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Why would any woman give up a lucrative job and a comfortable lifestyle to become society’s stereotypical whipping girl—a single mother?
Unlike the classic negative imagery of single motherhood, however, it’s obvious Ms. Lynn is not going to be on welfare anytime soon.
But even women walking in designer shoes must have real cojones to choose a “seed-dad,” followed by a lone journey up the uncharted catwalk of parenthood.
What’s more, her story is a far cry from the trite 2010 comedy, The Switch (http://www NULL.imdb NULL.com/video/imdb/vi731252249/)—originally titled “The [Turkey] Baster,” no prizes for guessing why—about single motherhood through sperm donation.
Unlike Kassie Larson (Jennifer Aniston), there was no boy BFF (Jason Bateman) to substitute his own sperm for the donor’s during the “insemination party”.
This is the real thing.
Single motherhood in midlife—with a bun baked up in the maternal oven of advanced age from the genetic ingredients of a male stranger. Why?
According to Lynn—who has recently founded Over 35 New Moms (http://www NULL.over35newmoms NULL.com/), a health resource for pregnancy at 40—she had given up on pregnancy after years of trying.
First with her husband and then, after divorcing, with another partner, who was “the love of her life,” all attempts at conception failed.
“I didn’t think I could conceive, so I dove into my career and became quite successful,” says Lynn, “but there was something missing.”
It was a “chance encounter” with a new OB which she says became “the most impactful conversation of my life.”
The OB encouraged her to try again and Lynn was “filled with hope and belief” that she could have a child.
After a hysteroscopy to remove a “badly placed” uterine tumor, which doctors suspected had prevented implantation previously, it was time to choose a sperm donor.
“I had the impression that the fertility clinic would have a sperm bank and I would leaf through profiles to select the father for my baby,” she admits.
“The nurses told me that there were many reputable web sites from which to order sperm—this was shocking!”
However, once she’d found an acceptable donor, Lynn conceived after the second try of IUI.
But she lost the baby and her faith in becoming pregnant and carrying to term at 44 was shaken.
It took two more cycles of IUI to conceive again, but this time, she says, “my heart was very guarded until I held my beautiful child in my arms.”
Pregnancy at 44 was also something of a surprise, according to Lynn.
“I have always been very active and in good shape—so I was surprised at how tired I was during pregnancy.”
“During the last 3 weeks, the baby was resting on a nerve and I could hardly walk,” she adds.
As a mother of a now 7-month-old daughter, named “AJ,” Lynn has discovered truths about herself that are a far cry from how she was in her relative youth.
“I was a classic ‘Type A’ ten or twenty years ago,” she says, “but now I have more love, joy and empathy which I learned through my 45 years on the planet.”
“The biggest challenge is the little aches and pains which I know I didn’t have 20 years ago,” she adds.
But Lynn is also quick to point out that she’s a “better mom at 45 than she would have been at 25, 35, or even 40.”
Moreover, she’s not the type to ‘go gentle into that good night (http://www NULL.poets NULL.org/viewmedia NULL.php/prmMID/15377)’ of encroaching senior citizenship.
“I do everything possible to thwart aging including retinol and c-cream, working out, blond hair coloring, carrying AJ a lot, laughing, dressing well, thinking young and being silly!”
“I also don’t care,” says Lynn, “if I get mashed carrots on my cashmere sweater—it will wash.”
And, while weighing career and midlife motherhood in the balance, she is sanguine— and at peace— about her choice.
“While I was fortunate to have lots of career opportunity and success, I didn’t feel my work made a significant difference in the world.”
Now, through her website (http://www NULL.over35newmoms NULL.com/) on pregnancy at 40, and a book about her choice to walk away from the corporate world to conceive and raise her daughter, Deborah Lynn hopes to make her mark on the world.
Her advice to others—while it may smack of grandma’s folk wisdom—is grounded in years of experience in executive decision-making.
“Will you have a regret on your deathbed if you do or don’t do something?”
In the end, she feels she’d made the best choice for her circumstances.
“This journey would have been better and easier for me if I’d been married to my best friend, but that isn’t the situation life gave me.”
“I am happier than I have ever been and believe I am blessed beyond measure.”
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.
Deborah Lynn’s website: Over 35 New Moms http://www.over35newmoms.com/ (http://www NULL.over35newmoms NULL.com/) and Innovate Your Baby at: http://innovateyourbaby.com/ (http://www NULL.innovateyourbaby NULL.com)
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