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About being pregnant in your 50s

March 13, 2012
Logo design by Christine Hepner

There are challenges being pregnant at any age, but I think I found a few unique to older moms-to-be.

The first one is believing it yourself!

I had to refill a prescription for estrogen the week after my final blood test came back positive, so I was maybe 3 weeks pregnant. When the pharmacist at Duane Reade handed me the bottle, I noticed there were stickers on it that read, “Do not take if you are pregnant or nursing.” I called her over and asked her to confirm this for me thinking maybe I had made a mistake, and I was supposed to stop taking the estrogen once my pregnancy was confirmed. She said to me, “You’re not pregnant, right?” and for the first time aloud to a stranger, I said the words, “Yes, I’m pregnant.” Over the next 9 months, even when I was noticeably pregnant, I still would hear myself saying the words and think, “Really? Or are you just crazy?” I used to watch way too many soap operas. Maybe I was having some sort of breakdown, and everyone I knew had been told to play along and not point out to me how ridiculous I sounded telling people I was pregnant at age 50. Like, never wake a sleepwalker, and don’t tell the old gal she’s not pregnant.

It is also nearly impossible to find age-appropriate maternity clothes at 50, not surprisingly I guess. It the same reason VH1 doesn’t have a show called “50 and Pregnant.” How big could that target market possibly be? Work clothes weren’t too bad; I just found black stretchy pants and big tops and that worked through my 7th month, when I went out on leave (more about that early leave later). But as far as casual clothes, almost all of them are designed to fit pregnant young 20-ish women who still want to go out clubbing. Case in point:

Yes, it’s a cute dress, but I wouldn’t wear that now pregnant or not pregnant. The “skirt-above-the-knee”
ship sailed in the late 90s, as well it should have. Not to mention the “upper-arm-spaghetti-strap” train, which left the station in the 80s….Let’s not even talk about the “no-need-to-wear-a-bra” bus….

Then again, no one at any age should be forced to dress like Queen Elizabeth. Although her hats definitely would have covered up my gray roots, and no one could accuse me of trying to look like a hipster in her wardrobe.

I opened my mailbox one day to find an AARP invitation mailer AND a Victoria Secret catalog in the same delivery. Well, I thought it was funny.

On the other hand, there were the moments that made me realize just how lucky we are. I had two women approach me when my condition became obvious to share their stories with me. I referred both to CWRC, and maybe one day I’ll hear wonderful news from them.

I keep thinking of “our miracle,” which D objects to. We are both, on our most spiritual days, agnostics, and I don’t mean miracle in a jesus-y, burning bush kind of way, but he is a miracle.

I’ll explain more in my next post.

Next time: My scariest night.

Thanks for following and reading! I’d love to hear your story of IVF. Please leave your comments below.

© 2012

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From → Pregnancy

  1. I am 54 and going through IVF. This will be a first pregnancy for my husband and I. We are excited but a little scared about how people will react and the unknown world of parenthood. I am grateful for your blog and website. I am trying to find a network of new moms over 50 to talk about their experiences, what to expect and perhaps some advice. I am not pregnant yet but hope to be in a month or two and I dread the thought of telling family and friends. Any advice or encouragement from your followers would be so welcome!


    • @greyhairedmom permalink

      Don’t let worry about what anyone is going to think bother you! Once you’re pregnant and once you’re a mom, nothing else is going to matter! I promise! Let people think what they will, you can’t control that. But refuse to debate or even listen to negativity! This is your decision (taken with medical advice) and nothing or no one else should dare discourage you. Please keep in touch and let me know how it all works out. All the best! Sally


  2. Cindy Davis permalink

    I am 55 with 4-yr-old twins. When I had to tell my co-workers that I was pregnant, they all thought I was joking. One even said it would be more believable if I had said I was going to prison for murder.


    • grayhairedmom permalink

      My coworkers were very young. I think the next in age to me was early 40s, and the other 6 or 7 were late 20s or early 30s. I revealed very early on, too, before I was showing. I think a few of them thought I was losing my mind! Thanks for the comment, Cindy!


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