The truth about being a pregnant person in your late 30’s
Warning, this post will not be for the faint of heart. Look, I realise that that I could conceivably pop that precursor at the top of most things I write, however this week – we’ll be going deep. So strap in, the truth is out there and it’s something I didn’t know until my nipples began spreading like balsamic vinegar in a small dish of extra virgin olive oil.
I had my first child when I was twenty-two years old. My body was tight and hard, I was carefree, I wore strapless tops with reckless abandon and bras were optional. As my pregnancy progressed, my youthful body went through the normal changes one would expect from growing a human:
Spider Belly: The vexatious internal itching that happens around the middle of your bump.
Filthy pirate mouth: Bleeding gums.
Bong eyes: Blood vessels bursting in your eyeballs, due to extreme constipation.
Iron Vag: As though someone has literally sewn tiny weights into your flaps and you’re sure the baby may appear at any time just to say hello. (It tends to occur towards the end of the pregnancy.)
Fighter Pilot Chest Thumbs: Your once pert, pink, delicate nipples become giant flesh almonds.
Road Map Neck: Did you even KNOW you could get stretch marks under your chin? I DID NOT! YOU CAN!
When my pregnancy was first referred to as “geriatric”, I was deeply offended. How very dare anyone refer to any part of my person as “geriatric”? I’m still in my thirties for fuck’s sake! Yes it’s the very tippy-top of the decade and yes I dress like Grandma Yetta from the Nanny, however everything else is still young and vital! The term ‘geriatric pregnancy’ conjures up images of Dorothy from the Golden girls (if your brain didn’t immediately launch into ‘thank you for being a friend’ I don’t know if we can see each other anymore) waddling around in a pair of fetching maternity overalls.
FYI – Anyone over the age of thirty-five and pregnant is considered to be of ‘advanced maternal age’, because as we all know, after you turn thirty-five your vagina starts to grow cobwebs, develops a strange crush on Eddie McGuire and registers itself for the pension.
As I move further into this pregnancy, I now realise that I’m indeed an older pregnant person; my body is dealing with this spawning far differently from the other two times I was up the duff (in my twenties). What I’ve noticed this time is that EVERY CELL of my entire body is pregnant. My teeth, my eyes, my fingers my toes, my internal organs – they’re all feeling the fact that I have a baby in my guts. It’s permeating my every move, thought and feeling. Instead of it being a fun fact about me as it was the last time, it’s now all that I am. So here is a list of the symptoms I’m having as a mature age preggo. I’m not saying if you’re in your thirties you’ll definitely experience these side effects, but if on the off-chance you do, I want you to know that you’re not alone.
Get that thing away from me: You know how they say that in your second trimester, you just can’t get enough of the sex? The reason for this is that you’ve got more blood flow to your vag, more of the hormones that love bonking are present – and if you’re a fellow flat chester like me, you’ve got a brand new set of boobs to be flaunting. I certainly experienced that in my earlier pregnancies, but now… No. My husband is hot, fit and very good at the sex, but I’ve no interest in riding that cowboy currently. I’m tired, I’m more tired, my back hurts and I’m so tired.
NIPPLE SPREAD: You guys, they DO NOT stop growing. I stupidly thought my areolas reached peak spread with my last pregnancy. What a naive dickhead I was! I know that they need to be bigger and darker so that the baby can find them but I’m not giving birth to a fucking mole! At this rate, they could be found from the Mars space station without a telescope.
4WD Stretchies: You would think that the stretch marks you already have would be worn in enough to accomodate the changing of your body. Look, even if you’re having your first child, if you’re thirty-five and over you’ve accumulated some impressive tears to your skin that you’d think would leave enough grow room for what’s to come. Ha! No. Imagine a four-wheel drive track on some soft sand, then imagine that another four-wheel drive drives over that same track, and then four more of the bastards find their way there. The tracks get deeper, darker, and slightly wider. The same may happen to your stomach, hips, inner thigh, arms, chin – wherever these arseholes have managed to find themselves.
Side note: SPARE ME the ‘rub *insert oil/lotion name here* on your boobs and bump to avoid stretch marks’ – that shit is a fucking CON. I literally bathed in stretch mark cream for my first pregnancy. I walked around like an oiled up hippo for months and my tummy ended up looking like an elephant’s ear with a road map drawn on the inside of it. I reckon you’re genetically predisposed to that kind of thing, you’ve either got skin that will withstand stretching or you don’t.
My body is ruined forever: Real talk – my self-esteem has taken a smashing this time around. Things have felt more saggier and baggier than they previously were, I found myself not wanting to be in photos or look in the mirror. I even picked a fight with Scotty and cried when I saw that he’d followed a fitness model on Instagram (it turns out he works with her and she literally stood over him while he followed her because she’s trying to be an ‘influencer’). I’d convinced myself that he was gong to run away with her and do push ups by a pool and look at her perfect small nipples and upper arms that don’t wobble when she aggressively points at things. That was probably my low point. (Also, let’s just say that if my husband were to do a stocktake of the men I follow, he’d find A LOT of hard-bodied, tattooed blokes with beards that I most certainly do not work with!) After I confessed I was onto him and his imaginary fitness lover, my husband took both my hands into his and said: “I am not going anywhere – EVER! For fuck’s sake Emy, you’re growing our child. You’re incredible, you look fantastic, stop being so hard on yourself.” He was right of course, I’m a bloody WARRIOR! I’m literally making a whole person inside of my body! So anytime my thighs rub together or my bum cheeks stick to the top of the backs of my legs, or I have to change my underwear for the third time in one day – I remember that. And you should too.
Having said all of that, pregnancy is a tough gig no matter how old you are. It fucks with your biology, mental health, physical health and everything in-between. No one knows how your body is going to react, and it’s different for every woman. So be kind to yourself, look after your health and fuck any other chore that gets in the way of that. But if all else fails, strap yourself into some leopard print, gather the indoor plants, set the self timer on your kid’s camera and be fucking Beyonce for a few minutes.
I see you preggos, I feel you, I am you.
P.S Our second round of community pins SOLD OUT again, but don’t worry we’re onto it and getting a jumbo sized batch made! I’ve also signed a new load of my books, have you read it yet? You totally should. Don’t forget to sign up to my mailing list so you get my words first and any other goss before anyone else does (new merch, tour announcements, baby announcements!) just scroll to the bottom of the contact page.
You are a beautiful legend 😘😘
Haha thanks Em this made me feel so much better. I had my first at 30 now I’m 36 with my second and keep questioning why is this so much harder and everything is just gross this time round. I was told I was geriatric mother too 🤷🏼♀️🙄 crazy! Let’s rock those massive nips, extra stretch marks and haemarroids 💪🏼
My last pregnancy, I was a very young (hahaha) 33.5 years old but I can relate a bit because my pregnancy before that was 6 years ago and I definitely noticed a difference! That self esteem thing snuck up on me! I take comfort in knowing that this was my last one and after that I have my whole life to be as fit and as mobile and as out there as I want for as long as I want!
As someone pregnant for the third time and having just ticked over to 38 I’m nodding along with everything you say. Except for the geriatric pregnancy part – my GP was concerned but my OB is very relaxed about which is what I choose to go with.
Such a perfectly worded description! My first pregnancy was at 36…I’ll never know the luxury of pregnancy (carrying a baby when your body is designed to snap back). Not wanting to scare you, but be prepared for a tired like no other and a brain fog so thick once the baby arrives. You’re a warrior…Just keep reminding yourself of that!
I hear you…. I’m 19 weeks and 37 and first kid….. I hurt. I cannot sit for longer than 1 hour…… I still get morning sickness weekly….I’ve picked up a bug every month since being pregnant……March cannot come soon enough I’m not feeling second trimester glows.
I feel you Em…I’m 19 weeks preggo on my 2nd pregnancy (first one I was 37 and that *ucked me up 10 times sideways haha), now 39 years of age and my due date is my 40th Birthday 4th March 2019….no swingin off chandeliers drinking prosecco for that one! Hahaha
Send help…& cake….& leopard print. You’re a beautiful inspiring HILARIOUS lady…xx Thankyou for being honest and REAL about what preggo feels like…xx
I know how u feel Em. I can vouch for everything you have said 🙁
Number 3 for me and in the tippy top bracket of my 30’s 🙂
OMG, this made me laugh. I had my first at 28 then backed up to have my son just shy of my 38th bday. I was traumatised by being called geriatric, so fucking tired all the time & wtf is it with the iron vag?? I used to stick my hand between my legs regularly to see if I needed to catch a baby that felt like it was falling out of me with every step I took. 🤣
Omg every word is true! I had my first pregnancy in my 30s and I kept wondering why nobody mentioned the fact that it was so so so tiring! My sisters had their kids in their 20s and kept saying it’s not as bad as your making out! Im going to send them this! Thanks for putting it all into words! You legend! 😘
You are bloody amazing and I love how gorgeous you look preggo (Also a little jelly ;)) you are a hero to me because you, quite simply are honest as hell and us women need that (especially the stretch mark bit, I thought I had something grossly wrong with me since mine are bloody huge!) I love that Scotty set you right on how hot you are and that you are a bloody warrior but not only that the fact he added in that you’re growing your child, not a baby but your child, I’m a tad jealous that he loves you so hard! But it’s hope so it makes me smile! Keep doing what you do please! Also your bump shoot is bloody amazing can we have sequins next time??? Much love xx
Thank you for this! Amazing, and I feel the dismay at being a geriatric pregnancy, I was also something else in my description because they were my first AND I was 35 when I became pregnant. God forbid! My Mum, like all wise Mums out there, sympathised for me after my twins were born. (* Don’t mean to alarm, but my pregnancy sucked, but nothing as bad once they arrived, sorry!). I will never forget her saying “sweetheart, I can only imagine how tired you are, I was ten years younger having you (my parents third and last) and I was bloody tired”. It became somewhat of a mantra, in a positive way. Now at 44, I am one of the older Mums at school, but they are still alive! You’ve got this, you are a Warrior. I am also exceptionally jealous of your leopard print outfit and shoes, wish I had had them! 🙏❤️
Oh my GOD. 38, 21 weeks with first child. WHY WITH THE UPPER ARM WOBBLE? I don’t get it! I’m not growing a baby in my freakin’ arms. AAAAARGH!
You are brilliantly brilliant!!! Growing a human is hard work and you look AMAZING!! Thank you for keeping it real!
Loved your commentary. Had my first at 23 and ninth at 39. Age made me more relaxed and pragmatic about what was important – my health and my baby’s. Was called grand multipara after 5th which always amused me.
Em ur a legend!
I had baby number 11 at 40yrs old! Yes i have 11 kiddies i know im crazy.
People would say oh ur 40 and pregnant wow did u ever think of having kids earlier or did u always plan to have them when u were old 😱 i was like bitch im not old and yes i did have em when i was younger i just haven’t stopped having them hahahahha should of seen their faces when i said it was baby #11 . Hang in there its all worth it when ur holding ur little bundle.
Keep being u ur awesome.
Em, you are radiant and amazing and these photos of you are stunning x
1st pregnancy @19 2nd @41. SOOOO different!! Breezed through the 1st hardly noticed, the 2nd almost did me in! So tired so sore so emotional, actually just so everything not positive 😂 I had every yuck pregnancy symptom reflux, varicose veins, facial hair, hip pain, joint pain, gestational diabetes, stretch marks …. the list goes on! The only symptom I wanted and never got? Big boobs! They stayed right as the were…. except the nipples of course! They were giagantic!!
At the end of the day best thing I have ever decided to do!
Ps still exhausted, still with giant nipples but blissfully blessed and grateful xx
Did you forget lightening crotch?!? Jeeezus!
32, first baby, 27weeks along
Love the realness, thanks 💙
I’m pregnant with my first and I’m 32 and I have power vomited for my first four months with no sign of slowing… just having a rough pregnancy – every time I talk to my mother she’s like – oh I think I vomited once for all three pregnancies? What do you mean you can’t sleep? I never had any of these problems!!
Good to know I’m not the only one 😏