On episode 66, we have Jenn from Rigby, Idaho on to share her pregnancy story at 41. She is a mother of three: Her son, Ryker, is almost 20, her oldest daughter Harley, is 16, and her youngest daughter, Carsyn Jade was two months old during the recording of the show. Jenn is a Cadillac sales director with Mary Kay.
Jenn and her husband married when she was 20 and he was 26. They have been together for 22 years. After they married, Jenn was ready to have children. She wanted to have three or four kids. After two months of marriage Jenn decided to go off birth control. Four months later, she was pregnant with their son. A few years later, she thought it was time to have another baby. She went off birth control again, and this time it took over a year to get pregnant her daughter. She thought if she goes off birth control now, she assumed it would take a year to get pregnant with their third. About a year later, she was pregnant. A few weeks after she missed her 12-week appointment, she went into labor and miscarried at 16 weeks. It was very traumatizing for her. The doctor didn’t know why, and there wasn’t any testing done. About a year later, in 2010, she was pregnant again, but miscarried at eight weeks. It was devastating to have two children already, and then two unexplained losses. Jenn had testing done and was put on Clomid for about six months. The side effects were awful. She said she was raging and not a nice person. She finally told her doctor she wanted to get off of it. She found out her body was not ovulating even while taking Clomid. They did ovulation test after test, month after month, and there was no ovulation happening. At 34 years old, the doctor told Jenn she had a slim to none chance of getting pregnant. For the next five years, they continued to try to conceive. After that time, her daughter was seven and her son was ten. She thought she needed to be grateful for the kids she had and felt like her family was complete.
I’m 40, I’m not having another baby… I’m looking forward to grandkids.
It was her sister that continued to tell her she would have another baby. Getting pregnant was nowhere on her radar. A few months before Jenn found out, she joked with her sister that if she got pregnant, she would come over with the pregnancy test and punch her in the face, Jenn says through a laugh. Her son was 19, so she looking forward to grandkids. She always thought she was supposed to have more, but always accepted she was happy with her two older kids.
In 2022, she thought she had a cycle in December, but she didn’t. She’s not sure how she missed it, but December came and went. Looking back, her mood was off in December. She got upset about the little things. One night, her husband brought home a salad, but it was the wrong one. She was so upset about it. She realized this wasn’t normal for her. She thought this was a symptom of menopause. She just felt weird—like something was off. For the last few years, she had worked really hard at getting in shape and her mindset. She worked out four to five times a week. She was being mindful of the food she ate because she wanted to continue to be healthy. She reset her body and it began to work again, and she believes that’s why she got pregnant. In January, she was in Nashville for an event for Mary Kay. She put on a skirt that didn’t fit because she developed a pooch, she called it. She told herself she needed to work out when she got back home. She didn’t know where the extra weight came from. One of those nights she went to a few karaoke bars and the next morning she woke up and felt like she was hit by a bus. She had no energy. She remembers waking up that morning feeling so awful and heard a voice inside her head that told her she was pregnant. No! She tried to remember her last cycle. She started to panic. She went through her phone to look for the conversation she had with her husband about her cycle. She couldn’t find it. Surely, she didn’t miss it and not realize it, she thought to herself. For the next two days of the event she was in a somber place. She didn’t mention it to anyone, not even her husband. Her husband picked her up from the airport at about 10 pm. She made up a story about needing to get dip for chips at the store. She ran in the store while her husband waited in the car, and she bought dip and five pregnancy tests. At about 11 pm when she and her husband got home, she wanted to take a test. Since it was at night, she assumed the test would be diluted and show a negative result. The tester didn’t get all the way across when the second line was visibly dark. She says the test was very positive. She was in such shock and wasn’t sure how she felt. She took a bath that night at 11:30 pm. Her husband was confused. She told him she needed to decompress. She cried in the bath for two hours. She didn’t tell her husband for a couple of days because she needed time to process it. She calculated she was 8-9 weeks along.
She recorded telling her husband. Jenn handed him all of the pregnancy tests that were wrapped up in tissue paper and then taped. He thought he was getting a gift from Nashville. He told her she didn’t need to get him another present. She told him to open it anyway. He finally opens it and sees the pregnancy tests and he says, “What does this mean? You’re pregnant?” He looks over at her and she’s sobbing. She’s thinking her life is over. He was confused and asked why she was crying. He got up to hug her and explained it was a miracle. She still calls her second daughter her little miracle baby. She wasn’t allowing herself to feel excited about the pregnancy because she has PTSD from the experience of her first loss.
She spotted during this pregnancy. Jenn thought she wouldn’t be staying, so she didn’t let herself get excited or feel what she should have been feeling: happy, because she was just so scared. She put up a wall until about her third trimester. She couldn’t even look at baby stuff. Her husband would ask her if she wanted to look at cribs or something, and she just couldn’t do it yet. She announced her pregnancy at 17 weeks. She needed to get past that 16-week mark where she lost that first one. She assumed she would feel better, but she didn’t. It took until the third trimester when she would allow herself to be excited and then she would still feel scared. She started to feel connected and believed her baby was staying. Jenn thought once she got past the 24-week and 25-week she was confident if she went into labor, she would probably be okay. Pregnancy was a wild rollercoaster of emotions from the very beginning, and she went through the feelings of scared to mad. She was mad because she wanted this for so long and it never did, why now? Looking back, she feels bad for having those feelings.
Now I’m 41. The last time I had a baby was 25.
Jenn’s pregnancy was awesome. Now she was 41 but a little nervous. She thinks having babies at 22 and 25 is a lot different than 41. Now she’s in great shape. She was the strongest she’d ever been before she got pregnant. Jenn thinks being in shape is why her pregnancy was so great. She didn’t have the nausea this time like she had with her first two. She didn’t throw up at all. She remembered being tired with the others, but she doesn’t remember the level of exhaustion that she experienced with this one in the first trimester. She worked out through her entire pregnancy even when she wasn’t feeling well through the first trimester. She wore a belly band while she worked out later in the pregnancy which helped. She just forced herself to go workout with her group. It became a habit. Even into her third trimester, she was still walking. She was not lifting anymore, though. Her doctor thinks lifting weights caused her to spot because it put too much pressure on cervix. She also had bad headaches. She didn’t find many medications that were ok to take during pregnancy. Her friend gave her a mix of essential oils to roll on her head and behind her ears when a headache would come on. Jenn didn’t believe it would work, but within minutes her headache was gone. She was also so nauseous, she sucked on ginger drops like they were candy. At 20 weeks, the doctor prescribed her Zofran for a family cruise. She left on a Thursday and by the next Thursday, she hadn’t had a bowel movement. She had been enjoying all of the good food the boat had to offer, but she was in pain from the constipation. Her husband went to the medical facility on board for a liquid enema. Thankfully, that helped. She will never take Zofran again.
The doctor she used for her pregnancy in her 20’s was retired. She wasn’t sure what doctor to see, but she wanted to see a doctor before telling anyone. She needed proof that it was the real thing. She went to the same practice to have it confirmed, and then she’d ask around for recommendations. Years ago, she went with her sister to the same practice for something non-pregnancy related. She loved the doctor her sister saw. He had a great bedside manner and clicked with his humor. She had completely forgot about that until he walked in the door at her first appointment. She knew he was the right doctor for her pregnancy. So many coincidences happened like that during the pregnancy, that she felt like everything was going to be ok.
Jenn chose to have genetic testing done at ten weeks. She wanted to mentally prepare if anything was wrong. Everything came back fine, but it also told her she was having a girl. The nurse on the phone told the news. Jenn thought it was a girl anyway. Her sister wanted to have a reveal party, but Jenn didn’t think it was necessary.
She’s never gone to a single birthing class with any of her babies. Jenn feels like she is just going to pray before the whole thing. For Jenn, it is more about mental preparation and being in a good place in her head. She wanted to be open to what the process brought her. She planned on getting an epidural because she had them with both of her other two babies. She had a brief moment where she thought about trying an unmedicated labor, but quickly decided it wasn’t for her. At four months pregnant, at a party, her dad made a comment that it would it be cool if Jenn gave birth on her grandmother’s birthday, and left it at that. Her birthday was exactly one week before her due date. Her doctor told her he would induce her one week before her due date if that’s what she wanted. Her doctor was going to be out of town, but he could start her the day before or the day after. She told him that wouldn’t work, it would just have to be the on-call doctor. It was a secret she kept from her dad.
A week before Jenn was scheduled to be induced, she went to see her pony at the vet on the way to her husband’s vasectomy appointment. Her 4-year-old pony had major surgery the day before and was having complications. Her pony was out of it, but still wanted to go out the door with her. She continued to her husband’s appointment and got home to get him comfortable, so she could go back and sit with her pony. She had just got to the vet when he passed away just moments before. It was hard for Jenn. The next day she thought she was going into labor because she was so upset, and her contractions were consistent. Sunday, she wanted to take the family to the fair and have a good time. She was 40 minutes from the hospital if she went into labor. They did lots of walking at the fair with intense contractions unless she stopped walking. When she stopped walking, the contractions stopped. Monday was the same thing and Tuesday was her induction.
Jenn was induced at 39 weeks exactly in the early morning of September 5th, her grandmother’s birthday. By the time she finished her paperwork and was checked in, it was 7:30 AM. She was one centimeter dilated before she received the Pitocin despite the strong contractions. At 9:00 AM the doctor came in and said he had a C-section scheduled at noon, and he would break her water as soon as he finished with the C-section. She was disappointed she wasn’t going to give birth sooner, so She expected it to be later afternoon. The nurse would come in every hour to help rotate her in a different position. At 11:00 AM she got an epidural because her contractions were becoming pretty intense. She hates needles, but getting the epidural was the worst part of labor. She could still wiggle and move her feet and legs. She didn’t have the intense pain like she had before she got the epidural. An hour and half later she was between 2-3 centimeters dilated with a thick cervix. She took a nap and later had her close sister there with her. At 1:00 PM, the nurse helped her get into a different position. In the middle of moving, her water broke which it has never done on its own. You could hear it pop. At almost 2:00 PM she felt a lot of pressure. After the nurse got the bed cleaned up from her water breaking, she checked Jenn’s progress. The nurse said excitedly, “Oh, we’re having a baby!” The baby’s head was right there. Jenn knew because of the pressure. With her first daughter she went from a three to a ten very quickly, so this wasn’t surprising. The nurse told her to cross her ankles and hold her thighs together. The other doctor wasn’t finished with the C-section. The nurse said she could deliver her baby, but it would be more paperwork for her. The nurse explained there was an on-call doctor and midwife which she had calls into. Jenn tried to hold her baby in. At 2:06, the doctor that just finished the C-section came running in the room, checked her and immediately started putting gloves on. She was very ready to push. She pushed so hard her amniotic fluid shot out and hit the doctor, the nurse and her husband. She pushed three times. Her nurse was breathing with her and counting to 10 while she pushed. It happened so fast. Her daughter was born at 2:12 PM. Her daughter cried. Jenn cried. She did skin to skin for about 45 minutes. The staff clamped the cord and her husband cut the cord. After giving birth, the doctor pushed on her stomach for about 45 minutes to birth the placenta. She was glad she had the epidural for that. Her first daughter came quickly from school afterwards. Having her 16 year old in the same room as her newborn baby was surreal.
Jenn’s mom and sister made up a story why they had to go to the hospital. Her dad didn’t want to go to the hospital at all, but they managed to drag him there. He was told he was going to the hospital for Jenn’s sister. He was so confused at first when he walked into the room to see Jenn in the hospital bed holding Carsyn Jade, born just hours ago. Her dad filled in the missing pieces. He realized it was September 5th, his mom’s birthday. It was a beautiful moment they shared together. Carysn also shares a birthday with Jenn’s sister-in-law’s, so it became an extra special day for her family.
She describes her recovery as awesome. She was up walking around an hour or two after giving birth. She was sore for a long time. Jenn was only two months postpartum during the recording, so she feels like her hips are just now starting to get back to normal. The fact that she didn’t tear or didn’t rip played a huge part in how she recovered. Jenn also took the whole month of September off to be with her baby. She wasn’t able to do that with her other babies. This baby will get a whole other version of herself that her other children didn’t get to have. She didn’t workout in her 20’s, so going back to her workouts now, her pelvic floor is very weak. She was so strong before she became pregnant. She assumed she could get right back to it, but that hasn’t been the case. She’s started to go to back to the gym, but only to slowly build things back up.
Jenn did a combination of breastfeeding and formula. Her daughter nursed for the first little bit but also did formula. Now, Jenn pumps every three hours. Jenn says her baby is very impatient and maybe she got used to the milk coming out so fast from the bottle. Sometimes her baby will nurse but not very often. Jenn still likes to try and knows now she has more patience with something like this than she did in her 20’s.
Mentally, she was good, too. She said she felt so grateful to have her daughter. Her mindset with this one verse when she was younger is so different. In her 20’s she was always in rush. She knew this was her last baby, so she tried to enjoy every moment. Each time her baby would wake her up in the middle of the night, it never bothered her. She chose to be grateful every time.
Rate, Review, & Follow on Apple Podcasts
“I love Over 40 Fabulous and Pregnant Podcast.” If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing my show! This helps me support more women— just like you — women who want to believe pregnancy is possible over 40. Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then be sure to let me know what you loved most about this episode!
Also, if you haven’t done so already, follow the podcast. I will be making each 10th episode a special round table by your request. See you every Monday! Follow now!
Note about the photo: It looks a little odd on the left and right sides, right? That’s because the center is the OG photo and AI added the left and right sides to fit the format of the image. It’s not perfect.