Having Children Early VS Having Children Later
In recent news, celebrities and tv hosts are celebrating having children well beyond child bearing years. Take for example Janet Jackson, she is 50…yes FIFTY…and having a baby! Savannah Guthrie of the Today Show is 44 and having her second child! Even the beautiful Halle Berry had a baby at 47! Women are busting the myths surrounding child bearing ages. Being a Mid-Life mom has its ups and downs. I, too, had a baby in my 40’s, however, having previous children did not mean I was prepared at all for what I was in for.
In My 20’s
When I had my first child, it was 1998 and I was 25 years old. Life was much simpler; maternity clothes were made to make you look like a bright colored tent and you asked friends and family for advice over the phone or in person. I read books like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting“, no one focused on how much weight I gained, and it was truly a joyous event. Life was less busy, there was just a full time job and a husband to care for. The house was always clean because there were no other children and I could nap whenever I wanted. I had my second child in 2002 at age 29; again things were easy. No tests except the sugar test were needed, I had kept all of my previous baby items including clothing, and I gained the same amount of weight. My body bounced back quite easily the second time around and I was wearing my normal clothes a week after delivery. My children were only three years apart so I already knew what to do.
After my divorce, more children were not in my future. I had even seen an OB/GYN to discuss permanent birth control. I successfully raised two boys from infants to teens and I was quite happy with my freedom. Then I met someone, and he was 12 years younger. That changed my game plan.
In My 40’s
I was exhausted…all the time! I was starving…I could eat breakfast and then an hour later eat another meal. I was thirsty all the time; nothing could quench my thirst. I had to have so many tests, my blood pressure was up every time I had a check up. After a while I stopped looking at the number on the scale, and every nurse, doctor and non medical staff reminded me that my weight was “too high”. I will admit that the maternity clothes are cuter now, but I was massive and I did not feel cute! My feet hurt, my back hurt, my hips hurt. I was uncomfortable 24/7 and I suffered from insomnia. It got even worse! I was in and out of labor and delivery because I could never feel the baby move. I felt like I had no IDEA what I was doing or what to do. I was constantly googling all my questions looking for quick answers to stuff I should have known but had forgotten over time.
Then I had the baby. She was a month early and I had an emergency c section. Seriously? Surgery at 41? After having 2 natural births? I had no energy, my milk didn’t come in, and my husband would deploy 10 days later. My body did not bounce back, I still looked pregnant 6 weeks after I had the baby!!! My skin started to break out and my hair started to fall out. I had to work out twice as hard to achieve the weight loss.
I feel like I should be done having children. My 40’s should be filled with freedom, career opportunities and travel. This should be MY time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter and she is an amazing toddler, but it has been a difficult adjustment having a child later in life whilst watching my friends obtain financial freedom!
Would you have a child in your 40’s? Did you have children early and then another later on down the road? What was your experience?