I had my beautiful, smart, spunky baby girl in my early 40s and I would do it over again. Well, maybe I would have tried harder to convince my slightly younger husband to have our third baby (yes third) when we were in our early to mid 30s! But, after countless discussions, while we ourselves and our first two children were still “young,” we made the decision to donate all of our baby gear and call it a draw. After all, I didn’t think I could ever convince my practical husband that adding a third child to our already busy life was a good idea. He was always jokingly saying “two and through” and as the years passed, I too grew content with our family of four and enjoyed all the joys and challenges of raising two amazing young boys so close in age. It was a really fun and busy time in our lives and we were almost at the point of being able to relax.
When, POW! My middle son was about 5 years old and the nagging feeling in my head (or ovaries) that I still wasn’t done having children hit me like a ton of bricks. By this time, I was almost 40 and the thought of having a third child was stronger than ever. Once again, my husband and I had countless conversations about having another baby. This time, we also had to think about the fact that something could go terribly wrong with the pregnancy and my odds of getting pregnant were much lower. Not to mention the financial implications of supporting three kids on one salary and “starting over” at our age with older children. Somehow, with all the odds stacked against us, my husband finally came around to the idea. There and then, we made the decision together that in my 40s we would finally complete our family. I definitely wouldn’t say the pregnancy came easy. There were many months we thought about throwing in the towel. Amazingly, it was a month or two after a heartbreaking early miscarriage that my sweet baby girl was conceived.
Looking back now in my mid-40s, I couldn’t have imagined how full and sometimes exhausting my life would feel. Please don’t get me wrong, I am truly thankful for all the blessings in my life. I’m fortunate to stay at home with my three children while my husband works extra long days to support us. My children are happy and healthy and have a great circle of family and friends that are our “village.” My husband reminds me every time I remark about the physical task of dragging my daughter to and from various sporting events or the demands that go along with raising a toddler at my age, that it was my decision to have a third child. Maybe it’s the fact that I was so focused on having a third baby, that I didn’t fully prepare myself for what life would actually be like at my age with a toddler. The harsh reality that I’ll be of real geriatric age when my daughter is in high school or that I may not live to meet my daughter’s own children is a harsh reality of waiting until my 40s. Sad to think that my boys will be young men and on their own when my daughter will only be starting to navigate the ups and downs of high school.
I am sure that from the outside it may look as if this wasn’t a planned pregnancy. I mean who would be crazy enough to have planned this life at our age, right? But, we did. John Lennon sang it best in his song Beautiful Boy that “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Well, we did just that and boy are we busy!