Grrr...So I'm checking out
OK, I just re-read the thread and think I may have slightly overreacted. But still, I think these days many women are having children later in life and I just wish people would stop being so judgemental about it!!
I hear where you're coming from. That's why some of us alternate our time between the EC boards and here. Luckily, I have encountered no truly negative/uninformed attitudes towards expectant moms of AMA on my EC board (a few other members here are also on my EC board). But us AMAers are bound to run into that at some point. All I can say is, if no one was supposed to have babies after 40, why is it so many can? And I try to realize I don't have to adopt the ignorant attitudes of those who feel women should not have babies at our age. I'm from New Jersey, where it was somewhat common to see women 40 and up having babies, but I currently live in an area where many women have kids by their early and mid 20s, if not sooner. It does make me feel a little different to be the only one I've run into in my area in this situation, but it doesn't change the enthusiasm I feel about the prospect of becoming a mother. Most of the people in my life are either supportive or working their way towards becoming supportive of my choice to continue this pregnancy.
While we face challenges, many of them are the same as what our younger counterparts face, so I try to focus on those similarities while on my EC board and bypass what doesn't apply to me. I encourage you not to hide your age on your EC board. The more aware people are that we're around, the more they may be able to accept new motherhood later in life as part of any community.
Make a pregnancy ticker
I remember being pregnant with DD and thinking some of those same things about myself. It was pretty scary to think that I was having my first just a couple of months before my 40th birthday. I thought, I'll be 57 when she graduates, maybe 65 when she gets married, etc., etc. Then I laughed to myself and thought "hey, my mom is 65". My parents are in great shape. They golf, hike, travel - all the things I hope to be doing at that age. Of course, I just get to add DD's wedding to the picture!
Then, after DD was born, I joined some baby groups (like swimming) and found out there were a whole bunch of other mom's out there my age. Now, I am quite confident that I will not be the oldest mom dropping her kids off at school. Good thing too but #2 is due in September and I'll be 43!
It's just a matter of perspective. I'm sure we could come up with a lot of reasons why a 20 year old is just too young.....
Also, I read a medical report in which studies have shown that a women who can conceive and carry a baby to term after the age of 40 has a longer lifespan that women who cannot. So maybe we will be around longer to enjoy those grandchildren after all. (Please note that I just read this article and in no way mean to imply anything negative about anyone who has conceive by alternative methods. Babies are a blessing no matter how we get them.)
It's funny that you mention this about your EC club. You know, I have experienced very few negative comments from anyone about my being pregnant at my age. The two that upset me the most were from my Mom and my G'Mom, and to be honest (mostly with myself as I reflect back upon my announcement to them), I now think their concern had/has more to do with my being diabetic than it does with my age. Although I won't kid anyone (myself included) and think that my age wasn't somewhat of a factor for their concern, but certainly not the main reason for it.
Anyway, after reading your post, it dawned on me that one of the EC's I was formerly very active in is where I was subjected to numerous negative comments and opinions about "older" moms. I recall one thread in particular where (about 1 1/2 years ago), I announced that we possibly wanted to try for another baby. I made this announcement in a "hot topics" thread started by another Mom who was condemning a co-worker of hers for saying she was going to start trying to create her family when she turned 40. From there, it just got ugly. In fact, there was one Mom who responded who was very, very young (like maybe 20 or 21) and had Cystic Fybrosis (sp?). She was very opinionated about her feelings on "older" moms and openly (and adamantly) stated that anyone wanting to have a baby at that age was nothing but selfish. OK, how is it that she may very well have passed CF on to her daughter AND that she may very well die at a rather young age due to having CF but yet she sees no selfishness in that. I'm not saying she is selfish, I'm just questioning how she figures an "older" mom who's otherwise generally healthy could be considered selfish whilst not realizing any self-indulgent feelings about herself. I never mentioned or suggested anything about her disease in any of my responses to her (no matter how much she offended me I just felt that was/would've been crossing a moral line), but another Mom stepped in to my defense and came right out and told her that. To this day it still amazes me that someone with that type of chronic, often fatal condition is able to compare themself to an older mom in good health and honestly believe that the older, healthier woman is the one being selfish about wanting and bringing a child/family into this world. Seriously. I was so incredibly bothered by her words that I blocked all her posts from being visible to me. In addition to her comments, I was quite surprised to read comments from several other Moms on that board who felt having children "that" late in life was just not right. Funny, but if it weren't for comments made from others, I honestly don't think I would have ever thought twice about starting my family at age 36. Even today at age 42, I feel pretty darn young. Not that I know what 42 "should" feel like, but I can tell you I don't feel that much different today than I did 10 years ago -- except for a few gray hairs that are now more noticeable and my being (temporarily!) fat from this pregnancy, LOL!
I just had to respond to your post because it wasn't until I read it that I realized the one place I previously turned to for support, ideas, and suggestions suddenly started to feel awkward to me. Even with this pregnancy, I introduced myself to the respective EC back in September but have since just lurked there (with the exception of two responses I made regarding issues I felt quite strongly about). I just don't feel a connection with most (actually, any) of the women there. I'm not sure why, I don't think it's an age thing because there are actually quite a few (like 10 or so) AMA moms in that group, but I just don't feel compelled to participate in or share with most of the discussions that take place there. My "rock" really has become this board here. I find that there's a certain maturity level and respect that exists here which is lacking from the EC's and I'm ever so thankful for the camaraderie and support that exists here. I'm glad you shared your feelings with us about this -- it sure brought a few things to light for me.
I'll add that the EC's are a great support system for so many women who join and participate in them. I was very active in one for well over a year and I learned so many tricks and tips about how to do things or do things differently for/with my child/ren and for that I'm grateful. During that time of my life, I relied on it for advice that I wasn't willing to solicit from my family or friends, etc. AND, almost as important, it gave me my only form of socialization (I moved 15 hours away from ALL my family and friends six years ago). So for that, I'm thankful. And I would even go so far to suggest joining an EC to anyone active on our board; they really do offer great ideas, general support, and humor to women -- especially first-time moms. I guess after going through pregnancy, child birth, the newborn stage, the toddler stage, etc., etc., I feel like I'm better equipped to do things on my own now than I was a few years ago, especially since I have such a great support system right here. : )
Joan, I'm glad you've put in a new picture so that I can see you. It's nice to associate a face with a name! You and your family look lovely all together.
How will you spend your Sunday? It's raining here today (it's now 7:00 a.m. where I live) but I hope it will clear up so that my kids can go bike riding as they did yesterday.
Ciao for now
"All I can say is, if no one was supposed to have babies after 40, why is it so many can? " I love that! So true!! I will have to use that the next time this topic comes up!
Thank you so much for your response! I actually haven't hidden my age at all on the EC and even joked about being old enough to be most of the mom's mom! My comments had also sparked someone to start a poll on how old the mom's on the board were, and there were several over 40. I think OP of the thread was just being insensitive and, sadly, it's made me feel a little out of place on that board now so I'll probably just stick around here.