Writer, Wife, Mom Cynthia shares success stories of real-life women who successfully conceived and gave birth after age 35 and 40. Her website InSeason Mom http://www.inseasonmom.org/ has been recognized by CBS NY and MSNBC as a leading resource for first time moms over 35.
Featured InSeasonMom- May 2012
Maha Al Musa
Name: Maha Al Musa
Age: : 49
Current Resident of:Australia
Child or Children's names and ages:Kailash 15, Tariq 12, Aminah 3
InSeason Mom: What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?
Maha: My first son was born when I was 34 and I had two subsequent natural pregnancies at 37 and one at 45! I am an ex PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) lady who did not believe the doctor’s assumptions that I would never get pregnant naturally! I have always been a believer of self determination and so I took my health into my own hands and heart. As I had conceived my first son naturally, I knew I could do it again. I focused on a conscious goal of conception and undertook a plan to really clean up my diet, with no cigarettes or alcohol, reduced sugar consumption, took homeopathic remedies and had a very positive spiritual outlook. This latter aspect of healthfulness, which is often overlooked, I believe, can have a huge impact upon fertility, conception and pregnancy. By looking at where I was holding grief in my womb, dancing through these emotions, honoring my journey and facing my fears and limitations helped me work through those aspects of conditioning that didn’t serve me.
The Medical Community
InSeason Mom: How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?
Maha: By age 37 I was already considered “an older” mother but being pregnant at 45, I was labeled as “geriatric.” I actually had a homebirth at 37, and chose this path again with my 3rd pregnancy at 45 to birth at 46. The only contact I had with a doctor was for blood tests etc. I live in quite an open and accepting place – actually once the Capital of homebirth in Australia – and my DR/OB was very supportive as he also saw that my baby and I were very healthy and he had supported many homebirth midwives in the area. My only real pregnancy issues at 45/46 were low iron, sciatica and some UTI’s that needed to be monitored. Other than that I was very “normal".
InSeasonMom: Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors?
Maha: From about 36 weeks with this 3rd pregnancy at 45 years my supportive doctor went overseas and I had contact with another local DR/OB who was very concerned and tried to put fear into me about my age. He wanted me to check into a hospital in case something “went wrong”.
I said to him, “What if everything goes all right? That’s what I am focusing on here and thank you for your concerns but I know what I am doing. I am healthy, my baby is healthy so I will envision healthfulness and a wonderful rite of passage for me as a woman!” He looked a bit shocked, and mumbled something as I left his office!
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
InSeasonMom: What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy at age 45, birth at 46?
Maha: My friends and family were so so happy and supportive of me and my pregnancy. Because I work in the birth world I feel that I am very knowledgeable about the journey – the rational and the mystery. For me it was such a blessing to carry my beautiful daughter at this age and have the opportunity once again to delve into the spiritual awakening that was gifted to me from her presence. My friends sipped from the nectar of this blessing too and we all rejoiced in this wonderful opportunity.
LABOR AND DELIVERY
InSeasonMom: Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not?
Maha: My medicine was opening my heart and dancing – I belly danced all through the second and third trimester of my pregnancy. For me I find that dancing not only tones my body but helps to clear any holdings within and liberates my Spirit. Of course bellydancebirth has so many other positive and enlightening affects that you can read in my book Dance Of The Womb or watch on my DVD.
I don’t get too heady when pregnant as I find being in the head with lots of information swirling around creates a disconnection from my Spirit and Nature. Spirit and Nature is where I need to be connected to birth my babies with strength and empowerment.
InSeasonMom:Where did you give birth and what do you remember most about the birth experience?
Maha: I had a beautiful home water lotus birth on a community I lived on. Actually I birthed my second son here too. I remember the day of Aminah’s birth beckoned us with a sense of radiance, calmness and with an air of anticipation. I brought forth my baby with serenity as well as being very very focused on my body and breath with each contraction. I felt fully supported by my midwife, two friends and partner and the day unfolded in a very relaxed and gentle manner. This didn’t mean I wasn’t working hard in labor but I managed to stay in the present allowing whatever feeling s or emotions to arise unhindered – this attitude of surrender helped a lot.
I AM MOM
InSeasonMom: What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you compensate for this fear?
Maha: I don’t have any concerns in this area other than sleep deprivation is always a challenge!
InSeasonMom: What do you enjoy about being an older mom and how has it changed you?
Maha:I love the wisdom I have, I love that I can surrender to what “is”, I love that I had a daughter after two sons and appreciate my beautiful children as an extension of my growth, I love that I was able to make a DVD during this pregnancy and had the stamina to produce a fine work of art to inspire other “older” mums!! And I love the incredible love!
Birthing my baby girl at home at 46 years of age reinforced that I am strong and capable and gave me a strong sense of self worth which has been a very powerful journey. She gifted me in a true sense the phrase “know thyself” - I will be eternally grateful to her and my boys for this awakening.
Being an older mom has its challenges in the physical department – energy levels ebb and flow – we have to manage our levels probably more vigorously than an under 35 mom. I am also at 49 years of age still breastfeeding my daughter, but in many ways this gives me a sense of calm and I am hoping a smoother menopause ride! I have found no resources on breastfeeding and this age group to 50 years.
InSeasonMom: What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?
Maha: My advice is “go for it”! Be conscious of what you are administering to your body – physically and spiritually – it is a gorgeous time to face any unresolved issues and become “woman” with all her grace, power, beauty, suffering, fears, joys and wisdom. It is the most beautiful transforming experience that takes you through so many doorways of understanding, love and trust.
InSeasonMom:Any additional comments?
Maha: Follow your instincts – the book is within – in times when you are not sure who or what advice to follow – just go to your Heart – your knowing – your instincts and intuition – a mother knows if she creates both the physical and emotional space for her body to speak – as it speaks in the silence she can listen – the answers are all there.
InSeasonMom Cynthia would like to thank Maha for being an inspiration to moms across the world! (Featured InSeason Mom series started in 2006 and resurrected again in 2011)