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But one midlife mom recently reached out across the blogosphere and set the record straight.
After posting a blog earlier this month about Kim Parsons—a British woman eulogized in the UK press for becoming a mom at 51 after 30 years of “trying”—I suddenly got a foreign flea in my ear.
It was from Parsons herself, reaching out from Britain to comment on the story.
“This tale has been blown all out of proportion,” she wrote, in reference to the media coverage she’d received after having a daughter via surrogacy in her 50’s.
Parsons maintains that, like any other young woman, she’d set out to have a family in her 20’s during the late 1970’s.
But that’s about where the normalcy ended.
Parsons had two miscarriages over a period of a few years—the second occurring at 22 weeks, when the medical staff refused to let her see the fetus.
“I had miscarried a little boy,” she says.
“I never had counseling— as it didn’t exist then. Of course, I’m happy that these ancient ways have long gone.”
What Parsons discloses next is almost startling. She landed in the hospital to have her spleen removed as a result of being physically abused by her partner.
The incident resulted in moving back with her parents in 1983. Two years later, she met her current husband David.
They’ll be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this year.
At the start of the relationship, however, the couple learned Parsons’ fallopian tubes were blocked.
After a 3 year waiting period for IVF treatments funded by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), her hopes were dashed once more.
“We had 3 failed attempts at Hammersmith Hospital in London under Dr. Winston—who is quite a famous man here now,” says Parsons.
Then, after 2 failed attempts at having a child via donor eggs, privately funded, she began to blame herself.
“I felt so upset with myself for it not working—I kept asking ‘Why me?’” she admits.
It was then that the Parsons learned, through a test carried out in the USA, that that Kim’s body was rejecting genetic material from her husband.
According to Parsons, “all those years of IVF were a waste of time!”
After a long journey through serial disappointments, the couple first met with their surrogate in June 2007.
Kim Parsons became a mother via surrogacy in 2008 at the age of 51.
She now volunteers her time to the surrogacy organization that came to her aid, Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy (COTS). (http://www NULL.surrogacy NULL.org NULL.uk/)
“I want them to see that you don’t give up—no matter what life throws at you, you don’t throw in the towel,” says Parsons.
Although feeling that she’s had “more or less 100% support” by the UK public, Parsons allows that she’s had her dissenters through online comments.
“Being called ‘selfish’ and a ‘witch’ is a bit harsh—especially when we have other people who don’t care one jot about their offspring’s welfare.”
In the end, Parsons advises other women facing challenges having children not to give up.
“It is a human right and basic need for most, if not all, women to have a child.”
But she also warns: “Don’t just assume you’ll get pregnant.”
“If we’d known at the beginning of our journey that we’d not been compatible, it may not have taken so long.”
Notes for this blog:
Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (www.flowerpowermom.com), a regular blog featuring news, commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40.
FPM’s first blog on Kim Parsons: https://achildafter40.com/mom-over-50-kim-parsons/
Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy: www.surrogacy.org.uk (http://www NULL.surrogacy NULL.org NULL.uk/).
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