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Angel La Liberte, CNN, Sat 22nd May

Angel La Liberte, CNN, May 2010

The news about Kelly Preston (John Travolta’s wife) being pregnant at 47 sparked  a roaring media debate last week—CNN invited me to debate the issues, live on Saturday night.

I was grateful to CNN for furnishing me with the opportunity to talk about the good stuff mothers over 40 bring to the parenting table—to read the producer’s (condensed version of broadcast) blog, Click here (http://newsroom NULL.blogs NULL.cnn NULL.com/2010/05/23/kelly-prestons-later-life-pregnancy-how-old-is-too-old-to-be-expecting/).

Here are links to the full CNN interview: CNN Mother’s Over 40 Broadcast–MP4 Version (22MB) (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/publicfiles/Angel_CNN NULL.mp4) (Right-Click “Save As”).  CNN Mother’s Over 40 Broadcast–Flash Version (17MB) (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/publicfiles/Angel_CNN NULL.flv)

AVI is available upon request. (This is a large file!)

Aside from looking like a Goth with a nervous eye tick—the unglamorous effects of a lack of studio make-up, combined with stage fright—I had some larger concerns about what transpired during the interview.

Surprisingly, Dr. Wendy Walsh (http://www NULL.wendylwalsh NULL.com/)—a psychologist who was positioned to represent the side against later life motherhood—was an over-40 mom herself.

This inspired a sort of head-scratching moment of genuine bewilderment—why was it alright for her and not for other women to have a child when they are older? At what age was she drawing the line?

I was concerned when she described Carmen Bousada de Lara (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/wordpress/?p=446) as “the Spanish lady” who “lied about her age” to get fertility treatments and “died tragically” as the argument against later life motherhood.

So what about the 70-year-old mother in India who was filmed working on the farm with her husband and breast feeding her child on TLC’s Pregnant at 70 (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=2bjyW8B90Uo)?  I’m not necessarily arguing for motherhood at 70 as much as I’m debating the use of a single case to substantiate a sweeping judgment.

Furthermore, there is a vast difference between biological age and lifestyle age—a young diabetic obese mother is could be at greater risk than a fit fifty year old.

I have to add that I don’t feel the UK subject was clearly handled and this could also be due to the time constraints of the broadcast.

The bottom line is: women having children after 40 are slowly changing the face of the modern American family.

They need our support in terms of being acknowledged, accepted and respected in their role as mothers.

To play on one of my favorite lines from Horton Hears a Who! (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Horton_Hears_a_Who%21): A mother is a mother no matter how old!

Got comments on the broadcast? Email me and I’ll post them in an upcoming blog. editor[at]flowerpowermom[dot]com .

CNN Interview links:

MP4 (22MB) (Right-Click “Save As”): http://www.achildafter40.com/publicfiles/Angel_CNN.mp4 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/publicfiles/Angel_CNN NULL.mp4)

Flash (17MB): http://www.achildafter40.com/publicfiles/Angel_CNN.flv (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/publicfiles/Angel_CNN NULL.flv)

AVI is available upon request. (This is a large file!)

8 Responses to The Great Age Debate On CNN

  1. Lisa Rae says:

    I thought you came across wonderfully. Way to go!

  2. Do ‘Real’ Moms Use Donor Eggs? | Flower Power Mom Blog (http://flowerpowermom NULL.com/wordpress/?p=1769) says:

    […] latest on the Kelly Preston saga was to interview fertility specialists (who appeared to be dancing on eggshells) on the delicate […]

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  6. A Child After 40 On CNN – Flower Power Mom (http://flowerpowermom NULL.com/mothers-day-cnn/) says:

    […] from my home in just a few hours on the launch of A Child After 40–a natural follow-on from our last debate on CNN regarding the Kelly Preston […]

  7. Lisa Williams says:

    I think that all of us late life moms can use all the good P.R. we can get and thus I thank you for your efforts. I did not CHOOSE to wait to have a live birth til I was 45. I started ttc when I was 35 only to suffer three fetal demises at the end of the first trimester (all natural conceptions). I got the “time to move on to fertility meds” speech and then the “time to move on to donor egg” speech long before I was ready and after the third fetal demise finally accepted that DE represented my best chance of a healthy baby. However,since I didn’t believe that egg quality had been the cause of the fetal demises, I also got immunological tests run at the advice of a psychological therapist whose help I sought to deal with the grief. Through an independent, outside lab I came up positive for elevated NK count and also positive for APA (antiphospholipid antibodies). The treatment for the NK was to ingest low dose prednisone during the first trimester and for the APA to inject lovenox, a blood thinner, for the duration of the pg. I told my RE and my OB about the lovenox but per their notes neither saw the need for it. Two days after ceasing lovenox injections, however, one week before the scheduled c-section (necessary due to a large intramural fibroid blocking the cervix) I came down with HELLP syndrome (an extreme form of eclamspia) that gave me a stroke which put me in a coma. HELLP also necessitated an emergency c-section, craniotomy, respirator, ventilator and feeding tube. My liver ruptured and for a while it seemed as if I might need a liver transplant, a procedure that undoubtedly would have killed me. Blessedly my liver healed itself. Also fortunately, all medical care was paid for by my dual health insurance provided by my trade union, the motion picture editor’s guild (and thus we are SUPER blessed) and my daughter is doing great (unlike many HELLP babies born too early to survive.)

    After a year of cognitive therapy I am doing pretty wonderfully too, especially considering the trauma my body, soul, and mind have endured. However, I wish more REs and OBs were educated about immunological and clotting issues so other women could avoid the losses and the grief that I (and my husband) endured. Three unnecessary losses were too many.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa
    mom to DD Sarah
    via DE IVF
    HELLP Syndrome (stroke/coma/tbi) survivor

    P.S. I don’t mind that celebrities stay closeted about doing DE. I think they have the same right to privacy that we all do. As part of my good karma I told every young woman I worked with in the entertainment business, “Don’t wait til you are 35 or older to try to conceive unless you want heartache I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.” Three of them went on to have children. In addition, my sister in law (who unknown to me had already suffered one m/c) went on to give birth to my wonderful nephew and niece. I consider it “pay back.” I also ran my own in-person support group for women ttc thru DE and they helped get me through a very trying three year long process (two cancelled cycles due to problems with the first two donors.)

    PS2. I am feminist and grateful for the battles the feminists of the 1960s and 1970s won but I do think they let us down by making us think that it had to be an either/or choice and by not educating us on the limits of biology or the emotional rewards of parenting. I LOVED my career and my economic independence but I LOVE my daughter more.

  8. Angel La Liberte (http://www NULL.flowerpowermom NULL.com) says:

    Lisa,
    I really felt I had to respond to your comment. I do agree that the issue of reproductive immunology should be given more attention. Many, many women have suffered from “serial miscarriage” without knowing that this is one possible explanation. If only testing was done, it could save heartache and precious biological clock time for many. I’ve written on this before at the FPM blog: http://flowerpowermom.com/the-new-father-of-fertility/ (http://flowerpowermom NULL.com/the-new-father-of-fertility/).
    I also find common ground in your comment about the feminists of the 60’s and 70’s. But if you think about it, they felt that all the pressure was one-sided, on being “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen”. It probably didn’t occur to them that pendulum would swing the other way. We are all, after all, imprisoned in the subjective context of our time, for better or for worse.
    Thank you for raising this very important subject. I’m glad you survived your ordeal to become a loving, dedicated and enlightened mother!

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