Babies at 50? Well, it’s not for me, but …
I cringed again this week when I read that she'd died, leaving behind two toddler boys.
Yet, I never cringed when I read that Tony Randall became a father at age 77. And again at 78. I might have said "eww, gross," but I didn't cringe. It didn't occur to me to ask whether laws should be passed to prevent men older than 70 from becoming fathers.
And that bugs me.
Particularly since I cringed again today when a headline on CNN asked "Should you get pregnant if you're 50 or older."
Hell no, was my immediate reaction, but that was largely me projecting my current chaotic situation onto the rest of the female population.
A recent three-day hospital stay led to the stunning realization that I'm not immortal. Stress from the uncertainty surrounding our coming move has made me crankier than normal. Oh, and then there was the kid who always yelled, "Your grandmother's here" as I picked Big Guy up at kindergarten.
I am too damn old for this, I thought. There is no way any woman any older could handle it.
Which is ludicrous. There are plenty of 50- and 60-year-olds who are healthier than I am, and I'm sure they're at least 90 percent less cranky, too.
I cringe, not out of sexism, but because they're having children via in vitro fertilization at an age that would not be possible by natural means. That there's something so weird about having babies at an age when most people are thinking about drawing Social Security that it shouldn't even be an option.
Which also is ludicrous. God never created open heart surgery or chemotherapy or any of numerous other medical marvels that extend people's lives and preserve their health on a daily basis. But he did create human beings with the talents to come up with those techniques.
When I realized that, I quit cringing.
No, pregnancy at 50 is definitely not for me. Some days, I doubt my sanity for trying it at 41. Some days, younger women, too, doubt their sanity for trying it at 31. That's the way parenting is.
But who am I to make that decision for other women? These are no Nadya Sulemans, popping out 14 kids with no obvious way to support them. These are women who simply waitedlonger than normal or who had trouble conceiving or who realized later in life that they wanted children.
Who am I to deny them the joy I've experienced every day since the guys entered this world?
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.