Pregnant and 40-Something: Ten Ways it’s One Big Adventure
My first three kids were born in my 20s. The next five were born in my 30s. Now, I am expecting baby #9 and I’m in my 40s. It’s a whole different ride.
1. People, and by people I mean people in scrubs at your care provider’s office, act as though you will shatter at any moment. If your blood pressure is low, they marvel. If you express that you are feeling well, they shake their heads in wonder. Oh, venerable gestating one, how ever do you do it? Watching me walk across the waiting room must be like watching a majestic, ancient tortoise amble across an expanse, a living fossil, a moment for National Geographic Magazine to capture in their hallowed pages.
2. They don’t make Centrum Silver Prenatals.
3. Avoiding the chemicals in hair coloring during the first trimester means at the dawn of the second trimester, one may look like one of The Golden Girls (perhaps Dorothy) who just finished binging on early-bird meatloaf down at the all-you-can eat buffet. And if you threw a party, invited every one you knew-oo-oo/you would see the biggest slice would be for me/and the card inside would say/here’s a coupon for 500-count Tums with calcium.
4. I saw a pair of maternity booty shorts at Target and blushed. Maternity clothes seem to be designed with Teen Mom in mind. I don’t want animal print leggings, fringe, cutout holes in the shoulders so that I can’t wear a bra. I don’t want to look like I belong in LMFAO, shufflin’ everyday. I want to look like Blanche. (see #3)
5. Math. You will entertain yourself by calculating how old you’ll be when your baby graduates from high school and college. Personally, I imagine being in the audience, cheering our for our Valedictorian, when the woman next to me leans over and asks which grandchild belongs to us. In my best old lady voice, I’ll say, “The principal!”
6. You’ll depress yourself by wondering if you’ll ever meet your baby’s children—especially if the baby waits until his/her 40s.
7. I hear the Red Hat Society throws raucous, uproarious baby showers for members. They take over entire private meeting rooms at Panera! Joining post-haste.
8. I wish there were a wrinkle-fighting moisturizer with zit-zapping capabilities in a safe, non-Retinol formula. It’s not fair to have to battle emerging fine lines and hormonally-inspired zits at the same time. So, I guess I’ll continue washing my face with vanilla pudding.
9. If the baby is a girl, I’ll be hitting menopause at about the same time she starts her period. My husband threatens to go on a 3-year-long camping trip around then.
10. I realize I’m not a decrepit old crone and neither are the rest of my peers who are of advanced maternal age. Society isn’t fully on board with the idea. Medical professionals aren’t, either—and in many cases with good reason. Being pregnant at this age reminds me that the process of building a new little life is an astonishing miracle at any age. I’m proud to be a part of it. I feel younger. I feel energized, even when I can’t keep my eyes open. I feel like doing back flips, even though my lower back feels like I’ve been kicked by a burro. There’s a mental component to pregnancy which can’t be underestimated. Being in the mindset that there is churning life a foot beneath my double chins is the fountain of youth.