After Cyrus was born, I felt totally overwhelmed by all of the choices I had to make for my new baby.
I had no idea what to buy, where to shop or what we really needed. My wish was just to know exactly what other parents were buying for their babies, but, like I’ve said in a previous post, life is very different when you’re a mum over 40 and most of your friends’ kids are teenagers!
So, I turned to my local community centre for support as you know if you’ve read my previous post here and I found a whole new group of mummy friends. Now meeting new people from all walks of life is just one of the many great things about being a member of your local community centre. It gave me the perfect opportunity to create friendships with other mums that I hope will last for many years to come.
I met mum-of-three and co-founder of Parents Hub for Annitsford & Dudley, Lindsay Hamberg, at my trial session of Baby Boot Camp via KeepFit Mammy. And we found dissecting our birth experiences, weaning techniques and teething products over a cuppa proved a great ice-breaker. She also gave me some sound advice and tips!
Despite there being only a year between us, what a difference it made when it came to our pregnancy experiences! So what was it like for her having a child later? Here is her story.
Lindsay conceived naturally at age 39.
With a happy marriage and two older children, Lindsay and her husband, James, 38, were delighted when they found out they were expecting a new baby.
The Northumberland mum, who had her first son, James, at 24 and her second son, Dylan, at 31, was elated to be pregnant again. She didn’t worry about the pregnancy because she had been told by her midwife she was ‘low-risk’ at 39. Had she turned 40 after conceiving, she was told she would have been labelled as ‘high-risk’.
At the time, Lindsay was earning extra cash having signed up to sell Forever Living aloe vera beauty and nutrition products. Founded in Arizona in 1978, Forever Living sells health and beauty products based on the plant, aloe vera. Products are sold directly to individuals through sales reps, called Forever Business Owners via parties and using Facebook. Lindsay had been running her sideline for two years when the couple found out they were expecting baby Harry.
She said: “I learned about Forever Living from a fellow mum and after attending a party and testing some of the products, I knew it was something I should try for myself. At first I sold to family and friends, but it soon escalated and I found myself mentoring and coaching others too.
“Forever Living has enabled me to earn a bit of extra cash that fits in with motherhood and network with like-minded individuals. I’ve been able to renovate our home and have a family holiday to Lanzarote with the money I’ve made from selling aloe products. More importantly, it has enabled me to afford to have another baby.
“I was lucky as I got pregnant just two months after coming off contraception. I’d been on the implant for around seven years and so I was ecstatic when I found out I was expecting. It was James’s first baby, so he was over the moon too. The pregnancy went smoothly from day one. Nothing phased me. I was slightly conscious that I was older, but whenever I asked medical staff if I was at any risk, they said no.
“I’d had the Combined Screening Test which came back ‘low-risk’ and apart from having to take iron tablets at six months and have physio at eight months, I continued working right up until I had Harry. My contractions actually started during a Forever Living meeting!
“I did have a low-lying placenta with Harry, but at my 33-week scan, it had moved so I was able to have a normal delivery.
“The midwife carried out a sweep a week before my due date to try and hurry things along, but it didn’t do much. I was anxious because I’d gone two weeks over my due date with my son, Dylan, and I didn’t want that happening again. As I was worried about this, the hospital booked me in for an induction.
“I didn’t need to worry though as the day before I was due to have the induction, I went into spontaneous labour at 9am in the morning. At first the pain was hourly, so I put on my make-up, did my hair and got ready to go to hospital.
“As the pain intensified in hospital I used gas and air and sat myself down on one of the birthing balls. James was with me and we spent most of the afternoon chatting, laughing and using instant messenger with family, which was nice because it felt like they were there with us.
“When the pain did kick in properly it was around 9.30pm and I had a shot of Diamorphine which helped. By 11pm, I was ready to push. Being a big baby, Harry got stuck in my pelvis and the midwives had to help get him out. He was born a very healthy 9lb 10oz.
“Despite being younger, my previous pregnancies were not as smooth sailing. At 24, my first baby, James, experienced fetal distress and then I had to have an induction with Dylan at 31 because he went two weeks over his due date. I think it’s important to stress to other mums that every pregnancy is different, no matter what age you are.
“Being a young mum, you want a party life, but when you reach your late 30s, you’re more content and settled in life. For me it was the ideal time to have a baby. I don’t think age should stop anyone having children, so long as they are looking after themselves, there’s no problem whether you are 40 or 20. I had anaemia with all of my pregnancies, but it wasn’t age-related.”