My Advanced Maternal Age
I wrote my second book about getting pregnant in your 40’s when I was 38 years old. However, as my 39th birthday approached, I was single, without children and very ready to start my family. Loved ones and friends expressed their concern over my situation–single and almost 40. I remained steadfast in the knowing that I would find my partner and have children. But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have tough moments. Moments where I heard that nagging voice in my head saying, “Aimee, your time is running out.”
Truthfully, I never believed that voice in my head. Although it was there, I had very good reason to question it. I had been helping women conceive for over a decade and many of them were in their late thirties and early to mid-forties. So, intellectually I knew I was still in a safe zone for getting pregnant. Especially when I was following the same plan that I had all of my clients on. My plan was working for them and their fertility and I believed it could work for me.
However, with treating all these women for fertility, I couldn’t entirely shield myself from their worry and fears over their age and their fertility. Nor could I protect myself from the medical doctors I have relationships with who were constantly asking me when I was going to freeze my eggs . Or, when would just pull the trigger and get pregnant on my own?
Is the Egg Freezing Process for Me?
Egg freezing never quite made sense to me as I rarely see women use their frozen eggs. I have seen cancer clients use the eggs they froze before receiving cancer treatments – that made sense to me. But, in my clinic, none of the women who froze their eggs in their thirties as an insurance policy have ever used them to make a baby. If those women wind up needing fertility treatments, the doctors they work with still have them undergo an IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle and choose the fresh eggs over the previously frozen ones. Of course, a lot of them wound up getting pregnant naturally once they met their mate too.
Having a baby on my own didn’t resonate as I just knew in my heart that I was going to have a family with my husband, whoever that man would be. I was open to the idea of using assisted reproductive techniques if I needed them, once I met my partner. But, I was willing to wait and find the right guy for me.
5 Tips For Fertility Health
As time went on and I got older, I continued to follow the advice I give to all my fertility clients, which can be summed up in these five tips:
- Kept the faith in my body and my fertility and would regularly remind myself that women in my age range get pregnant all the time and I would too. I took daily inventory of all the ways my health was thriving knowing that my fertility is an extension of my health.
- Treated my body like the palace it is and nourished my body with nutrient dense foods and supplements. I slept 7-8 hours each night, got acupuncture regularly and took my Chinese herbs.
- Kept my mindset in check. By that I mean, I focused on all the joy that was happening in my everyday life. I meditated. I journaled and I spoke to a life coach. Sure, I had moments of sadness and frustration. Additionally, I had pangs of fear, “Will my man ever show up?”, “Will this ever happen for me?”, “Maybe I should just get pregnant on my own.”, “Am I going to be able to get pregnant in my 40’s?”.
I found this part of my journey so powerful that I have recently created a course for women who are on their own fertility journey that solely focuses on shifting their mindset, it’s called Yes! And it’s a powerful 4-week program!
Yes, all of those fears came up for me. All of those fears were very real for me. But, in my mental conversation what always won out was my firm belief in my body, its fertility and the destiny I knew was mine. When those fertility fears came up, I found a way to quiet my mental chatter, tune into my heart and reconnect with my truth which was: this will happen for you; be patient; remain calm; find joy now and continue to nourish and support your healthy, thriving fertile body.
- I got support. I surrounded myself with a tribe of people who also believed in my body, its fertility and the fact that I would find my man. Some were people who were once in my shoes and now had all they desired, others were going through it with me but most importantly I enlisted support from those who were cheering for me and believing it could happen.
- I lived my life and I didn’t put my life on hold. I didn’t spend much time at all feeling sorry for myself. Just lived and had fun. To love and support myself, I followed my passions and I made my own joy.
40 and Fertile
Right before my 40th birthday, I met him. Finally. My man exists. He is real. He is here. And, he wanted a baby as soon as possible, with me. After my 40th birthday while we were discussing getting engaged, I said “If you want to have a baby, we should just start trying. I did just turn 40.” He was totally on board with the idea. And, on the second month of trying to conceive naturally, we got pregnant with our healthy, thriving son Jaymes (who is about to turn 3 as I write this).
I never had my FSH or AMH checked. My husband never had his sperm checked. We never saw a fertility doctor. In fact, my then gynecologist (who often referred fertility clients to me) said to me right before we began trying, “Just go home and do what you tell all your clients to do”. She continued: “Have fun sex and know that your body can do this. Aimee, you’ve been preparing your body for this for years.” She was right. I had been practicing what I preached- mentally, emotionally, nutritionally and physically- for over 5 years by that point.
So, intellectually I knew it should happen. I also knew that I was armed with the knowledge I needed in case we did have to seek assisted reproductive techniques. But, rather than stress about whether or not it was going to happen, I just assumed it would. Not from some hokey place. But, from a place of trusting that the plan that was working for all of my fertility clients would also work for me.
When we did get pregnant as easily as we did, I was relieved. Not only because I was pregnant, but I now know firsthand that my plan works. My doctors were incredibly supportive and thorough. Yet, I still encountered some resistance by the medical community for having an ‘advanced maternal age’ pregnancy. It’s interesting to me how as a society we have forgotten. Forgotten that women have been having children in their 40’s for millennia. And, it is my hope that we can continue to do so. We just have to honor our health, on every level, and I believe we can do it.