My goal was to have all of my kids in my 30s. Then New Year's Eve happened. Surprise! One more baby, and yes I was in my 40s. (Oh my!) I was a little in shock, but quite OK with it. The stick turned pink and tears of shock and joy flowed simultaneously. My baby is now 7 months old and I can assure you it's pretty awesome to have a baby in your 40s. However, people on the other hand had so many opinions. Opinions I didn't even ask for.
Getting Over Being Grandma
I remember telling a few of my friends and family members that I was having another baby and I can't begin to tell you how rude people were. "You're going to be mistaken for grandma at the pick up line." "Your grandparents are here to pick you up, Brody ..." Blah Blah Blah …
Bobby and I are in a solid marriage, we had three little ones, so what's the big deal? We were having another. What's wrong with having a big family? I think its pretty cool. They thought we were ruining our lives. Life was over for the Schaffers. This was simply not the case. Another baby just meant more love and happiness in our home. And the grandma thing didn't scare me — we try to take care of ourselves and certainly don't look like grandparents or plan on looking like them anytime soon.
I am a little in shock with this, but our insurance plan included the fourth baby free of charge. Did you say free? Bobby came home from work one day and said, "Our insurance feels so bad for us for having another baby, they threw Brody in." OK, thank you very much. Regardless of what size your family is, health care today now includes maternity services, making it less out-of-pocket. Therefore, having a baby in your 40s is more affordable. And who knew the fourth was free? Score!
I think your health is a little bit more important than your age. I am no doctor by any means, but being healthy — meaning eating right, working out, not abusing alcohol, being smoke-free — really speaks more than the number. If you are in your 40s and healthy, you have a great chance of having a healthy baby, as opposed to someone in her 20s with awful health habits. I try to make good choices and I think it helped with my fourth pregnancy.
Our life is definitely more set up in our 40s than it was in our 20s and 30s. I am able to stay home because of my husband's career. Nine years ago when I had Jackson, I had to return to teaching for the year. I was wrecked by it, but we simply couldn't afford for me to stay home. Bobby had just gotten out of the Navy, and he was just starting a dental practice. We certainly are better equipped now for having a baby in our 40s than we were at 30. I can stay home and raise the kids, which I am forever grateful for.
So What? I Gained A Few Pounds
After having my first two kids, my body bounced right back. I was in my early 30s. I definitely can see that being in your 40s it takes longer. Actually, there is no bouncing back at all — it's more like treading back. The good news is you simply don't care. So what, I gained a few pounds. I will lose it when I can. I know what to do, and it's a matter of me sticking to a plan. I have to lose weight at my own pace this time due to the large family I have. I can't be self-obsessed with all these little ones looking up to me. It's the price you pay for having a big family and one later on in life. Who cares anyway?
I Can Do It All
When I had my first baby, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Teaching was fun, but it wasn't my passion. Now that I am in my 40s, I feel more confident knowing what I like and don't like and I am a much better mom, better wife and better friend. I enjoy where we are in our lives as opposed to chasing the next dream. I take in the views, the milestones, every laughter and every cry. I feel everything with every raw nerve-ending exposed. I am in an epic place in my life and I do believe it does have a lot to do with being over 40. Having baby Brody just made me better. The moment he was put into my arms, my heart exploded like a volcano and I felt so empowered being a mother to four incredible little beings.
What an incredible journey it is having a baby in your 40s. I welcome it to all of my mommy friends. If you are in good health, why not? Awesome people should bring more awesome people into this world. The world is a better place with Brody in it, that's for sure. Did I tell you we also got a puppy? That's another story for another day!