A colleague resigned this month. She is working her notice period. She found it too embarrassing to let people know that she had conceived at the age of 43. In fact I came to know about her pregnancy, which she hid under winter shawls and layers of natural fat, quite accidentally. I gave her a lift and she forgot her medical file on the passenger seat.
It reminded me of a friend of mine. We were in college when her parents conceived. She and her older sister were so embarrassed that they hid the fact for a long time. When my friend finally confided in me, her discomfort at the concept of her parents being active sexually was the predominant emotion she vocalized. Yes, all of us would like to believe that we are products of Immaculate Conception. Sadly that is not true.
Even then, what hit me most strongly is what her parents must have gone through, to tell their daughters aged 20 and 18 that there was another baby on the way. The issues will be firstly embarrassment. Adult children can be self-centered and very obnoxious if they perceive that their parents have put them into any sort of discomfort.
Secondly, there will be concern, naturally about health, both the mother’s and the baby’s. Doctors say that children born to mothers after 40 are susceptible to many health issues. Mothers too are at risk.
“I’m going to be a Mom at 43. Is that bad?” she asked, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment.
“No, it’s awesome. You’ll rock!” I answered gently.
She is financially secure; by forty both parents have secured enough financial security to not be worried. They are sorted in their relationship with each other and with their in-laws. Their other kids are old enough to lend a hand and babysit the new member. I can not see any scenario in which the little one won’t be the most loved and pampered brat on the block.
I told her so.
I also told her I envy her. Being a mother, bringing another life into this world, it’s a very young thing to do. The thought makes me feel younger and she is living it. Sleepless nights, tiredness but a new baby! The smiles, the cuddles, the blind adoration that a baby gives its Mom. Ahh bliss. I miss that!
Ritu Lalit is the author of two novels, A Bowlful of Butterflies published by Rupa & Co., and Hilawi published by Popular Prakashan. She is a single parent and blogs at www.phoenixritu.com