From jubilations of delighted fans to Ibrahim Khan’s one-word emotional response of ‘Abba’ on Twitter, social media exploded with congratulatory messages when Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan announced their pregnancy! Considering how Taimur Ali Khan basically has his very own fan club, we’re pretty sure baby number two will be received with as much furore.
Pregnant at 39, Kareena is part of the new age of mommies-to-be who have embraced motherhood almost a decade later than is common amongst Indians. So, we decided to talk to other real moms who had, what would be considered a ‘late pregnancy’, to understand from a mother’s perspective whether it’s any more or less different than a timely one.
Sheetal Kapasi, a mother of two daughters, had her second child when she was 36. Earlier she was a homemaker, and later on she went to become a Montessori teacher. After the arrival of her second child, she worked as a gym trainer and an aqua aerobics instructor. When parenting was getting challenging, she left the job and pursued her hobbies of being an artist. Years later, she found her passion for floral designing. Recently, she has been dabbling in resin art and crochet.
Her story: “My pregnancy was an unplanned one. I already had my first child and got pregnant after 13 years, even though my perimenopause symptoms had begun. I was 36! My first reaction was sheer joy and happiness. But, once the initial elation settled, I was very scared, nervous, and overwhelmed. I was worried about going through the whole process of pregnancy all over again, including birthing and raising a child.
I had to get an amniocentesis test to rule out Down syndrome in the child because of my age. The test was extremely painful! And the word ‘painful’ is underrated here. Also, the results took two months to arrive, which was emotionally stressful to just wait around to receive. The doctor hadn’t advised anything else in particular that was driven by my age.
But, then from my 3rd month, my belly had become hard as a rock and I was facing difficulty sitting, sleeping, and doing any other daily work. During my 5th month, I started bleeding and was hospitalised to stitch up my cervix. Despite the complications, when it came to delivery I had a vaginal delivery and did not need a C-section. I delivered within 3-4 hours of labour. Although during my delivery, my tailbone shifted. I was in a lot of pain, I couldn’t sit and feed, I was advised to sit on a tire to help with the pain, but it was very uncomfortable.
Later, my breast milk stopped in 2 months after delivery, as the milk had formed into lumps. I was put on medication, after sonography, and the process to remove the lumps was very painful.
My advice for women considering pregnancy would be to get pregnant early to mid-30s, as the later in life you become pregnant, more complications are likely to arise.
And in case you already have a child, I feel it’s better to not go ahead with a second one if you’re past a certain age. It’s better to adopt.
Other than the physical and emotional challenges, the age gap with the child is so much that it becomes difficult to connect. It is difficult to keep up with the new generation demands, new education systems. I also have a hard time, as my child’s peer’s parents are a decade younger than me. It’s hard for me to keep up too.
I feel if the first-time parents are in their mid-to-late 30s, it’s still manageable as they are enthusiastic. For me, my enthusiasm was over with my first one, and what I was left with was just nervousness.”
Anagha Deshpande from Pune shares her journey of motherhood in the hope that it helps other women deal with the mental, physical and emotional turbulence of it all. She delivered a happy, healthy bundle of joy, a son, at the age of 35. Having worked for years, she currently is a homemaker who follows her passion for singing and performing.
“I first got pregnant 2 years of marriage at the age of 27. But unfortunately, it had to be medically terminated as it was an Anembryonic pregnancy. After that, I had to undergo multiple tests that troubled me emotionally. And the one thought that kept creeping up in my mind was whether it would be difficult for me to have a normal pregnancy.
Did You Know?
Anembryonic pregnancy is a condition that occurs when a gestational sac develops without an embryo. It occurs when an embryo never develops or stops developing.
My pregnancy was totally unplanned and I was only aware of it after 8 weeks of conception. This was because I had an irregular menstrual cycle. When we were told about the happy news of pregnancy, we were all on cloud nine. My parents and in-laws were ecstatic too! The feeling that a baby is growing in my womb made me emotional.
How can you tell if you’re pregnant if you have irregular periods?
If you have irregular periods, try counting 36 days from the start of your last menstrual cycle or four weeks from the time you had sex. At this point, if you are pregnant, your levels of hCG should be high enough to detect the pregnancy.
Once the pregnancy was confirmed, medications like folic acid, vitamin supplements along with a suitable diet were recommended. As the first 2 trimesters are crucial for the necessary growth and development of the baby, I was advised to practise yoga asanas and meditation. Frequent and regular check-ups were encouraged.
Now due to my age, my doctor pre-decided that my delivery would be a planned C-section. A day before the scheduled delivery, my blood test indicated a drop in the platelets count. This meant more tests until my count was back to normal. The next day, reports were normal and by God’s grace, everything went smoothly.
From my personal experience, I believe that the decision to have a child is primarily the woman’s, but also something the couple should plan. While age is a factor, what should be the focus is that both the parents should be emotionally and physically fit to be able to enjoy the joy a little angel brings into your life.”
Have you had, or know someone who has had a late pregnancy? Do share your stories to inspire and support other women.