Blogging. Until now it was the furthest thing from my mind. But as I approach a birthday I’d rather not think about, I’ve begun to sort of “reinvent” myself. Take “me” time. And embrace the things that define me. I mean the things besides my wonderful family. And what better day to start than Mother’s Day 2010.
Mother’s Day — a time to reflect on what it all means.
I am what is referred to as an “older mother.” I often meet women in their early 30s who think their eggs are shrivelled up and childbearing has passed them by. I just look them straight in the eye and say, “Well, I had my first child at 39 and my second at 44. I don’t really recommend it, but that’s just the way it happened for me.” I guess I was a later bloomer. I didn’t meet my husband until I was 30 and he was 22 — yes, he’s 8 years younger than me. (I’m happy to say that was never an issue.) We dated for 3 years, then we moved in together. We didn’t get engaged for another 3 years and 9 months later we got married. By the time my son Michael was born I was 39.
I didn’t go back to my job; we moved; I got another job; my husband lost his job and got another one; we bought our first house; and then I had another boy at the age of 44. When we moved I found a wonderful new doctor. I said to him, “Tell me honestly. Am I too old to have another baby?” He didn’t even bat an eye. He said, “If you want to have another baby, have another baby. I’ll take care of you.” And he did. Unfortunately, Eric decided to make his appearance 7 weeks early and there was no time to get to the hospital we were supposed to go to. In the middle of the night the ambulance takes you to the closest hospital, and lucky for me the closest was about a quarter mile from home.
Perhaps if Eric had been as easy a baby as Michael was, having him at the age of 44 wouldn’t have been such a big deal. But Eric came with his own agenda and unfortunately that didn’t include sleeping. He didn’t sleep in the NICU and he didn’t sleep when we got him home. I swaddled him in his blanket and little by little his little arms would come out. I would rock and rock and rock with him in his room and ask God why He gives babies to 44-year-old women.
If I had it to do over, and if I had the choice, I would have done it much differently. Being the oldest mother on 2 first days of Kindergarten wasn’t easy. I never really made friends with the other parents. We didn’t have anything else in common except that our children were the same age. I’m sure I was at least 10 years older.
So here I am at 58-1/2 years old with one son about to turn 19 and another one who will soon be 14. At a time when I wish I were looking forward to retiring, we’re paying for college for one son and saving as much as we can for the other one. But do I regret any of it — NOT ONE BIT OF IT!!
So my advice to all you 30-something women out there is that if you want to have children, have them. Don’t let anyone scare you off because of your age. I can’t imagine my life without my boys. The alternative would have been awful.