Meet Amy McGee Loureiro, who became a first-time mom at 41-years-old. Many months ago, while chatting frankly with Amy about her journey, we realized that much of what is shared online about motherhood at a "later date" is somber at best. Some women choose to become mothers later in life, some experience this due to fertility challenges, and for some, it's career or life circumstance that has dictated the path. Whatever the reason, we believe it's worth shining a light on the many ways of birthing a mother — here's more on why we launched the series Motherhood at 40 and Beyond.
Amy's son Henry is now six-months-old, and her personal wisdom is affirming and empowering. She shares her triumphs of becoming a mother now, and is frank about her search online for connection with other over-40 mothers. Amy's advice is positive and beautiful, and we're thrilled to share her words of encouragement today.
Tell us about your motherhood journey: Did you always know you wanted children?
Definitely. I always wanted a family. I have very fond memories of childhood and always wanted to create a family for myself. But I also feel like GETTING pregnant is such a stress for women over 40. But, luckily, I didn't have any fertility issues. If you can conceive easily being a mom at 40 it doesn't feel that different as long as you can find a community of other/similar moms. In LA I think it's almost weirder to have a baby in your 20s, ha!
What was your conception process like?
I had a lot anxiety around trying to get pregnant at 40, but we were lucky to conceive naturally shortly after getting engaged. I got pregnant at 40, and we had baby Henry when I was 41. I had frozen my eggs earlier in my 30s before I met my husband, which gave me some peace of mind as well.
Have you found benefits of waiting to have children until a "later age"?
I spent a lot of my 30s wondering what would happen for me, so the biggest benefit is the amount of gratitude around having a great husband and a happy and healthy baby.
Practically speaking, it's also been helpful to be in the middle of a career I love, as opposed to being in the "trying to establish my career" phase. I can't imagine trying to build a career in the middle of motherhood — that seems tough. So it's nice to have more money in your 40s, but it would be nice to have the energy of a 20-something!
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After discovering you were pregnant, did you have any concerns?
I was terrified! Stay off the internet if you are pregnant and over 40 — it's scary, especially during the first trimester. I also had awful morning sickness which probably didn't help things.
Did you find any solace or inspiration online for women over 40 who were experiencing motherhood for the first (second, third, etc.) time?
Not really. I wish there were more normal/not scary resources for women over 40. I live in LA and here it's not that unusual. I know a lot of women around my age with babies who have been the most helpful resources. Searching out things online was pretty intense, so personally I got the most solace out of my favorite reality TV stars and their mom blogs which have some levity to them: Whitney Port from The Hills (I Love My Baby But...) and Ali Fedowsky from The Bachelorette (aliluvs.com). I also loved these books: Operating Instructions by Anne LaMott and Bringing up Bebe (French Guide to Parenting).
What was your biggest pregnancy surprise?
I was a little surprised by how long pregnancy feels and how big you get! I also struggled with over-Googling things that could go wrong — I wish I had focused more on the positive things and the joy of getting ready for a baby.
You are now a little over five months postpartum — how are you feeling? What has been the best part of motherhood thus far?
The first month was tougher than I anticipated. But now that my son is out of the fourth trimester we're having a lot of fun. He's starting to have a personality and smile and laugh, and he looks exactly like a miniature version of my husband, which is hysterical.
What would you say to a woman who is in the same age range and also wants to have children?
I would say DO IT (and get the Snoo!)!