First Time Mom at 51!

I am so excite to kick off our new blog feature: “Moms over 40”. Once a month, we will interview a woman who became a first time mom at 40 or older. This month’s post is from Michele DeLorenzo. Michele became a mom to beautiful Emilie at 51 and shares her inspiring story below.

SPF: How was pregnancy and birth in your 50’s?

MD: It was actually quite a journey! I had waited a very
long time for this experience and the opportunity to still have a child and I have no regrets at all.
I will admit, in some ways, it was a difficult pregnancy and birth. In others ways, we were
very blessed and things went well. This is my first child and I don’t have a comparison to make
but I do feel that having a child this much later in life has its set of challenges and also benefits.

SPF: Can you share a bit about your journey?

MD: Sure. I decided to freeze my eggs when I turned 36. Back then, it
was practically still experimental and I was given no guarantees whatsoever. I met my now
fiancé when I was 46 years old. We went on our fertility journey a week after we became
engaged when I was 49 years. We were very lucky that most of my eggs survived the thawing process and then with Rob’s sperm, through IVF, specifically ICSI, we created 7 embryos. Our daughter was born from our one and only frozen embryo transfer so we feel beyond blessed. I simply met my partner later in life and therefore, didn’t pursue IVF until I was 50 years.

Picture of Michele and her baby and fiancé.

Picture of Michele and her family courtesy of Michele DeLorenzo.

SPF: How did you maintain hope during your journey?

MD: It was very challenging for most of it but I had supportive family members and a very supportive core group of friends that cheered us on every step of the way. We decided to keep our news to just our closest friends and family. I think that helped tremendously as well. I wanted to be only in a very positive mind space and this is
what worked for me. I did suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum for the entire pregnancy and
online support groups really helped get me through those days.

SPF: Did you have an age cut off for TTC? If so, how did you decide that?

MD: I had frozen my eggs at 2 clinics and one clinic had an age cut off of 51 years although I’m not sure how strict they were about that and also if it helped that I already had my own embryos. For me, I didn’t have a specific age cut off but I knew I wanted to try at least 3 times if needed for the IVF cycles. I also knew by 50, I had to start the process. It was definitely time.

SPF: How was it working with a fertility clinic at your age? Were there obstacles regarding your age?

MD: Like I had previously stated, one clinic had an age cut off of 51 years
but besides that, I will say, I never once felt like I was treated differently due to my age. Yes, I
was considered a high risk pregnancy and we took certain precautions but it was actually less
involved than what I thought it would be given my advanced age.

SPF: How did you view motherhood as a younger person? How does it compare to your actual experience now?

MD: I think during my mid 30’s is when I really started thinking about wanting to
become a mother/parent one day, hence the decision to freeze my eggs. Many friends of mine
married fairly young in their 20’s and became mothers shortly after that. I don’t think my mind
set was there at that age but definitely by mid 30’s it was. I absolutely love motherhood and
wish I was able to experience it during more years in my life when younger. I think I have an
appreciation even more than ever for it.

older couple with baby daughter.

Photo property of Michele DeLorenzo.

SPF: What’s a typical day like for you?

MD: Right now, my daughter is just 6 months old so I am still not working. I initially planned to be back to work by now but have decided to take a year off at this time. My fiancé is very supportive and my mom helps a great deal as well. I’m fortunate that my
daughter sleeps through the night but she doesn’t nap that much anymore! So we are trying to engage her in activities where she’s reaching her milestones like tummy time and sitting up. We
are starting to bring her out and about and she loves it. I’m so happy to be home right now and
not missing anything in her life. It truly goes by so quickly and I never really knew how much that
was true until I had her!

SPF: What are some of the challenges of parenting a baby at this age?

MD: I will admit that I have had some insecurities about parenting a baby at this age. So far, everyone I have encountered has been nothing but supportive which has been wonderful and settled some of those insecurities. I think when parenting a child at an older age, one must really reflect on certain aspects such as illness, finances, support systems, etc and be prepared for different scenarios. For example, grandparents may be older or no longer living.

SPF: What are some advantages of parenting a baby at this age?

MD: I think at this age, whether parenting as a single mother by choice or as a couple, you really know who you are yourself. This will be reflected in your parenting style. For me personally, I have been thinking about this time in my life for a very long time so I was very much ready for it. My partner and I are settled in our community and we have made time to really focus on our daughter. If I was younger, my life may have been too hectic or chaotic to think about having a child. This has truly been a wonderful experience for me and my family and I wouldn’t change a thing!

SPF: Thank you so much for sharing! I know your story will resonate with so many women out there.

More about Michele: I’m a 52 year old adult health and psychiatric nurse practitioner who is currently taking some long awaited time off from her career to spend time with her family. My daughter is 6 months old and is the result of one of the best decisions I have ever made which was freezing my eggs when I was 36. I met my fiancé, Rob, six years ago. He has a 17 year old son. We live in Neshanic Station, NJ and love being close to the border of Bucks County, PA. We enjoy travel, the shore, and having friends and family meet little Emilie Rose. Rob is also an avid skater and officiates hockey. We look forward to getting little Emilie on the ice as soon as she’s ready!

Did you become a mom at 40 or older? Want to share your story? Just email me! Need more inspiration? Get the book for having a baby over 35 here.

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