Well, it’s official! We’re not done having kids! Baby #4 is due to arrive sometime in November or December. My “official” due date is Thanksgiving Day, but I tend to carry over my due date when given the space and freedom to go into labor on my own.
This time around is different than the other girls because it is a surprise this time around AND I’m now in a new decade of life.
What’s different this time:
- I’m 40 and unafraid. That’s right. Pregnant at 40. By the time baby is born, I’ll be 41. I was (I think) 33, 35, and 37 when I had my other girls? Two “geriatric pregnancies” under my belt and this one has me laughing at the fear factor, name calling, and disempowering, worry-based messaging surrounding being an “older mom.” I see now how sensationalized it is. I can already hear the arguments: “It’s not sensationalized! We have stats! We have proof!” Oooooookay. But I’m 40 now and have dozens of stories of moms having babies at 35+ with no issues. I’m “too old” to buy into the worry and fear based messaging and let that lead me. Am I reckless? Absolutely not. Do I have my head in the sand? Not a chance. But I see the toxicity at the way birth is managed and sold to women of all ages and it’s harmful and disempowering. The only way to change that is to call it out and opt out of it. Fear and worry and doom and gloom are not going to be part of this pregnancy for me. That’s my choice because it’s my pregnancy—a very personal journey that I’m putting out there not as a point of comparison, but as (hopefully) a story of inspiration for moms to take back their power and approach their pregnancies and births with strength instead of fear. To me it’s about health and fertility as a sign of good health rather than a number or birthdate.
- I have more research under my belt. Hosting this podcast has opened my eyes (big time!) into our modern birth culture and the desperate need for change. I’ve heard stories, read statistics, read biographies and articles and binged on podcasts about birth. I watch birth videos almost daily—the need for change in how our birth culture is presented and approached is one of the clearest things to ever cross my path. Because of this, I (again) am unafraid. I want to be part of the positive change. I didn’t know it would be me on the front lines one more time making the case for change and cheering on other mamas while also preparing to roar my own baby out. Wow.
Birth Instagram accounts mentioned: @badassmotherbirther, @birthbecomesyou, @birthwithoutfear, and @painfreebirth
- I think I was in a bit of denial. Try 7 pregnancy tests denial. Why? I honestly don’t know! But these emotions and experiences have given me a ton of insight and compassion for other mamas with similar stories in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I’m so grateful for the insight and experience…and the space to process it all, too.
- My timelines aren’t lining up with other friends my age. I shared in a group text with some friends who are the same age that I was expecting and one of the mamas said, “My son just turned 18 last week.” It was like smacking into a brick wall to realize that I am experiencing something at an age where I am NOT in the same season of life as other 40 year olds. Some of my high school friends are grandparents multiple times over. This is not the same. I’m not bothered by it, but I also noticed it and am taking it all in.
- I’m including the spiritual in this pregnancy and birth. It’s one area that I feel I overlooked in my other pregnancies and birth, but this time and very intentionally making room for more of the spiritual in this pregnancy and birth.
What’s the same this time:
- The cravings. Fried chicken and lemonade. Dairy all of a sudden sounds appealing to me. Egg salad and buffalo anything are also on my list.
- The nausea. The pressing nausea leaves me feeling very run down and can shorten my patience in certain moments when I’m torn between resting and working.
- The fatigue. Is it the same? Is it worse? I can’t remember…but I am resting a LOT more when I feel called to calm down (or even just sit down).
- The support. I’m blown away by the encouragement and support of my friends. My heart and spirit are so encouraged.
The girls are excited. We’re excited. It’s crazy. We definitely are bringing a “One more? Why not!” attitude to this experience. I’m resting a LOT more, going to bed early, having crazy pregnancy dreams. All in all, I’m healthy, happy, and super humbled and stoked to be back on the front lines of motherhood—and just grateful that I get to have another child and friend to do life with.
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