By Older Single Mum.
Her blog is witty, sassy, compelling, sincere and narrates everything from her ‘sh*tty ex husband’ to romancing her lodger and her talents as a healer.
BEING AN OLDER SINGLE MUM
Being an older mum is a privilege that some young ones just don’t get. And that’s why we tend to be overprotective and over grateful for our little ones, tending less to hand them over to anyone, even their Dads!
I spent my thirties believing that my chances to have children had passed me by, but in my dreams (real night time ones), there was a baby waiting for me.
I endured two miscarriages, then he came. I was 41. And then, in the throes of an awful marriage, which I only clung on to because there were further (clairvoyant?) dreams, that there was still another child to come yet, I suffered a third miscarriage, by which time I thought I would die with the heartbreak and confusion.
On a one off night with my hateful husband, I fell pregnant and it is truly conceivable that Fate intervened because my second child came at, by now, age 45.
I had lost all three babies before the end of the first trimester and I thank Heaven for that, but I was still reluctant to deeply enjoy being pregnant, just in case, which is a shame.
I was healthy and well throughout both full term ones and didn’t go for any of the tests being thrust at me to detect any myriad of problems or diseases, because the results would naturally come up ‘high risk,’ giving rise to an even more worrisome time, and also because I knew, given my history, I would never terminate, no matter what.
Having cemented the statistic in my mind that 98% pregnancies end in perfectly healthy babies, I also paid for Acupuncture (to help ‘hold’ them) and regular Osteopathy to keep baby and me in the best possible physical shape. The latter helped my heartburn no end, kept me truly comfortable and no doubt was the main contributing factor in two perfectly natural text book births.
The trauma and shock have never left me though! I don’t think it’s easy to give birth at any age, but my mind was certainly stronger for being older and going against the
grain. My first, Robson, was born safely at home, but I relented for the second, having contracted the potentially fatal Strep B infection, so eventually turned up at the hospital 20 minutes before baby Aiden finally came.
My regrets are few. I do wish I’d had my children when I was younger. However I was brought up in the ‘career first’ generation, made it as a Money Broker in the City, earning a packet and travelling a great deal, but overall I felt hollow.
No one tells you that independence doesn’t make you happy. And it can be very lonely.
It wasn’t obvious to me – throughout my child bearing years what it was I was actually craving. It wasn’t until having children that I have become more fulfilled than anything
material can ever give you. No career gives you back what they can!
I regret the years spent exercising myself almost to death, because, in hindsight, by the time my children came I was well and truly knackered and I believe that the energy we have when we are younger is, indeed, given to us for bringing them into the world and raising them.
And I regret not having my children with someone with whom I could be closer, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Their father and I are now divorced.
Being an older single mum has meant co-sleeping was no issue whatsoever until their fidgeting was unbearable (about one year), breastfeeding could be done on demand (again approx. one year) and neither of my children ever had a bottle of formula milk. All of which took guts which have come about only later on in my life.
I consider myself very lucky to have my children at all and regularly read about women my age who have missed the opportunity. IVF was something that I wouldn’t consider,
nor was stealing sperm as featured in Liz Jones’ column in the Daily Mail!
I think the call inside is so strong and it starts earlier than we might like to admit to ourselves nowadays, that we ignore it at our peril. To have children with someone you love, should be every girl’s dream.