Jewish World Review Jan. 28, 2005 / 18 Shevat, 5765
Can AARP card help get discounts on diapers?
If this current trend of older women giving birth continues, before long
we'll be adding maternity wings to nursing homes.
Recently, a 56-year-old New Yorker gave birth to twins. A 60-year-old
Japanese woman has set that nation's record for oldest mother, while a
62-year-old woman holds the title in Italy. A 65-year-old has performed the
feat in India, and now a Romanian woman has bested them all by giving birth
at the age of 66.
What must it be like to get your first AARP card on the same day your baby
takes her first steps?
Does Medicare cover hormone replacement therapy and prenatal vitamins?
No doubt developers are already considering what this older-mother trend
will to do retirement communities. Sales rep: "Here we are in the
Late-in-Life Parenthood Division of Golden Meadows. Beauty on the outside,
security on the inside. Every home comes with safety plugs in the
electrical sockets, gate guards by all the stairs and child-proof locks on
all the cupboards. Mommie and Me Bingo is every Wednesday night and
mandatory quiet hours are every afternoon from 2 to 4 so parents and
children may nap comfortably."
News tidbits in retiree newsletters will also take on an interesting hue:
"Delores Whitehead, accounting, retired '98, has recovered from cataract
surgery, two knee replacements, and given birth to a son.
"Barbara Wilson, marketing, retired with her husband in '00. They had been
running the Wild Blue Yonder Bed and Breakfast until becoming parents last
month, forcing them to turn the Amelia Earhart Suite into a nursery and put
all guest services, including meals, bedding and housekeeping, on a
serve-yourself basis until further notice."
When we began our family, a woman's goal was to be finished having babies
by the time she hit 30. Giving birth in your 20s meant low-risk pregnancies
and a chance your stomach muscles would return. Then more women began
delaying pregnancy until their 30s and the goal was to be finished by your
40s. Now more women are having children in their 40s and apparently the new
goal is to be finished with child-bearing sometime between estrogen and death.
In all fairness, there is something good to be said for having children
when you are older. My in-laws married in their late 30's and had my
husband when they were 40. On many counts they had more wisdom, experience
and patience than younger parents fresh out of the gate.
My paternal grandmother was a novelty in that she was 50 when she had her
ninth and last child. They had a name for babies like that back then
surprise. My Aunt Judy wasn't the result of in-vitro fertilization, a
donated egg or $25,000 in doctors' fees. She happened naturally. She was a
little surprise and a big blessing. Tagalongs usually are.
But giving birth at 50 bears little semblance to the Romanian who, after
nine years of fertility treatments, has given birth at 66.
The woman will still be in the throes of potty training when she's
pushing 70, driving carpool when she is 75, asking for help out of the
little desks at back-to-school night when she's 77 and teaching the kid to
drive when she's in her early 80s.
On the bright side, Providence willing, when the woman's daughter is in her
early 20s, the mother can turn to her and say, "Look, sweetie, there's mom
on television with Willard Scott."
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