Telling Family and Friends about Your Over-40 Pregnancy
First, decide whether you will have additional prenatal testing performed other than the routine. Routine prenatal tests are blood, urine and blood pressure checks. These tests are performed regularly on all pregnant women.
As an expectant mother over 35, your physician will give you the option of receiving prenatal tests to diagnose or screen for genetic or chromosomal birth defects such as Down syndrome. Amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) are two of the most common tests.
While no prenatal test is 100 percent accurate, you may be an expectant mom who feels safe announcing her pregnancy after she receives a normal result from one of these tests. Or if the results are not as you hoped, you may be an expectant mom who wants to prepare her family and friends for the arrival of special needs baby. You may be an expectant mom who decides against any testing other than the routine. Regardless of where you stand on additional prenatal testing, you will have to make a decision.
Perhaps, prenatal testing is no big deal for you, but you want to wait until the end of first trimester to announce your pregnancy to family and friends. According to medical experts, the majority of miscarriages occur within the first 12 weeks. Unfortunately, the common symptoms of early pregnancy such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness and frequent urination may not allow you to keep your secret as long as you would like.
After sharing the good news of your pregnancy with your partner, many women tell a close relative or friend. As an expectant mom in her 40s, the reactions you receive may range from joy to amazement to disappointment.
There will be at least one well- meaning relative or friend who tells you that you are too old to have a baby. Remain calm and respond with confidence that everything has a season and that this is your season to give birth. Or use wit and humor by borrowing a line from Jan Andersen, publisher of Mother Over 40. Jan's response is “Aren’t you too OLD to be so rude or tactless?”
Other family and friends may not say anything negative but respond with a disapproving or disappointing demeanor. Don’t be too discouraged by their behavior. Your pregnancy may be interfering with their vision of you. They may have viewed you as the satisfied career woman who never wanted a baby or the best auntie who gave the best gifts because she didn’t have children of her own.
When you are emotionally ready to tackle the negative demeanor of a relative or friend, ask the reason for their response to your joyous announcement. Don’t offer assurance by saying your relationship will remain unchanged. Your relationship will change. A baby brings changes in life. You probably won’t feel like taking your little niece to an early morning soccer practice after staying up all night with your crying newborn. Offer assurance by saying that even though you will have to eliminate some responsibilities during pregnancy and after the baby arrives, your love for that family member or friend will remain unchanged.
As I have written numerous times and will write numerous more times, limit your contact with negative people. Hormones during pregnancy create its own physical and emotional challenges. Negativity only escalates these roller coaster emotions. Contact me if I can "coach" you in experiencing the joyous pregnancy you deserve!