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A Very Rock and Roll Mum

Sonya Cisco writes the very popular, The Ramblings of a Formerly Rock ‘n Roll Mum. A finalist at the Brilliance in Blogging Awards 2013, she has also spoken on panels at Britmums and Mumsnet blogging conferences, and writes a column for The Mirror.

Enjoy…

A VERY ROCK AND ROLL MUM.

meandsydA long time before I was an older mum, I was a young mum. Four weeks after my 23rd birthday I welcomed my daughter to the world, and got on with the business of being a first time parent. If I am honest, she was enough. I didn’t particularly plan on having more children. I had had some serious pregnancy complications which put me off going through it again, and also, like many Mums of one, she was the center of my world, and I couldn’t imagine loving another child as much.

Time changed my mind and I had my second child, a boy, when I was 30. This time around, I had no problems in pregnancy and a natural, and easy by most standards, labour. And with the addition of my much loved Son, my family was complete.

Sadly my marriage ended and shortly after I met my current partner, who is lovely, and who I hope to see out my days with. I had my two children, and he had an adult son, and a grandson. We certainly weren’t going to add to that. We were content with each other, and the children we already had.

Roll forward 18 months or so, and I was lying in bed on a Sunday morning when I felt a strange sensation in my belly. ‘That felt like a baby kicking’ I told him. And then we made some joke about last nights curry or some such, and forgot about it. I was on the mini pill, and hadn’t had a period for nearly two years, but had no reason to suspect that I was pregnant – no sickness, none of the exhaustion that had coloured the early weeks of my first two pregnancies. Then I felt it again. And again. After a few days we had to face the fact that I must be expecting. A trip to the doctors confirmed it, and she guessed I was about 16 weeks from the position of my womb.

It took a little while to get a booking in appointment with a midwife, and when I did see one a couple of weeks later, she examined me and guessed I was about 18 weeks. Luckily they were able to fit me in for a scan there and then to get a more accurate idea. The scan showed I was more like 22 weeks pregnant, and that the baby was very low in my pelvis, which was why I didn’t look pregnant. They were also able to tell me he was a boy.

I will be honest. I had been feeling pretty ambivalent about the pregnancy up until that point. It was unplanned, and not on my to do list, and I was in shock. I had just been talking to my boss about going full time, and a promotion. But once I saw that little boy on the screen I loved him, and from there on in things got easier.

I still had to tell people. My older two were initially dumbfounded, but quickly became excited. My Mum was amazed, she had seen me plenty of times in the lead up to my announcement and had not a clue I was 5 month pregnant. You just couldn’t tell. Yet within a week of me telling people my bump appeared as if by magic. This pregnancy, like my second one, was healthy. I was eventually induced at 13 days overdue and after a very quick, very painful labour, Sydney was born.

So what is it like being an older Mum? Well I had my first at 23, and my last at 38, and I can honestly say there are some advantages to both ages. I am calmer this time, but that may just be this my third child so I know what I am doing a bit more, but it also because I am more mature, but my knees hurt more than they did when I was crawling round the floor in my twenties. I resent missing out on nights out less than I did, but the sleepless nights took more of a toll. I would say that it really isn’t that different, old or young parenthood is a life-changing, life-enhancing, all encompassing experience. Yes, sometimes I would like a day off, but I would never be without a single moment of its bumpy ride.

Sonya Cisco on Twitter.

 

Last Chances

Catherine is the owner of Borntolove.com and wonderfully supportive blogs, Pregnancy Over 44 and Baby After 40. I would like to be able to say that her story has a happy ending. Sadly, it doesn’t. What her story did do was spur her on to support other women trying to conceive much later in life.

I met my second husband when I was 49 years old. Despite using birth control, I had a surprise pregnancy!

I carried that special baby for 8 weeks before it ended in a horrible miscarriage. Since my husband had no children of his own, we decided to try again.

We even worked with an RE for a short time, with monitored natural cycles. There were more losses over the next few years.  I was patient, and persistent. I picked myself up after each loss, and I got back on that roller coaster ride again. I never missed an opportunity to try. While I came to accept the reality of my age, I never stopped believing it could happen, I never stopped hoping for a happy ending. I did what I could to protect my heart, to ignore the statistics and the naysayers, and yet be realistic to the fact that it might have already been too late for me.

Between 49 and 53 I experienced natural pregnancies six times… I fell pregnant for the final time at 53 years old. I would rather not make a big deal about my age. All I can claim is incredible luck and genetics (my great-grandmother had five children after 40 years of age!). How old I am will have no effect on your personal chances of success or failure. The menopause occurs in 25% of women by 47, 50% by 50, 75% by 52 years old. I know I took a big chance, but it was the choice I made for myself.

Very sadly, my final pregnancy ended at 15 weeks.

Not longer after, the menopause arrived.

Due to my age and history of loss (5 more losses during a previous marriage), we were turned down for donor egg, and turned down for foster care/adoption of infants. We had hoped to adopt from a teen family member, but the baby was born with Trisomy 18, lived her short life in hospital and passed away at 5 months.

I know we could have fought longer and harder, but for my own sanity, we decided it was time to stop. I still struggle with it though, and have sad moments.

I don`t want my story used to prove that “if you wait long enough you can get pregnant with your own eggs”. Because that very well may not be true for you. Most of you may not be willing or able to wait that long. You may not welcome parenthood that late in live. Or you may very well hit menopause long before you get the chance.

However, through my pregnancy blogs, I have helped so many women keep up their hope and find their own success – so I feel like I continue to bring well-loved, so-wanted babies into the world!