My Story

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Motherhood After 40: The Birth of a Maternal Revolutionary

(http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/my-story-angel-laliberte-mother-over-40/angel-sentinel-article-3/)

Launching my blog in 2009

On the day of my fortieth birthday—single, childless, and with few viable relationship prospects—I began the long, dark journey into grieving for lost motherhood.

It was not what I had chosen for myself. It had never occurred to me that I might become an older mother, or get pregnant after 40. In fact, I’d married at the politically correct age of twenty-six, in a small Catholic church on the bank of the River Thames, in England, back in the late 1980’s.

Two years later, my then husband informed me he did not want children for the foreseeable future. Exit stage left: to a painful divorce that consumed three more precious childbearing years.

What Happened To Mr. Right?

Becoming a mother after 40 was not something I’d bargained for. I had relationships in the intervening years, but for reasons I couldn’t identify, the Ideal Partner, or the Good Father, were nebulous concepts that never found a reality. Childlessness was not my intention. But it seemed to be my fate. Why? It would be years before I could begin to answer that question.

Two weeks after my fortieth birthday, an event second only to the Immaculate Conception occurred: as if on cue, my second husband walked through the door with two roses in his hand and the promise of a new life. We immediately got down to the business of parenthood and I conceived naturally and gave birth at age 41 and again at 44.

Are Older Mothers Are “Selfish”?

(http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/my-story-angel-laliberte-mother-over-40/blog-susan-sarandon-2/)

My hero, Susan Sarandon, mom at 42 and 45.

Until then, I had been blissfully ignorant of the fast-rising number of women having children after forty over the last decade, along with the growing storm of controversy surrounding what is now acknowledged to be an unprecedented historical phenomenon.

However, media coverage, since the turn of the millennium, has depicted women as intentionally “delaying” motherhood, and as selfishly putting their careers first. Women having children later, or “mature mothers”, were painted with the faint, unsavory brushstroke of moral deficiency. They were, after all, mothers of advanced maternal age.

Why Mothers Over 40 Are On The Rise

(http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/my-story-angel-laliberte-mother-over-40/angel-fpm-pic-2-4/)

Me and my miracle kids!

Yet, the truth is, that the rising trend of mothers over 40 is the result of cultural forces far greater than the self- interested intentions of a few aging women. It is driven by a juggernaut of combined social changes that have their roots in the 1960’s.  From women’s liberation, economic changes in the workplace, and tantalizing advancements in reproductive science—to the rise in the median age for first marriages, combined with a 50% divorce rate for first-timers—we are headed towards deep-seated changes in the face of the nuclear family.

And there’s an old saying: “There’s no point in closing the barn door after the horse has bolted!” Ergo, the trend toward later motherhood is here to stay. Just knowing this might have been enough for me. But it was soon followed by a life-changing, watershed moment in personal history.

Don’t Call Me Grandma!

(http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/my-story-angel-laliberte-mother-over-40/img_5381-2/)

“My grandma!”, he laughed.

One day, when I was 47, my 5-year-old son turned to me and said: “Hey, Mama, guess what you’re going to be when I grow up?”

Intrigued, I asked him: “What will I be when you grow up?”

“My grandma!” he laughed uproariously.

Suddenly, it all made sense. I had been labeled “high risk” and “advanced maternal age” by a fearful medical profession, openly vilified as “selfish” and “irresponsible” by a media and public disinterested in digging more than skin deep, and socially isolated by my maternal peer group because I was an “older” mother.

Join The Later Motherhood Revolution

(http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/my-story-angel-laliberte-mother-over-40/washtimes-2-4/)

Me and kids in Washington Times, 2011

On that day, in 2008, I became an advocate and educator for the women who had found motherhood later, and for those to come.

I’ve been blogging, researching and interviewing experts on motherhood after 40 since 2009 at www.FlowerPowerMom.com (http://www NULL.FlowerPowerMom NULL.com), a site widely recognized for being the authentic voice for later mothers, in the USA, Canada and abroad. I’ve been blessed with tremendous media support and an opportunity to spread the word via CNN (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=atScMih4_d0&feature=plcp), PBS, along with radio and newspapers across the country. See media coverage on motherhood after 40.

Now, more than 3 years on, I’ve begun to realize that we are on the cusp of the next generation of mothers over 40. It’s time to re-birth the website and and leave “Flower Power” behind.

On November 1st, 2012 FlowerPowerMom.com be re-launching as:  A CHILD AFTER 40–For Women on The Journey of Later Motherhood (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com). Join me in the later motherhood revolution!

Where to find me:

Website: http://www.AChildAfter40.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AChildAfter40 (https://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/AChildAfter40)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/achildafter40 (http://www NULL.twitter/achildafter40)

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/AChildAfter40/ (http://pinterest NULL.com/AChildAfter40/)

RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/AChildAfter40 (http://feeds NULL.feedburner NULL.com/AChildAfter40)

AChildAfter40.com Weekly News: http://www.scoop.it/t/a-child-after-40-weekly-news (http://www NULL.scoop NULL.it/t/a-child-after-40-weekly-news)

Contact me: http://achildafter40.com/contact/

 

28 Responses to My Story

  1. susan head says:

    I heard you on CBC’s “The Current”….fascinating! As a 43 year old mom to 7 and 4 year-olds, I didn’t know I was “old” until my first doctors visit when I announced I’d turned the stick pink. I was then offered the “senior’s plan” as I came to call it….extra bloodwork to determine down’s syndrome, monthly ultrasounds to look for spinal cord malformations, and was read the riot act that sounded more like “Why’d you wait so long?” My kids are both beautifuland healthy and are purely the product of their parents but boy, was I shocked to find out that in the new-mommy world, 36 is not the new 26.
    All I can say to your blog is…”I hear you!”

  2. Mirinda says:

    I did not know I was old either until I had my 3rd at 40. I am 41 with a 12 year old 3 year old and a 1 year old. All same marriage all w/o reproductive help. I had a career in between and 3 miscarriages. Being home is very isolating. Mostly my knees hurt and I have a lot less energy then at 28 when I had my 1st. But, muxh more patient.

  3. Grace (http://www NULL.doughraisingmom NULL.coom) says:

    Wow Angel,
    I love your website and your message. As a mom of 12, my youngest was born when I was 45, I can certainly relate to everything you say. Your description of your son’s grandma comment did cause me to laugh out loud. Since I have been in the “mom business” for over 34 years, I can tell you that there are innumerable blessings that come with motherhood at any age. Our children are truly gifts. We were entrusted by God to love and shape them. Although others serve up stinging comments about older mothers, I know that God needs the special talents older mothers bring to the table.

  4. Grace (http://www NULL.doughraisingmom NULL.com) says:

    Angel,
    Love you blog. As a mom of 12, I had my youngest child at 45. I can really identify with the grandma comment. As you can imagine, I have had the experience of being in the “mom business” as both a young inexperienced mom and as the mature mother. There are innumerable blessings for moms of any age, and I would not agree that there is a “perfect” age. God entrusts our children to us, and he chooses when those blessings are given.

  5. Wendy Silvers (http://wendysilvers NULL.com) says:

    I smiled and laughed when I read what your son said. I had my daughter in 2001 when I was 41. Though there were some older (mid-30′s) moms in my mommy support circle, i was the elder – hah! One of my daughter’s friends moms was born the year I graduated from high school. I had to walk through my own ageism with that one! And so it goes…..
    I so related and join with you in your passion-thank you for creating this site!
    Wendy Silvers

  6. marcela says:

    Thank you for your website! I am 39 and will give birth at 40. This is my first. No ART.

    Like you, I went through so much before marrying father-material and feeling ready for motherhood. I completed a university degree, travelled the world, worked in different countries, had all sorts of romances and relationships, saw and did things worthy of a film!

    I know that all of this will help me be a tuned-in, compassionate mother with a good sense of humour and sense of adventure.

    I love who I am at 39. I love that motherhood has arrived now. God and mother nature´s infinite wisdom..

  7. sandi (http://www NULL.simplybysandi NULL.blogspot NULL.com) says:

    I am 48, and have a 21 year old son in college, and a 6 year old son in 1st grade. My husband and I have been married for going on 29 years this October 2011 (high school sweethearts who married young at 20 and 21). We were married 7 years the year our first son was born. When I got pregnant with our second son I had just turned 41, and I conceived on our 21st wedding anniversary. All of our immediate friends and family were ecstatic for us (they witnessed the devastation miscarriage caused us when our older son was 10. I was in the middle of my second trimester). However, those not closely related, blood or otherwise, were not quite as happy for us. They felt no hesitation in voicing their rude opinions…like, “You are old enough to be this babies grandparents.” And other very stupid comments like, “Why on earth would you want to do the whole diapers and bottle thing again?” I would just laugh and say to them, “Yes, and when you are tired and old, and sitting in a rocking chair on your front porch, I will be out in the yard playing baseball with my kid. He will keep me young.” That usually would stop them in their tracks. I wasn’t being mean just making a statement I felt. Just like they did when they would say whatever they felt to me about being 41 and pregnant. Yes, I am exhausted at the end of every day because I have a very lively and energetic little boy that I DO keep up with…but I wouldn’t change our family dynamics for anything. It is because of him and his young age that I have as much energy as I do. If you don’t use it you lose it! No matter what your age. I got pregnant the old fashion way, so in my heart God was giving us his blessing. He does not make mistakes. Whenever we meet new people who find out we have a 21 and a 6 year old, they always look at us like we have two heads or something…then the questions start…”Oh, is this your second marriage?” or my favorite…”Oh he was an “Uh Oh!” baby.” And when we say no, we were still trying to have another child they really look at us like we are some alien species. I actually don’t get upset about the questions or comments because it is the same with anything that is not the norm. People are curious, and I enjoy telling people what a joy it is to get to be a momma again to a little guy. It truly is a whole different experience as an older mom, but not because of my age as much as that he is a totally different type of person than our first born son. I have had to regroup and parent this one in a whole different way than the first one. All people are individuals and it starts from the day they are born. Therefore as individuals we should have respect for and treat with respect those who make different choices than we do.

  8. Urmila says:

    When I was born, my mother was 41. My sisters were 16 and 18. My father adored me and I never minded having older parents. The only downside is that now I’m a grandmother of ten and all my birth family has passed from this world.

  9. theresa (http://flowerpowermom) says:

    I’m trying to complete this response and my little 8-year old is drawing my picture. It ‘s a quite difficult task because she keeps saying, ” Look my way mom, so I can draw your portrait!” I’m looking at the portrait and realize that the picture looks much like my fraternal grandmother! So, this is just a glimpse of a 51-year old mother who has a third grader. I haven’t been mistaken for her grandmother in a long while, but I can guarantee that I am the oldest mom of her classmates. This past spring at the end-of-year picnic one boy in Molly’s class commented,”Molly’s mom is old!” I then replied, “If I’m so old then watch this!” I did two of my old cheerleader stunts: a round off and a cart wheel. The little boy was impressed and he said “Not bad for an old lady!” I tell all three of my midlife b

    • Angel La Liberte (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com) says:

      I know I’m the oldest mom for both my 2nd and 5th graders! I just get that “look” sometimes–you know the one? Love the cartwheels! Cheers for the cheerleader! It just proves that there can be a huge difference between chronological age (your birthday) and biological age (your health and wellness)!

  10. theresa (http://flowerpowermom) says:

    I tell all three of my midlife-born children, “I’m not old. I’m only advanced in age.!” This is my life as a flower power mom and I truly enjoy the special opportunity of being a part of this community.

  11. Saundra says:

    I am so happy I found this site (thx peaceful parenting).

    I am now 38 and have three older children aged, 15, 13 and 12. I also have a two year old and am seriously considering another baby before I’m done!

    Rockin’ website. I like your style.

    • Angel La Liberte (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com) says:

      Saundra, congrats on the 2 year old! Thanks for the compliment! Believe it or not, just knowing that AChildAfter40.com can serve the needs of women who have children later is a huge boost@

  12. Kris says:

    Thank you all!
    I am 39 and am finally ready to be a mom and trying (FUN), and am uplifted and inspired by your stories.
    I look forward to adding my own story too- hopefully in 9 months!

  13. Laurie says:

    Both my pregnancies (at 36 and now at 43) have totally unfazed my OBs. Though I was in two different cities, maybe there were enough older moms that it was commonplace? Also, both OBs were in their late 30′s and had just had a baby themselves. Besides increased testing, I wasn’t told to do anything extra. This second pg is actually healthier than my first.
    The sad thing for older moms is the increased likelihood of a pg loss along the way. That is something I wish we didn’t share in common.

  14. Ruth says:

    Well, I am 35 weeks pregnant right now. I am 42, but I look younger. My OBGYN has never acted like I am too old to be having a baby. In fact, when I told him I was interested in getting my tubes tied, he said that I should probably wait a few years because I am still young enough to have more babies. This has been a really hard pregnancy for me. I have had zero energy and lots of pain and discomfort. I am really looking forward to meeting my baby, but I will not miss being pregnant. We have two beautiful girls
    who are 8 and 10. They are very excited to help out with the new baby. My husband is very excited that we got our little boy too. Things are good. We have a lot of love to share with our new baby.

  15. cheryl says:

    I have 7 children oldest is 25, youngest is 1. I am 51 years old. Yes I was quite shocked to find out I was not going thru menopause but pregnant…..my first DR’s visit he told me I had a better chance of winning the lottery then getting pregnant on my own. I had 7 months of complete misery every time I went to the DR…..telling me constantly what will go wrong. Our son was born 5 weeks early, spent 1 week in the NICU mainly because of his weight…and is a healthy and happy little guy. I am glad I really did not listen to my DR’s, even though I did not plan this one… I know I will be the oldest parent in his preschool class, but you know I would not change this second chance to parent and love a child again.

  16. Carolyn (http://www NULL.mommyinthmiddle NULL.com) says:

    Before my son was even born, I was waiting for my first “grandma” comment. I just wasn’t sure where it would come from. Conceiving at 45 was unplanned and didn’t take any “elbow grease”, it was pure serendipity. I was excited about becoming a new mom regardless of age.

    The first “grandma” reference came from one of my older brother’s colleagues. When my brother mentioned that his sister was going to have a baby at 46, the guy responded with “Wow”, it’s like she’s raising her own grandchild”.

    Next time it came from the mouths of babes. My little boy was toddling around the playground. I was looking a little rough from lack of sleep. A little girl around 4 years old walked up to me and said. “Are you his grandma?”.

    I replied that while I was OLD enough to be his grandma, I was actually his mother. This explanation didn’t satisfy her. “Then why do you LOOK like his grandma?” she persisted. Her mother was cowering behind her, trying to blend in with the scenery.

    The funny thing is, I think the girl knew I was his mom (kids are pretty intuitive) and was trying to put the pieces together. I’m glad I could clear things up for her.

    Really, it doesn’t bother me at all, I kind of like the reactions I get. And if the adults have a problem with it, you know where they can stuff it!

  17. Angel La Liberte (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com) says:

    Theresa, I really appreciate the “old lady” story! :D I’m 51 and I have a 2nd grader and a 5th grader. I think your sanguine attitude is really healthy. The truth is that, if kids see us as adjusting positively, they will follow suit. My kids are real proponents of this website. My son, who was famous for starting it all with his “grandma” comment, is my biggest cheerleader.
    Carolyn, the one thing we can trust kids to be is honest when it comes to things like this. Many people have asked me if the thought of me being old enough to be a grandma was something another adult had put into my son’s head. At the time, I didn’t look my age (although that is changing :( ). But I feel it doesn’t really matter. It foreshadowed what was to come for many of us, in terms of how the rest of the world perceives us, and the sort of isolation we may feel from the majority of younger moms, and the occasional experience of social stigma.
    What is most important of all is that we are finding each other and forming our own support community!

    • Private says:

      Angel, I read what you shared about the grandma comment and interpreted it differently. I have a 5 year old and I know they don’t always communicate things exactly as they intend. In reading his quote, I took it that he was just saying “hey mom, when I’m older, your going to be older and you will be a grandma”. Of course in his 5 year old way of communication, he said “his” grandma and I’m guessing he was just trying to say you will be “a” grandma one day and laughing at the thought of it all. You interpreted it as him saying your old now, when the actual quote you give, he says nothing about you being his grandma now, his statement is clearly saying when he is older you will THEN be a grandma…as most moms are when they’re kids are grown.   I see nothing odd about his statement and if my 5 year old said that to me, my mind wouldn’t have interpreted it as him saying that I’m older.   Do you think its possible that you were being hyper sensitive about your age and as a result, you misinterpreted what he was trying to say?  Of course you know your son best, and maybe you didn’t quote the entire conversation, so if I’m totally wrong then forgive me. Best Regards.

  18. Sue says:

    My question to all you ladies…is what did you do to get pregnant because I’ve been trying for over 8 years with no success. I’ve now fallen into a deep depression. I’ve tried clomid, IUI’s and IVF’s that were all cancelled because there wasnt enough eggs. My husband and I are both extremely depressed about the situation Were know looking into going to India or Cuba for treatment as a last attempt. As we have ran out of money. Please if you have any advise please let me know. Or know of any really really good doctors around the world. We will remortgage our house if there’s a chance. Thanks

    • Em says:

      Daer Sue, as a first time mum at 42 with multiple miscarriages (over four years) behind me I can give you one simple bit of advice that served me well and that is just DO NOT GIVE UP. Try whatever you can think of. I had no problem getting pregnant but couldn’t stay pregnant. I can only speak to my personal experience, since I was always aware of when I would ovulate we always made sure to make love in the 3 days prior to and the two days after I ovulated( this way I fell pregnant 9 times) but still In our case it finall took a change of lifestyle to change the outcome. it took my stopping work for 6 months and us changing our lives to be as stress free as possible, this led us to get closer as a couple. Then one magical night after a very close and emotional evening with my husband (physical and emotional) I just knew I had fallen pregnant. The other essential thing in our situation was then an OB who (at my pleading) was willing to support the pregnancy with hormones (much like they do in IVF treatment) to raise my htc & progesterone levels. ……. It worked, I stayed pregnant….. So finally “voila!!!!” after a rocky start at the beginning, I ended up having a dream pregnancy & beautiful baby girl, perfect in every way. looking back at my failed atempts in the past I can see that I am not the type of woman who tollerates a demanding lifestyle and stress well so being in a relaxed stae mentally and physically was essential to me. So my advice is to relax, find peace, love (and have a supportive doctor). I wish you every blessing.

  19. Jane says:

    I had my little girl at 48 and was thrilled as was everyone else and then came school…. other Mums not so happy. I think they feel that talking to me may age them by 10 years. However my little girl is very happy.
    Dos anyone know of research/experiences that shows that this may have a negative effect on the child.

  20. Sophia says:

    Thank you for starting this website. I’m 39, in the middle of a hard split from someone I thought I would marry, and feel surrounded by panic about having children–my own panic and that of every other friend in a semi-similar situation. I think I may be truly ready for the first time in my life to be both a wife and mother, and it’s so helpful to hear hopeful stories and also to be pulled out of the dizzying statistics and reminded that each woman can find meaning and hope in her own way. I hope I will be able to do that whether or not I meet someone ‘in time’. I try to believe God will help me find somewhere to put my love.

  21. Angel La Liberte (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com) says:

    Sophia, I completely understand where you’re coming from–I was there. Try not to let the panic take over. Instead, visualize a happy, fulfilling relationship that is to come. Your frame of mind is going to have a lot to do with how things shape up over the next couple of years. Get through the breakup and move on and quickly as you can.
    Strangely, it was when I finally “released” the notion of motherhood just after my 40th birthday that my husband walked through the door. Believe in yourself and your future.

  22. Wendy says:

    I am so glad I found this website. I’m 41, married, with a 2 1/2 year old son who was born naturally, and I am at the point of frustration and in much need of finding a community of support. All my mom friends are at least a decade younger and most are stay at home moms. I am not only a full time professional, but I am the breadwinner of my family. I can’t wait to search for a group near my area to possibly connect with older moms.

  23. Angel La Liberte (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com) says:

    Hi Wendy, I sure know how it feels to be around other moms a decade younger–sometimes a couple of decades–and try to bridge the generation gap! Women who get pregnant after 40 are on a completely different path with it comes to motherhood!
    Not sure where you’re located, but check out our over-40 moms social groups page and see if there’s a group in your area by clicking here: http://achildafter40.com/moms-over-40-social-groups/. If not, you’re welcome to start your own, free of charge, and with our support! :) Just contact us via the Contact form on this website.

    • Guest says:

      Angel, I disagree with your statement that “women who get pregnant after 40 are on a completely different path”. Everyone’s path is different (even moms the same age) because everyone has different life dynamics.

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