. I went to the doctor in order to get the recommended CVS (genetic) test and before the doctor even did the test, he could tell something was wrong with the fetus from the ultrasound. He sat me down and told me that the fetus had a brain deformity and would not survive weeks, let alone come to term. The news was devastating and I decided to terminate the pregnancy instead of waiting to miscarry. Our relationship eventually ended a year later, unrelated to the loss of the baby.

Not long after my relationship ended I went out with a man I knew from work and knew after the first date that he was the one. That is my husband Jorge. When I was 45 and 7.5 months pregnant and we got married. During the early stages of my pregnancy I had fears about the health of my child. Fortunately though, the CVS testing came out well and my baby girl was healthy.

The pregnancy itself was relatively easy. Since I didn’t have any complications I was able to work until the birth. Every time I went to visit my obstetrician she would be amazed that at my age I was having a “textbook” easy pregnancy and walking around in high heels. She was non-judgmental and encouraging. My family and friends were also My family and friends were also really supportive and happy for me.

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My family and friends were also really supportive and happy for me. They were responsible for creating a positive environment.

A lot of my friends are 5-10 years younger than me and also having children so I had a network of women friends to connect with and share information with

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I had my daughter, Kiera, 10 days early and with no complications. At the age of 46 I finally had the family I always wanted and for a long time didn’t know if I would get. I was lucky to find the one.

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When I was 48 my husband considered having another child and I still contemplate adoption. I felt at that point trying to conceive another child would be playing with fire. I know that whether or not we will have another child in our lives, I look forward to the future and I feel so lucky to have Kiera and Jorge in my life.

Erin and Her Family

Erin and Her Family

 

What to REALLY Expect – Panel for Expectant Moms

Bump_Club_LogoOn May 22nd, I had the pleasure of being on a panel with a distinguished group of speakers, all of whom support women with childbirth, which was hosted by the Bump Club, a fast-growing group for expectant and new moms in Austin, Chicago and Minneapolis. Other speakers on our panel included Wendy Howard, NR, BSN, a labor and delivery nurse, Cheryl Sipowski, MS, LPC, a counselor for couples and individuals, and Dawn Gibson, MSW who supports mothers with individual mind-body coaching.

 

Here’s what I told the Austin audience:

It was through conversations with other mothers that I realized that many women want to share their experiences with fertility, pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum in a supportive environment.

I started telling my story of a first pregnancy and childbirth at age 40 about 5 years ago to close friends and family. There was no Bump Club or other local group for new “older” mothers. I was pretty much on my own.

Fortunately since February 2011, I’ve owned a children’s and maternity store called Little Green Beans, which helped me a lot through my last pregnancy (from both a support and baby gear acquisition perspective).

  • I delivered a healthy baby boy at age 43 at 11 months. He is my third (and last) child.
  • My middle child, a daughter was adopted from foster care locally in 2012. She has been mine and my husband’s to raise since she was 5 days old. She’s now 2 years and 9 months old and resembles Dora The Explorer in her looks and personality.

My conversations with other women lead to a lot introspection in 2011 and early 2012, the writing down of my stories and then we birthed this website in April 2012.

The project was a feature story in May in Austin Woman Magazine and many of our stories have been featured nationally, including on BlogHer Moms this week.

Now what to REALLY Expect for the upcoming months…

You may or may not be surprised to know that the range of pregnancy experience is broad among women with no significant reproductive issues nor chronic, pre-existing health conditions. Age is not the best standard by which to judge who will have a “Text Book Pregnancy” and who will face barriers with fertility, pregnancy, childbirth and post partum.

Each of us will have a different set of experiences during each pregnancy.

A DISCLAIMER I need to share, like the one I include on all written of my materials: You should not rely on the information mentioned tonight as an alternative to obtaining specific medical advice from your own doctor or healthcare provider. Any information we share is NOT intended to be used for any medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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Amy’s* Story

Mom and Son

Amy* became a first-time mother in 2010 at the age of 42. She lives in New York City with her husband and son. 

I think my story is both absolutely miraculous and tremendously unremarkable. I spent my 20s and 30s climbing up the academic tenure-ladder and living a kind of “Sex and the City” life (but Latina style). I travelled the world with close friends; made my share of romantic mistakes; and found a career that, to this day, is a genuine life passion.

 

 

I was not deliberately postponing marriage and children because of my career; in fact, I was a dedicated dater, who wanted to meet “the one,” but who also had an amazing life. It took me until my 40th birthday to have that tall, dark, and handsome man walk into my life; the man who would become my husband had the values, personality, and sense of purpose that I had always wanted to have in a partner. Once we met, things happened shockingly quickly. Six months from our first date we were living together; two months after that, we were pregnant, and when our healthy baby boy was 8 months old, we had a really fun and down-to-earth wedding in a beautiful church in the Puerto Rican countryside. We had family and friends coming from pretty much every continent to our wedding.

It is only when I read stories about infertility and reproductive technology that I realize how miraculous my own pregnancy was: I got pregnant on the very weekend when my then-boyfriend and I decided to “start trying and see what happens”; I had a textbook pregnancy and natural delivery without any medical complications at all; and gave birth to a perfectly healthy little boy who continues to amaze us with his charm.

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