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Stories of hope: Family building after 40

According to the New York Times, more than 100,000 Americans give birth in their 40s each year. The CDC has seen the number of first-time births among women ages 40 to 44 more than double between 1990 and 2012. And since then, numbers have continued to rise in this age group.

Having a baby when you’re older can provide some undeniable benefits. You may be established in your career, enjoying a more secure financial situation, and have completed many professional and educational goals. You’ve likely checked several travel and life goals off the list. On top of that, you may have found your chosen partner and feel emotionally ready to tackle the goal of parenthood.

While conceiving and being pregnant when older can present some challenges, we’d like to place a spotlight on six inspiring women who became mothers at age 40 or above.

My Journey to Becoming a Single Mother by Choice 

Erin is a SMBC – single mother by choice – who decided to pursue motherhood in her 40s after the conclusion of a 20+ year relationship. With the help of her adopted sister donating her eggs and developing a strong family support system, Erin was able to achieve pregnancy after treatment with Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron and is due this month.

A Little Girl After Diminished Ovarian Reserve

Jill is the proud mom of a baby girl and reached out to share her experiences because she wants others in their 40s not to give up hope. She states, “If there was hope for me there is hope for anyone. I was probably one of the most difficult cases and it all worked out for us.”

A Baby Boy After IVF 

Tracy pursued IVF with Dr. Meike Uhler in her later 30s after being diagnosed with low ovarian reserve and fibroids, and is now mama to a baby boy. At 40, she spontaneously conceived without any help at all! She shares, “You just never know what is in store for you. Hope is a powerful thing.”

IVF Success After Receiving a Grant

Tracey and John were actively trying for a baby for nine years without success and had gone through the IUI and IVF process multiple times. Shares Tracey, “I turned 40 in February and this was really our last chance.” They were the recipients of a Kevin J. Lederer LIFE Grant, now known as the Chicago Coalition for Family Building, and experienced success after the IVF cycle with Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron covered by the grant. 

Egg Freezing, Genetic Testing & IVF to Become a SMBC

Laurie shares her personal journey to parenthood with Lifetime TV in an extremely moving segment. She works in genetics and was worried about a fertility decline, so she froze her eggs at 38 and again a few years later with Dr. Brian Kaplan. At age 43, Laurie pursued IVF with donor sperm and chose to genetically test embryos to ensure optimal genetic health and treatment success. She is now a SMBC with a healthy baby boy!

I Adopted an Embryo During the Pandemic

Lindsay wrote an essay for Motherly sharing her unique experiences in pursuing motherhood at 40 and finding success after miscarriage and several failed attempts at IVF. Through serendipitous events and circumstances, she was able to adopt an embryo and complete fertility treatment with Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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