Advanced maternal age, that's a laugh!
I really don't subscribe to that school of thought, and neither does my OB. My thought is: it ain't over til it's over, honey! We just had our fifth baby this month, and he is perfect in every way and I'm thrilled to pieces. Oh, I'm turning 42 this summer.
As far as how I felt, well, I gained waaay less weight this time and felt pretty fantastic as a result, except I had more problems with asthma this time around. (Which I attribute to the air pollution here, not my age.) Anyway, aside from the usual nausea, this pregnancy was probably easier than my others as I had more energy. Somehow, running out of energy with four little ones around was, umm, not an option, LOL. For me, I don't feel any "older" than with my other pregnancies. The only difference this time was that I worried more, because I had just had a m/c right before this pregnancy. So I was a little psycho the first half of the pregnancy, you know.
I'm hoping to have one more baby when this little guy is 2 or 3. Does getting pregnant become harder with age? Maybe! Maybe it will actually take us TWO months to conceive a baby someday....but so far, it hasn't. "Advanced maternal age" makes me laugh. I think you are going to have a fantastic body if you take care of it, period. (Obviously there are medical issues that come up though, whether related to pregnancy or not, for lots of people. Even when they take care of themselves.) I don't worry about birth defects or Downs or anything, because I figure, the hell with it, there are SO many things in life we don't control, and if it's not that, well, then, there could be something else down the road. I just don't want to worry about that stuff.
My grandmother had her fourth baby at 45. I've always thought of that, for myself, as kind of the time when I would like to be "done," but anything up until then is cool with me. And some people, I know they are still having babies at 48....my girlfriend just had twins at 48 (and has three other kids), and they are doing awesome. And she isn't even in that great shape, but they are still doing awesome. Anyway, I'm just blah blah blah....but it boils down to this:
Listen to your body and love your body and ignore everything and everyone else who is not supportive! I LOVE having babies and I think my body loves it too! Plus, it's great for reducing cancer risk, the whole breastfeeding part and even childbearing itself. You go girl!