Bloomin’ Moms: A Later Mom Shares – By Nicole Harper Huntsville, Alabama Chapter Head
Each year, for the 12 years of our marriage, my husband and I have celebrated our birthdays together on the same day – halfway between our respective dates – as ours are just five days apart. This year we rang in 52 years (for him) and 43 years (for me) quietly at home, blowing out two candles on a cheesecake and enjoying our shared gift of a two-month-old baby girl.
Every day for over these past couple of months my husband and I have looked at my beautiful daughter’s face, then look at each other, grinning with great joy and an intense sense of satisfaction with the fullness of our lives.
Although I am new to this mommy-thing, I am not new to caring for babies. I was the child of a teenage mother and then became a sister again in my teens. The experience I gained with six younger siblings was enough to cure me of any romanticized vision of what it would be like to have a baby. I always envisioned myself having children someday, but until a few years into my marriage, I was definitely childless by choice.
I can’t say that I ever felt any ticking of a biological clock, but before I knew it I was 37 and at a point where I knew I had accomplished many of my goals and was ready to pursue a family. Considering things statistically, in light of my age, I am fortunate in regards to my well being and reproductive health. However, we did still have obstacles to overcome.
The initial matter was that my husband had undergone a vasectomy during his previous marriage. Due to our busy lives and a great deal of time spent apart while he was deployed with the military, it took us a few years to figure out that an attempted reversal surgery was a failure. After overcoming that obstacle, we had success at getting pregnant – only to face the horrific event of my twin sons being born at just 22 weeks gestation and then passing away. The cause was premature dilation that wasn’t caught in time. That was in the spring of last year. But this spring was again full of hope as we took every extra precaution to ensure a successful, full-term birth.
Becoming a mother a bit later in life just isn’t as uncommon as it used to be. I do not feel as isolated in that experience as some might expect. In fact, it suits me! Some of my husband’s friends have gently chided us, having themselves raised families in their 20’s and 30’s and now reached the “empty nest” stage. They appear to be “finding themselves” again through the freedom of travel and “living it up” as a childless couple. Many of my friends, on the other hand, are just like me…having babies in our late 30s and early 40s, for a variety of different reasons.
There are definite benefits to having a baby later than sooner. I feel like I have struck a perfect balance in my life; pursuing my education, career, interests and travel while I was young enough for it to really influence and strengthen my character.
No life is without its challenges and rewards, but I feel as though I was able to live mine to the fullest through my young adulthood and single years – as well as during my romantic, prolonged 12-year honeymoon with my husband. I am grateful to now also be blessed with the fulfillment of raising my sweet little baby girl.
I am so pleased to find other late mommies like me and share our experiences, our challenges and our joy!