Does Age Really Affect Motherhood?Subscribe
OK, I don't know if this is a popular opinion, but I do feel that becoming a mom for the first time at 41 affected a lot of things early on such as:
1. My body didn't recover after 6 weeks. Or 8 weeks. Or 12 weeks. It literally took me almost 7 months before I could walk without limping.
2. Breastfeeding was pretty much a bust for me and I had low milk supply even after pumping all the time (for 11 months).
3. My hair is still falling out 14 months post partum - I'm almost at that "you can see the scalp between strands" stage. I'm either going to shave my head bald or start wearing a flashy wig. I just heard that women who have a baby later in life may enter menopause sooner. Now they tell me!
4. I was so settled and established in my life and business that having a baby threw me into a tailspin. I felt like I had lost my entire identity and couldn't figure out how to embrace being a mom. Finally getting closer.
5. I ended up with PPD - which I hear is common with women who experience infertility (I had 4 miscarriages in 2 years prior to my successful pregnancy). Maybe this isn't an age thing - but at my age, hormones were already starting to go a little wacky so PPD was just hormone wackiness to the nth degree.
I'm not complaining - I'm just saying that I think some/a lot of this stuff can be attributed to age. I don't see my 20-something mama counterparts dealing with the same stuff. Do you? What did you go through as an older mom?
For me, the biggest challenge has been the point you raise in 4. I became a mom at 42 and didn't really know what hit me. In addition to being tired all the time, having to be attentive to someone else (and a baby at that), after spending so many years as my own person, was super hard.
My son is now 4.5, and I have a bit more time to devote to my own pursuits while he's in pre-K, but I am always thinking about him, planning his schedule, researching things to do.....etc. I find it very hard to focus since it feels like I'm constantly racing the clock.
I'm still trying to get my mind to catch up with my body. I just had knee surgery and it really threw me out of whack for a bit. My kids are 6,4 and 2 and I'll be 42 in a couple of months. Trying to keep up with my kids was tough enough without adding an injury. When I went in to see the doc, she told me that it's common for women our age to have knee problems. Like I needed to hear that. For me, when I get to feeling old, I remind myself that I wouldn't have it any other way. I needed to grow up A LOT before I was ready to devote myself to having a family. The sacrifices are easier for me to accept knowing I've done so much with my freedom before I had my babies. The challenge for me right now is accepting that it wouldn't be wise for me to try to have another baby. I wanted to try to for another girl, but the last pregnancy genetic testing put the fear of God into me. I was fortunate enough that the intial tests were wrong, but I thought I was going to have a stroke while waiting for the diagnositc results.
Trying to get back to my pre-baby wieght is pretty much a lost cause, but being older I feel more comfortable and confident with the way I look.
You freaked me out with the menopause coming earlier thing. The hormones are so difficult for me to manage now, I can't believe I get to experience the upheaval sooner. I'm really going to have to consider anti-depressants if it's worse than what I'm experiencing during my regular cycle. Yikes.
I don't feel like I have that much in common with the younger moms in my daughter's kindergarten class. I thought I would be able to find some common ground having kids in the same class, but it feels awkward. I don't know if it's age or what. I find it challenging to meet other moms that I can relate to, so I'm happy to find this group.
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
At just over 40 when I gave birth to my son, I certainly agree with the comment about it taking over 6 weeks....I didn't feel like myself, particularly at work, until just this past month - 8 months post-partum. I must say thought that I don't think even a young lady of 20 something is ready to rock& roll again at 6 or even 8 weeks.....especially with the first child. My co-workers kept telling me that 6 months is the magic date to really start noticing the body back to normal.
My main complaint has been how sick I've been with colds & runny noses....I think I have spent more money on OTC drugs & Kleenex than ever in my life!!! I can't wait until I've caught and created antibodies for all darn 214 rhino virus!! Yuck! Not sure this is a 40 something issue but it knocks me out!
I remember being exhausted with my 1st at 20y old, I remember being exhausted with my 2nd at 23y. I remember feeling overwhelmed with my 3rd at 34y. Having a baby is exhausting and overwhelming at any age.
When I was pregnant in my late 40's, I told my Naturopath that I would nurse right into menopause. She told me that being pregnant & nursing would delay it. I don't know if it's different in your early 40's?
Catherine from pregnancystories.blogspot.com and youcangetpregnant.blogspot.com