I am often asked why I do what I do -- here's why, and why YOU should not make my mistake:
It was a gorgeous spring day in Washington, D.C. The city was covered with millions of its famous cherry blossoms and the sweet scent of Mother Nature hung in the air. I was sitting on the couch in my living room, simultaneously admiring the cherry tree outside my window and the tiny baby that was sleeping in my lap.
I was so happy. I had birthed my son a few weeks after my 44th birthday and reveled in every moment of his and my new existence (besides a few crises, that every new parent experiences). I was quite literally drunk with love and in awe of life and thought:
"Wow, it's awesome to have a child when you are a true adult. I am so thankful to have had a rich life that was challenging, exciting, miserable, and glorious. It all brought me to this moment when I could fully and totally be present with my child and stand strong in my new life as a mother."
And being a journalist for 20+ years, I also thought:
"I want to write a book about later motherhood. I want other women to know how great it is to have a child when you are mature and truly ready to embrace a family!"
And so with a heart full of excitement and love I reached over to my computer. I opened it up with one hand while cradling my boy with the other, and then I made a colossal mistake -- I Googled.
I Googled terms like "pregnancy over 40" and "motherhood later in life", and I could not believe my eyes.
I saw headline after headline about women's decline of fertility after 35, and basically being barren after 40. I read about the simultaneous increase of birth defects and other risks and that the use of modern technology is really the only viable way to start a family when approaching the big 4-0, or seeing it in the rearview mirror. I read one discouraging story of infertility after another...
...and I started to feel it. I started to feel the fear that these stories could all be true. The anxiety that I may never be a mother because of my age. I felt the punch in my stomach because, really, why did I wait so long? Who did I think I was to follow my heart's desire that late in the game?
I went from a place of love and power to one of naked fear and deep doubt - in ONE GOOGLE SEARCH FLAT!
Can you relate?!
And I already had my baby alive and well, sleeping in my arms!
(This, my dear ladies, is the power of the internet, the power of the media - which I've been a part of for decades now - and the power of words when coming from a person of authority, like a doctor, regardless of how accurate his/her statement is.)
Slowly I realized the deep impact I just had felt because I had asked Dr. Google for advice. And a new emotion came over me. I became mad. Very mad.
How can it be that a woman who is called to motherhood, and looks to Dr. Google for hope and inspiration is met ONLY with doom and gloom stories that are largely blown out of proportion? How can the dominant narrative out there be one of fear and failure?
A hot wave of anger came over me. And made this all very personal for me.
I vividly remember looking down at baby Hunter and saying to him in my head: "Hunter, you and I, we need to do something about this. We are going to change this crazy narrative once and for all!"
This year, right after cherry blossoms, our book The Joy of Later Motherhood was published, and my publisher decided to put a photo of my boy and me on the cover. Very proud Mama moment, I tell you.
And today, I'd like to remind YOU to please stop Googling. I've read many stories with attention-grabbing headlines (because that draws eyeballs to the article) that are blown out of proportion, and statistics that are not true because the journalist/writer made a mistake and copied material from an erroneous source.
Even when accurate with data and sources, Dr. Google is very one-sided and old-fashioned in his knowledge and does not seem to know that there is a whole world of fertility, vibrancy, and hope for us women over 35 and 40!
When it comes to motherhood, your life is evolving outside the narrow box that says "have kids before 35" - so you need to look for support and encouragement from people outside the box too!
PLEASE look for people like me, whose perspective is radically different than the mainstream perspective. I highly encourage you to read (or give as a gift to a woman dear to your heart) The Joy of Later Motherhood because it's full of real-life stories of us women who had one, two, even three healthy children over 40 - the old fashioned way!
And you may have seen - I recently opened the doors for private one-on-one coaching/mentoring with me for the first time this year! You can also ask me any questions you have in a 20-minute Welcome Call (free of charge, of course) because you are a member of my community and I am here for you! You can book your free call with me here.
Check out natural fertility experts like Aimee Raupp (Chapter 3 in the book), Dr. Marc Sklar, Gabriela Rosa, Dr. Katherine Zagone, Nita Ewald, and so many others who support women of "a certain age" every single day to conceive healthy babies naturally (and also through ART - assisted reproductive technology - if you prefer) for encouragement and success stories.
Let’s retire Dr. Google until your baby has arrived, shall we? ;-)
With love and a smile,
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