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Over two years ago, Jodi Boswell asked her 50-year-old “bachelor boyfriend”—whom she doubted would be interested in family life—to lie down so she could break some news to him.
“We had a big surprise” says Jodi, “I became pregnant at 45”.
A History of Devastating Losses
In fact, no one was more surprised than Jodi herself.Back in 1991, the fitness trainer and rowing instructor had married for the first time at age 27. She then had a “difficult time conceiving” and suffered a series of devastating losses.
“I had three miscarriages and one successful pregnancy after years of trying” explains Boswell.
She finally gave birth to a baby girl, Nelleke, in 1998.
“I thought my daughter was the only child I would ever have” she says.
After 15 years of marriage, Boswell was going through a divorce when she was introduced to her future, and second, husband.
Our Lives Were About To Experience A Drastic Change
“We soon knew that our relationship was committed” she recalls, “but we had no idea our lives were about to experience such a drastic change.”
Despite the shock, her boyfriend—who had never been married—was calm and knew instantly that he wanted to be a father and have a family.
At first Boswell kept her condition a secret from Nelleke—who was then 9 years old—until she was five months pregnant and sure “the baby was healthy and would survive”.
As she finally told her daughter the news, Nelleke was “overcome with tears and laughter, when she realized she was going to be a big sister.”
What Came Later Was A Revelation
If pregnancy was a surprise, then what came later was nothing short of a revelation.
Having had a C-section when her daughter was born, Boswell was determined to have a natural, home birth this time—and was prepared to flout the medical establishment to do it.
According to Jodi, “If you are of ‘advanced maternal age’, you are placed into a whole different category with more [medical] interventions, mostly based on liability, not science.
“Pregnancy is not an illness.”
A resident of Santa Cruz, CA, she continues: “If you are older and want a VBAC (http://www NULL.americanpregnancy NULL.org/labornbirth/vbac NULL.html)and a non-interrupted natural home birth, the support is just about non-existent”.
“Now I understand why a lot of home births are unattended by professionals” says Boswell.
Unable to find a certified midwife who would support her, Boswell—in the end—invited an “old friend who recently became a lay midwife” to her home, while she gave birth, quietly attended by her new husband.
Complications Did Not End After Noah’s Birth
Baby Noah was born “after five hours of pushing”, which were required because both of his fists were beside his head as he entered the birth canal.
Of course, as with most over-40 moms, the complications of being a midlife mom did not stop after Noah’s birth.
Now 47 with a toddler, she’s found the social trappings of later life motherhood a challenge.
“It has been frustrating for me not to be able to find a connection with moms at my son’s activities.”
Feeling Like An Outcast
“I really feel like an outcast in settings with younger moms when I am at a different place in my life than they often seem to be.” She admits.
“I find I am craving a social network with other women who are like-minded” says the Santa Cruz resident, “I want to start a social group for over-40 moms.” (See blog notes.)
And, like the rest of us, she’s had her share of mistaken identity.
Only a few weeks ago, she was in a well-known book store with Noah when a lady struck up a conversation with the toddler.
“Are you having a nice day out with your grandma?” she asked.
Jodi quickly enlightened her on the maternal truth of the situation.
“I’m an over-40 mom!” she replied.
The Strengths of Later Life Motherhood
Despite these disappointments—and now that Noah is two and a half—Boswell has acquired an almost transcendental understanding of the strengths of later life motherhood.
“Wisdom comes when you live your life following with is true for you” she says.
“It can take a while until you allow yourself that freedom—perhaps that’s why most wise women are older.”
She says that she has also become more “stubborn” and more likely to “follow her [my] instincts”.
“In general, I definitely speak my mind and stand up for what is fair for my children in middle age” says Boswell.
Born in 1963, she is concerned about the modern deficit of childhood freedom and innocence.
“There was a lot more playtime then—now kids have more demands in school and sit a lot more than we did, thanks to being surrounded by media and computers.”
“Social skills in our society are really suffering because our interactions have changed from face-to-face, to computers and the internet.”
Stigma Comes From Not Being Informed
Her aging concerns as a midlife mother are that she and her husband won’t be “hip enough to be connected with Noah when he reaches high school”.
On how our culture could change and improve towards mothers over 40, she says:
“A lot of stigma comes from not being informed.”
AChildAfter40.com can help convince others that we are a segment of society that has power, wisdom and life experience to guide future generations to a more fulfilled and peaceful existence.”
Jodi Boswell’s ‘pearls of wisdom’ to her over-40 mom sorority?
“Follow your instincts. Do what tickles your fancy. Put love first.”
Notes for this blog:
SHARE YOUR FREE MOTHER’S DAY TRIBUTE E-CARD
Mother’s Day 2013 is on Sunday, May 12th. AChildAfter40.com has launched a FREE Mother’s Day Tribute Album in an E-Card and social media friendly format. It features candid mother & child portraits and “pearls of wisdom” from real over-40 moms: the true faces and authentic voices of later motherhood.
Join us and help to dispel negative, stereotypes regarding mothers over 40. Please share this e-card via email and your social media and encourage friends to pass it on. Get the message out there: You can do it by emailing, tweeting or Facebooking the card and/or the blog from the share bar.
“CELEBRATE MOTHERHOOD OVER 40” HANDMADE WINE CHARMS
We are launching these elegant, handmade glass wine charms, made especially for AChildAfter40.com for this occasion. They come in an organza sachet as singles or “His & Hers”, and “Celebrate Motherhood Over 40” gift tag for Mother’s Day at only $3.95 each. Order now! They are ideal for accessorizing gift wrap, to adorn wine glass stems, or to wear as a personal charm. Proceeds will help to fund our online forums.
Photography donated by: Scott Lewis (http://www NULL.lewisimages NULL.com/)
Graphic designs for “Celebrating Motherhood After 40” Mom & Tot T-Shirts donated by graphic designer: Joan Lintz-Thompson (joanlintz_thompson null@null yahoo NULL.com).
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