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Forty-one year old Illustrator, Leanne Salandro—who is currently expecting her first baby—met her husband five years before they went on their first date.
The couple—who had been ‘nudged together’ by mutual friends years earlier—finally went out on April Fool’s Day 2006 and were married just six months later.
“I never really planned on waiting until later in life to have a family” says Salandro, “but it was a case of waiting for Mr. Perfect to arrive.”
Just to make it abundantly clear, she adds: “I dated some Mr. Rights, but my husband—he’s truly Mr. Perfect.”
And ‘Mr. Perfect’ had been ‘under her nose’ the whole time.
50/50 About Having Children
Before at last getting together with her husband, Salandro was “50/50 about having children”.
“The older I got,” she says, “the more I thought Time was simply taking it off my list of ‘maybes’.
“I was okay with that—Life is a many-splendored thing and I don’t see children as a vital ingredient” she continues.
When it came to attitude towards having a family, the couple found they were soul-mates once more.
“My husband dramatically declared to anyone who asked: ‘Heck no, we’re not having kids!’”
“We never really talked about it that much.”
They Decided To Go For It
But Leanne began to notice how much Patrick loved his family and his four sisters, often sharing with her his fond childhood memories.
“So one day I just said: ‘For someone who is so in love with family, I’m surprised that you don’t want to have children.’”
After that, things changed. Salandro describes her husband as “startled” by the observation and, after a few months, they decided to “go for it”, setting one year as their deadline for conception.
But the road to pregnancy wasn’t an easy one. Nine months into trying, Leanne had a miscarriage.
The doctor encouraged them by saying at least the couple knew that Leanne could conceive.
Adoption Just As Good As “Home Grown”
However, since they had agreed that adoption was just as good as “organically homegrown” babies, they signed up with the county to foster or adopt.
Towards the end of the first series of the foster/adopt licensing classes and just 3 months after her miscarriage, Salandro discovered she was pregnant again.
“Our baby just snuck under the wire to beat our one-year deadline” she says happily.
“Now, after Patrick’s initial hesitation about having children, he’s in the full throes of baby fever.”
Grandma Gave Birth At 54
Leanne—who’s maternal great grandmother had her last live birth at 54 and a total of 13 children including 3 sets of twins—has a dynamic, yet pragmatic approach of motherhood.
“I feel I have so much more life experience and financial stability to offer.”
“I’m more settled as a person, and know more deeply who I am—that’s a great foundation to launch a new person into this world.”
Still a full time Web Designer and Illustrator—and having recently launched a clothing line, Girls4Sport (http://www NULL.girls4sport NULL.com/) featuring “cute, water-wear for girls, moms and grandmoms”—Leanne Salandro has no intention of giving up work after the baby comes.
“I will most definitely work again after our baby is born.”
Since When Is A Vagina A Handicap?
Motherhood is just as valuable to me as a career” she says, “but the realist part of me knows we need income to keep the bills paid and food on the table.”
Besides, ‘career’ isn’t what motivates her—rather it’s about “being a contributor to this world.”
And being a midlife mom is something that comes to Salandro more as a byproduct of living her life as she chooses.
In her clothing business and in the workplace, Leanne bears the strong convictions of her generation of women.
“I am focused on helping women of any age feel strong, beautiful and fully capable of accomplishing anything they can dream of attempting.”
“I’m sick and tired of women being seen as second class achievers—just not quite as capable as men, ‘the weaker sex’, and so on” she admits.
“Since when is a vagina a handicap?”
Leanne Salandro’s pearls of wisdom?
“There are quite a few ways to create a family. I’ve weighed them all.”
“Be open, be positive, and realistically optimistic…and then go for it!”
“Life happens uniquely for everyone. Enjoy the uniqueness of what yours will be.”
Notes for this blog:
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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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