Having a Baby After 40

Life is nothing but a series of curveballs, amirite?

Turns out, women over 40 can get pregnant without trying. I’m sure you can guess how I know this. The past 10 months have been a whirlwind. The shock of it all, wrapping my head around it, and figuring out what life will look like from here had taken me away from “doing.”

It’s now June, my sweet new baby is rocking in her swing as I type, she just turned 1 month old. She is the sweetest baby ever, in my humble but accurate opinion.

I got pregnant the old fashioned way, so I can’t speak to those needing IVF or spending a lot of time and money to get pregnant. Pregnancy was relatively easy for me too, all the warnings about the toll being pregnant over 40 takes on your body didn’t apply to me. The only real complication I had was preeclampsia, and the day we found out I had it turned it into birthday.

You think you know life before having a child. Like yeah people have children and raise them and do family stuff and good for them. I existed around them but never got too close. I never thought the “family life” was for me. Now that it’s here I can speak to some pros and cons, as I see it.

The only cons I recognize so far are the loss of sleep and freedom. But know what? I’ve spent the past several years depressed and asleep. I both slept too much and did nothing much with freedom. But one thing I will miss is being able to spontaneously go out with friends. That is a sacrifice I’m ok with for now, given all the benefits of having this beautiful baby.

5 Benefits of Having a Baby Over 40

Having this sweet baby girl has given life new meaning. Given my history of depression, I was fully prepared for Postpartum Depression to knock me off my feet. I’ve actually found myself feeling calmer and happier. The benefits for me far outweigh the loss of sleep and freedom. Here’s what I’ve discovered the first month with my baby girl.

  1. A Whole New Love – When I was pregnant, everyone told me it’s a love like no other. I heard, I understood. But I didn’t know. There’s not a lot more I can say to describe it… you just don’t fully understand until it happens. It’s both wonderful and scary to have a love so profound. This isn’t unique to the over 40 crowd but still the best benefit and worth mentioning.
  2. More Patience – When you’re over 40, you’ve had a lot of life experience. With experience comes knowledge and patience. Our babies will no doubt benefit from having patient parents.
  3. Less Solitude – This one especially for the introverts like myself. Consider all the memes about skipping parties and staying home with DJ McBlankee. We’ve become settled into our existence. A baby will most definitely shake that up. We have a new buddy for life.
  4. New Purpose – Combine our knowledge and patience with our new buddy for life. It’s a joy and privilege to introduce them to the world!
  5. A New Lease on Life – With great purpose comes great responsibility. For me, this means renewing my lease on life so I can be the best version of myself for this baby. That is, being healthy, practicing meditation, and striving for my own goals to both be the best I can be and set an example on how life should be.

When I first found out I was having a girl, I was hit with all the emotions and thoughts of what that would mean.

Do I have it in me to be a mother? (A role model to teach her about being at once loving and kind but also confident and strong.)

How will she feel about having “old” parents? I pray to live long for her sake, I don’t want her to lose her parents young.

How will I protect her and give her the self confidence to stand up for herself?

How will we introduce her to religion? I grew up Catholic which means being baptized early, but I no longer practice. It feels wrong to baptize her given that, but it also feels wrong not to baptize her. We were going regularly to a Christian church before Covid struck, that along with another issue caused us to stop going to that church. Now in limbo, it’s time to decide how to navigate this.

It’s made me take a hard look at my life and where it needs to change in order to be the best mom I can be. And the change that needs to happen… is profound. For starters, I need to let go of my strong embrace on the introverted lifestyle. I don’t go out- I’m talking even to the grocery store. Instacart has been my BFF. I don’t feel the need to go there with a baby in tow, but I am going to have to start being more social because I don’t want to pass this life of solitude to my daughter.

I’ve realized that I’ve been gliding through life, settling mostly. And I don’t want to be that woman anymore. I want my daughter to have a badass mom who has her shit (mostly) together. I don’t feel the need to be perfect, but reaching the goals I’ve set year after year after year is finally a priority. The things I set out to do when creating this blog for example. Finance, Fitness, Enlightenment. Get yo shit together girl type stuff.

This means leading by example. Reaching my goals so she knows it’s possible. That I can show I practice what I preach. Getting healthy, building a bank account to leave a legacy, standing up for myself when I need to, rediscovering my faith, and being fully present for my daughter are all the things I need to work on.

New moms, I’d love to hear from you! Find me on Instagram and let me know any advice you have for me as a new mom. Did you improve your life after having a baby?