Yes, I got pregnant at 40…naturally and with ease!
I turned 40 in September 2014 and just a few months prior I fell in love with an amazing 43 year old man. The relationship moved fast; we fell in love, moved in together and started talking about building a family. We both wanted children, and preferably more than one. Since we do want to marry one another, the question for us was: do we wait and get married first, which might be a year later, and then start to create our dream family or do we just go for it? We decided to go for it.
We started trying to conceive in October and we agreed to not put too much pressure on it: we would just continue to have fun sex as we were already doing and wait and see what happens. He offered to get his sperm checked and I said, “No. Let’s see what happens and if we’re not pregnant in six months, then we can both get tests done.” I thought about getting my hormone levels checked with my gynecologist, but I put that task on the back burner as well. I just wanted to have sex and not focus on the getting pregnant part. I wanted to hold onto the faith I have in my body and in its ability to do what I believe it can do—conceive with ease, regardless of the fact that I’m now 40 years old.
In all honesty—I never shared this with my partner—I did expect it to take at least three months, more probably six to get pregnant. I know how long it can take a couple to conceive when both partners are over the age of 40. I know the increased risks of miscarriage and chromosomal abnormalities with age. I’ve heard about and read all of the same statistics we all hear about: the emotionally draining tests, the roller coaster ride of multiple rounds of IVF or clomid, the painful shots, the mounting bills and the nights of tears. And, as much as I have always had faith in my body and its ability to conceive, I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say these thoughts weren’t causing me some turmoil.
I know the road of fertility challenges all too well, because professionally I am a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) who, for over the last decade, has specialized women’s health and fertility. I have helped hundreds of women on their path to conceiving and giving birth to a healthy child. I have written books on the topic, I speak publicly about the topic and I know all of the potential fertility challenges that exist because I have gone through them with my clients. Over my decade of practice, I have witnessed way too many heart-wrenching fertility struggles. But, through my experience, I also know that most all the women I work with do wind up conceiving healthy children at some point, even in their 40’s.
When I work with fertility clients, I guide them to adopt certain lifestyle changes—like being omnivores, eating organic, meditating, sleeping 7-8 hours each night and practicing gratitude—to optimize their fertility. Based on my decade of clinical experience and my years of extensive research I believe that when we practice these lifestyle habits we truly have the ability to change our health and improve our fertility—even in our 40’s.
I’ve seen clinically how these tweaks in behavior can dramatically shift health in a positive direction. My clients, when they adopt these lifestyle changes see improvement in their menstrual cycles and their ovulation; their hormonal imbalances balance out; their thyroid comes back into harmony; their lives change for the better; they are happier in the present moment; and, overall they are healthier on a global scale: mind, body and soul. It is then that I see them conceive—when mind, body and soul are in sync.
So, now it’s my turn to be a testament to what I preach: the way you live your life has an impact on your health and your fertility and, in my clinical opinion—chronological age pales in comparison to biological age.
As I am writing this, I am 14 weeks pregnant. I got pregnant the second month we tried. Last week we got the results from my maternity 21 and nuchal translucency tests, and they showed not only is the baby boy inside of me healthy, but that I have the same genetic odds of anything going wrong with this pregnancy as a women half my age. The doctors have told me, there is no need for any further testing. We are in the clear. I can’t tell you what a relief that news was. That’s not to say that when I go to the bathroom, I still make sure there’s no blood on the toilet paper or that I randomly catch myself squeezing my breasts (sometimes in public!) to make sure they’re still sore or when I feel cramping in my low back, I fear I am miscarrying—even though I know it’s just the baby growing. I guess this is just the beginning of being parent and worrying about your child’s well-being. It’s absolutely surreal. For as many times as I’ve been on the other side of this with one of my clients, nothing compares to now knowing it and living it first hand. It truly is a miracle. And, then to know that my odds of a healthy baby are the same as someone half my age I feel is a true testament to all the work I have done on my health over the years. I really believe the way I live my life has reversed my aging process, or at the least slowed down the aging process of my body and its cells.
I’m living proof that 40 and pregnant happens and it can happen naturally, with ease and fun. I am proud to say that I treat my body like the palace I believe it is, and even though I had—and, will likely continue to have—moments of worry and fear over the health of my baby, I never lost faith in my body and its ability to conceive a healthy child at some point. For all this, I am beyond grateful.
As I always say in my clinic: you have the power to change your health and improve your fertility. My pregnancy at 40 years old is evidence of that.
If you are trying to conceive, here are 10 things that I regularly do that I wholeheartedly believe helped me conceive with such ease at 40:
1. Go organic and non-GMO with all your food or as much of your food as you can afford. And, by all means avoid processed foods.
2. Be an omnivore: eat fat, meat, fish and dairy—eat it all and enjoy it.
2. Be an omnivore: eat fat, meat, fish and dairy—eat it all and enjoy it.
3. Eat grass-fed and pastured animal protein, like beef—yes, beef! It doesnt have to be a daily routine, but a few ounces a few times per week is healthy for you.
4. Eat 1-2 pastured organic eggs daily.
5. Get in several servings per week of grass fed animal (chicken, beef or lamb) bone broth.
6. Go non-toxic with your home, bath and beauty products. And, by all means avoid BPA. Check out Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database to check the toxicity of your products—my rule of thumb is to stay under a 2 on their scale.
7. Get restful sleep for 7-8 hours each night.
8. Meditate daily. Five minutes or 30. Whatever you can fit in. Just do it. It’ll change your life.
9. Be grateful in each and every moment. Find happiness now, not ‘when’ you have what you think you need to have to make you happy.
10. Keep the faith in your body. Believe it can do what you want it to do. The power of belief is undeniable.
Through my regular blogging and my online videos, I will continue to document my pregnancy at 40 along with ways you can live your life to optimize your health and fertility as these are the stories we should be sharing—the honest stories, the hopeful stories and the stories that inspire us. For now, you can check out my latest book, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways To Improve Your Fertility Now and IntoYour 40’s. The protocol I preach worked for me. I believe it can work for you too.