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Pregnant at 47 - The Rewards Outweight the Risks

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Wednesday, November 08, 2006 | 0 comments

By: Jennifer Gerrietts - Aug/06

Marion Dressen thought her childbearing years were over. Three years ago, the 47-yearold rural Minnesota woman went to an herbalist to treat the first symptoms of menopause. Instead, she got pregnant with Jack, now 2. It was a wonderful surprise for Dressen and her husband, who were about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. The couple had given up trying to have a baby long ago. “After all those years, it was a bit of a shock,” Dressen said.
“But we were excited at the same time.”

On June 28 of this year, Dressen gave birth to Megan, selecting the name for her daughter that they picked out when trying to conceive 20 years earlier. She said she sees many advantages of being a mom in her 40s. “Being older, I’ve learned what’s really important in life,” Dressen says. “I’m more patient and I don’t sweat the small stuff.” According to the National Center for Health Statistics, older moms like Dressen are becoming more common.

With a toddler and a newborn, Dressen said she is glad that she’s fit enough to have the energy she needs. She jokes that while she can keep up with the kids, she makes some different choices than younger moms who put the kids to bed and then go out on the town. “When the kids go to bed, we go to bed,” Dressen said. Dressen said she stays active so she can maintain the physical health she’ll need to be the mother of teens in her 60s. “This will help us to keep young,” she laughs.

Life has changed for Dressen. She used to go on mission trips to Africa, spend time gardening and take plenty of time for herself. “I used to get up in the morning and do my hair and makeup right away,” she said. “Now it’s good if I get a shower some days.” Still, she says she’ll trade the weeds in her garden any day for her two children. “No flower that blooms gives me the feeling of seeing these two little faces,” Dressen said. “It’s a change for the better.”

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost our precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted there will be no more babies in our house.

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