“Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? ... Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” --Genesis 17:17; 18:12


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Kathy's Story

Dear Tamara,

This is my story surrounding my pregnancy at age 48.

First, I’ll start with some history.  My first child was born when I was 24.  We had 4 more children by the time I was 36.  Then I had an early miscarriage, followed by a full-term delivery with pregnancy number 7, at age 39.  This was followed by 3 early miscarriages over the next few years.  We had pretty much concluded that for whatever reasons, my body was unable to carry a pregnancy to term any more.   

All of our children were wanted.  We have always only used Natural family Planning for birth spacing, and the last 15 years we haven’t used anything to prevent conception, just trusted God to send the babies when, if and as He saw fit.  We have always used various sorts of alternative medicine for our family (none of the kids have ever been on antibiotics, we don’t immunize, etc.).  

When I became pregnant after my 3rd miscarriage, we decided to give the traditional medical docs a chance and used oral progesterone (as they prescribed) to help “hold” the pregnancy.  Didn’t work and I miscarried anyhow.  But I did feel we gave everything a chance, so didn’t feel guilty over our courses of action (in regards to all the pregnancies that ended in miscarriage).  

You can imagine the criticism we got when we kept having miscarriages and not “going to the doctor”!  Anyway, we kind of figured childbearing was past us by the time I was 43 or so, having had 4 miscarriages and not getting pregnant for over a year.  (Mind you, we weren’t actively “trying” for a pregnancy, but obviously fertility isn’t a major problem with me.  Though the first time I was pregnant a doctor I saw told me he was surprised I could get pregnant because I have a “tipped” uterus!  Ha!)    

Since the last miscarriage at 42, 6 years passed.  I had a nasty bout with thyroid cancer just after I turned 47.  The only reason we sought traditional medical help was because the cancer had invaded my windpipe and I couldn’t breathe.  I can deal with many things using alternative medicine, but not being able to breathe is not one of them.   Anyway, I had two surgeries (they expected a very negative outcome), and through the awesome power of prayer and the grace of God, all went well.  We didn’t do chemo or radiation (that’s not usually done anyway in this kind of cancer), and all is well.  This was all in December/January. 

 In October, 2 months shy of my 48th birthday, I got pregnant.  Surprise, surprise!  (DELIGHTFUL surprise!)  I find it interesting to note that I believe very strongly in mother’s intuition.  Each time I was pregnant and went full term, I knew I was pregnant without any test.  Each time I miscarried, I took a home pregnancy test and was stunned to find I was pregnant- it was hard to believe.  And also, I wasn’t surprised that I miscarried.  Looking back, I think that I was lacking in hormones (or hormone balance) and just didn’t “feel” pregnant because of the lack of hormones and that was also why I miscarried.  

This time, in spite of being 48, not having been pregnant for 6 years, not trying to get pregnant (not even thinking pregnancy might be a possibility in the deepest recesses of my mind), and the thyroid problems, I was sure (almost 100% sure, anyhow) that I was pregnant.  I did take a home pregnancy test, but was not surprised at a positive result.  I also “felt” that I would not miscarry, that all would be/will be fine with this pregnancy.   (As I write this, I’m at 23 weeks and all is going very, very well).  By the way, husband will be 52 when baby is born. 

There are many things I have realized during this great time.  First off, what a wonderful God we have and what great gifts He bestows on us.  Also, what an awesome responsibility I have in having a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby.  That has quite easily become my focus right now.  (My other kids still at home are 13, 11, and 8, plus sometimes a 19 year old- We homeschool and my husband’s business is from our home.  My older two sons are 24 and 22, one is married, no grandbabies yet.)   

Anyway, my mental and emotional state, my diet and lifestyle, and exercise is all of prime importance, and I can do many things to enhance that (and must as much as I can). Most important is maintaining a deep and close relationship with Jesus Christ, which is easy to do as His work in my life is so easily visible right now with this pregnancy.  

So this is some of what I do.  

My day starts usually about 8- 8:30 (I like to sleep and I do need more rest these days, although the first trimester “tireds” have gotten much better).  

Then I pray for ½ hour, exercise for 1 hour, six days a week (usually walking indoor on a treadmill I bought when I learned I was pregnant), eat something in there sometime (plus vitamins), shower or take a nice hot bath, then get dressed (and there are usually some few things I take care of regarding the kids, but not much, they are perfectly capable of getting their own breakfast, etc.)  

Anyway, oftentimes it is 11 or 11:30 before I’m dressed and “ready to start my day”.  I was complaining about this to my midwife, how I felt behind (in terms of housework, schoolwork, etc.) and that I’m really just getting started and it’s already lunch time (and I am also not a night owl who stays up until 2 or 3, I’m ready for bed by 10:30-11).  She rightly pointed out that I have already done the most important things for the day- taking care of this baby.  

You see, if I don’t have a good mental state (prayer helps me to achieve this), and don’t eat very well, and don’t exercise very well, I may suffer, but much more importantly, this baby suffers.  This is true for any woman in any pregnancy at any age, but much more so at 48 with the kind of history I have.  If you can’t pretty much “breeze through” a first or second pregnancy at 23 without problems, you probably have some serious health issues. By 48, we have a body that’s 25 years older and needs more “looking after”.  Pretty much, apart from genetic issues, this baby’s health rests almost solely with me.  

I believe that MUCH trouble can be prevented (or minimized) by good diet and exercise (diabetes, toxemia, high blood pressure, breech presentations, etc.)  (I don’t want to get into those issues with anybody, and I am not a medical professional- find yourself a very good midwife who knows something about alternatives for answers to those kinds of questions).

I have seen my midwife (who I have had since my 2nd pregnancy).  She is no longer actively practicing and has decided that it would not be prudent for her to consider a home birth with this baby (#3 and on have all been at home, including the miscarriages).  Her main reason is that she is going to school and her finals are one week before my due date.  She gives much of herself physically and mentally to her clients and would not be able to do that because of her school commitments.  Other lesser concerns are diabetes and toxemia (both somewhat preventable with diet, and also detectable before birth).  And also hemorrhage, because with the last full-term birth, I hemorrhaged.  It was quite serious, but we were able to handle it at home.  (And for the possible critics out there who would accuse me of child abuse for having babies at home, know that my midwife is VERY competent, and was monitoring me very closely and would in a second transport to the hospital if she thought it was necessary.  And there are things you can do so you don’t bleed to death on the way!)    

So, this one will be in the hospital (unless we have a very fast birth, which has happened before with me).  We saw an MD for a consultation.  Been to this guy before- he’s great, open to home births, large families, etc.  We just wanted to give him a “heads up”, letting him know where we stand, getting his opinion, etc. (Plus he can do lab work for us- blood tests and the like.  It’s real interesting- he just says call and tell them (the nurses) what you want when you want it.  So you call and say you want a hemoglobin check for example, and they are totally befuddled because I am not the doctor ordering the test.  They always need to talk to him- they are definitely not used to patients calling the shots and ordering tests.  He’s great once you get in to him, but getting past the reception and nurses can be a challenge.   Me: “I’d like to make an appt. with Dr. X to consult regarding a pregnancy.”  Nurse: “Okay, come in for a pregnancy test and then we’ll do the initial exam and set you up.”  Me: “I’m already seeing someone (my midwife, but I don’t say that) and just want to talk with Dr. X.”  Nurse: “Who are you seeing?”  Me: “Someone who’s not part of the “Mayo” System”  (Our local docs and hospital are all part of Mayo Clinic).  Nurse: “Oh.”  Great hesitation.  “Let me check….  Okay, I guess we can put you down for a consult.”  

This doc is good in that if you don’t want amnio, or the glucose test, ultrasound or whatever, he’ll respect your decision.  He is fine with me continuing pre-natal care through my midwife (and she has no problem doing that).  Also, hopefully she will accompany us to the hospital (and not be in the middle of a final exam at that moment).  I have great confidence in her ability to assess the progress of labor and delivery and she has great intuition regarding how things are going.  I have little confidence in the hospital staff to do that (especially if you are not “on their various machines” like monitors, etc.)  So we’ll see. 

We just felt it wouldn’t be right to pop in to the doc at 8 months and say we want him to do a delivery for me.  My basic gut feeling (thanks be to God) is that all will be fine, whatever happens and however it happens.  (Which in one way is surprising, as 15 years ago, the thought of a hospital birth would have really disturbed me.  Now I am much calmer, plus we have this doc I mentioned who is also a gift from God and very easygoing and respectful of women.   As my husband and I were visiting him we were discussing my past labors, two of which were quite short and quick and the midwife didn’t even make it.  I pointed out to the two of them that I, the mother, deliver the babies, they are just “catchers”!  He didn’t disagree with that, said mostly he just stands back and waits.) 

As I said earlier, this pregnancy has been, do I dare say it?, “easy”.   I really, really believe that is because of the exercise.  Normally, I tend towards laziness, sluggishness, etc.  Regular exercise has not been part of my vocabulary or lifestyle.  (I am also overweight.)  I have been very faithful to my hour of daily walking, 5 days a week.  

One day a week, I swim for an hour when I take the kids swimming in lieu of a walk.  I will freely admit that I do not like doing this (exercise), I do not have the attitude that I can’t wait to get my walk in, as some regular exercisers feel.   However, I have gotten better and would not say that I “dread” the walk.  I’m in Minnesota, so for another month or so outdoor walking isn’t easy.  But I really think this has made for a better healthier pregnancy.   

Also eating well (lots of protein, like 75-100 grams a day), and this is from a “sometimes vegan” who generally eats little protein and little animal protein.  And also important is managing stress.  Everyone has stress in their lives, we need to learn to manage it and not let it affect our health (why do you think I got cancer?  But that’s another story.)

I was tired the first 3 months, that has gotten better, but I still like (and get) a reasonable amount of sleep.  For me, I can let other things (like homeschooling) slide a bit (our current curriculum is what I would call “new baby”- my kids can tell you everything from when the heart starts beating to how long the baby is now, etc.).  Also, I have a husband at home, I don’t work outside the home.  I don’t have very young children that need much constant supervision.  

But regardless of your circumstances, you must take care of yourself.  This time of intensity will pass (though we should always all take care of ourselves).  To neglect it may have serious consequences (and peanut butter sandwiches or convenience foods for (the rest of) the family for 5-6 months isn’t going to kill them, if it gets really bad and you just can’t manage anything else- become fruitarians and just have apples, oranges, bananas, etc.).  In reality, it’s not going to be that bad for most women, and life can be very reasonable for many of us, but we must put baby first, and doing so will have great rewards. 

Different women will have ideas different than mine, and I respect that.  I’m trying to share what has worked (and is working) for us, what I feel is important.  If you (and/or your husband) really believes in the traditional medical system, are comfortable with it, and feel you need and want what they have to offer, then be happy with that (but you still must do your part!)  Or anything else.  If you’re more like me and want to chat, that’s fine, too. 

One other point I have found most interesting is the hope this pregnancy has brought to so many women.    I know many women, myself included, who have been pregnant after 40 (some miscarried, some didn’t).  But for many women who are older and/or who have had multiple miscarriages, this pregnancy is like a beacon- a sign of hope that it can happen, and could happen to them.  God is in charge and can accomplish anything. 

It is also interesting (and related to some degree) that I had been using an over-the-counter progesterone cream.  I had done quite a bit of reading and research on pre-menopause and menopause and did a hormone saliva test (mail order).  My results came back indicating that my estrogen/progesterone balance was out of whack and they recommended using the cream.  Two months later I was pregnant.  (My husband pointed out that fairly shortly after I had started using the cream, my libido increased (dramatically), and perhaps I got pregnant as a result of more “opportunity”.  Perhaps, but there had also been plenty of “opportunity” for pregnancy to occur in the previous six years as well!)  (And can you believe that someone actually said I started using the cream so that I would get pregnant!  Farthest thing from our mind!)   

I have continued to use the cream during the pregnancy (I think it is much more effective in preventing miscarriage than the oral version of progesterone or the suppositories often recommended).  (For more info check out books and web sites by Dr. John Lee.)    Also, my doc said using the cream was why I got pregnant (although he, a Christian, vehemently agreed with me when I said, “No, I got pregnant because that was what GOD wanted!) 

We will probably choose not to have many, if any, of the “recommended” medical tests.  We believe that abortion is wrong (always), so that’s not an option, regardless of what “problems” the baby may have, so having some of those tests is pointless.  We’ll take whatever baby God sends us.  We hope (and expect), that he (or she, but I’m betting on he) will be healthy. 

 If a medical test were indicated for some reason (beyond the standard line, “This is what we do”) and if it would change the course of treatment or make a difference in the birth or health of the baby I would consider it.  (Things like ultrasounds to determine fetal age aren’t important to me- baby will come when he’s ready.  And if there is reason to suspect that there is a problem, say aging placenta, there are other “less invasive” tests that can usually be done to help assess whether or not there is a serious problem.  Ultrasound to determine position is unnecessary if you have a good midwife or doctor who can tell you where the baby is by feeling.) 

So, at this point, I’m just putting in time, watching the baby grow, and doing my part.  I really have found little on the Internet about older moms who have conceived naturally, so this site is quite refreshing!  (And remember, to me 35 year old women are still spring chickens, not older moms, even the 40 year olds aren’t older in my book!  I’ve got 8 years on them!  I’m thinking of the 45+ crowd.)  Once in a while, I’ll hear of someone who knew someone who had a baby at 48+, but I’ve never actually met one or talked with one.   I’m more than happy to share with women. 

I continue to marvel at how great and awesome God is and what a wonderful blessing He has bestowed upon us.  (And I pity those poor women who will never experience it because they are not open, for whatever reasons, to God’s action in their lives.)  I know some women who are full of fear regarding a possible pregnancy “later in life”.  A question for them (for anyone, really, anytime, who is having trouble letting God run their life) is: Has God ever given you anything you have not been able to handle? 

Sure, sometimes when we’re in the middle of some suffering or trial, we may feel overwhelmed and not know how we can continue, but does He not always lead us out of it somehow, some way?  

Then think about all those times He has led you through the darkness (and usually closer to Him as a result of the trial), and trust that He will guide you through this as well.  It is human nature, but really rather silly, for us to keep doubting (having fear) when He repeatedly proves His great love for us in so many ways.  

One of my husband’s sayings is:  If you have faith in God, you don’t need to worry; if you don’t have faith in God, no amount of worrying is going to do you any good. 

For me, in this pregnancy, it is so obvious that GOD HAS A PLAN here, and I am merely His handmaid.  He will take care of all things, I do not have to use up my energy to be fearful or frightened.  He is asking me to do my part, and He will take care of the rest.  It is so wonderful to be a part of it (I can say I feel chosen and very blessed to be a part of this).  To feel so completely protected and sheltered by His grace is awesome. 

In parting, I would like to comment that some people have asked me if I feel like Sarah in the Bible.  NO!  Sarah was “in her old age”.  I can identify with Elizabeth who was “advanced in age”, I am not in my “old” age!! 

God Bless,



Don't forget to send me your testimony to share! Whether you're just now pregnant or you've already delivered your baby after forty, we want to hear your story


E-mail: tamara@shelaughed.com