Advanced maternal age. Geriatric pregnancy. I think I heard those words first in nursing school at the age of 19. At that time 35 seemed very far away. Who would even want to be having babies at that time, I remember thinking.
As time marched forward as it always does and the years slipped away, 35 didn’t seem so far away. In between the ages of 30 and 35, the reality of heartache related to miscarriage, infertility, and secondary infertility also became real instead of textbook material as close friends walked forward in the dark paths of these pains.
In our first two pregnancies, I was enslaved to anxiety. Every cramp, every cough, it always stole joy. I was the I dread being pregnant girl and had little to no desire to do it again.
I am 13 weeks into my third pregnancy, my only pregnancy in my 30s.
And it has been, by far, the easiest and most beautiful experience in pregnancy I have ever experienced. Am I sick every morning? Yes. But the beauty that perspective gives you is a treasure that you can’t buy. The peace that comes from a few more times around the sun and most definitely a more mature faith is something I never experienced in previous pregnancies.
Another truth is that although I’m older, I am healthier now than I was when I was 28. I care more now about more water, more movement, and less sugar than I did when I was younger. However, it doesn’t stop with physical health in my 30s, I am also much more aware of my mental and emotional health and tend to it in ways that I wasn’t able to in my 20s. As Jennie Allen says, “pay the counselors and the babysitters it’s the best money ever spent.” Speaking of money, financially our family is wiser now and not battling through that first home down payment or other financial hurdles we faced in our 20s.
Lastly, and most importantly, my faith is stronger now than when I was younger.
Although I have suffered tremendous pain and suffering that I hadn’t even tasted in life before my last pregnancies, it has produced steadfastness and appreciation that have given peace that only comes from the Lord.
The extra chromosome tests and high-risk ultrasounds are going to come, but there is joy in this season. A joy that is unique to this 35+ club. A joy that our younger selves couldn’t quite understand. A joy that is reserved only for those walking in geriatric pregnancy and the true privilege that it is.