InSeason Mom: How long were you trying to get pregnant?
Lori: Never. Because of my abusive upbringing, I was always turned off to the idea of kids and marriage. I didn't try to increase my chance of getting pregnant. I had a miscarriage 10 years earlier and figured at age 43 there was a slim to none chance of conceiving.
The Medical Community
InSeason Mom: How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?
Lori: Very! The perinatologists were the best. They were all so positive and supportive of my son’s condition.
InSeasonMom: Were you surprised by their reaction?
Lori: Actually, I was. Being single, 43 and with unreliable income, I felt stigmatized, as if I were living up to a stereotype. Not only that, I had also heard accounts from other women whose children had birth defects and were encouraged to get abortions by their doctors. But most of my doctors treated me with kindness and respect.
InSeasonMom: Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors?
InSeasonMom: Why did you change doctors?
Lori: Initially, I began treatment at a low income clinic with a midwife. I always had to wait over 40 minutes to be seen. Then she was constantly arguing with me about how far along I was, as if I wasn’t in the room the day I got pregnant! I didn't know who else to go to. I didn't have health insurance. Then I found out, because I am a Veteran, that the VA Hospital would pay for all of my pre-natal expenses. I upgraded and began going to a clinic near my job.
My initial doctor was very pessimistic and unsupportive of what I wanted for my pregnancy. She shot down my idea of having a natural birth because "women your age" are susceptible to "high risk" pregnancies. She didn't have a sense of humor, either, and never laughed at my one-liners. So, the next day I replaced her. My next doctor was FANTASTIC.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
InSeasonMom: Who was the first person you told about your pregnancy and why?
Lori: The first person I told was the baby’s daddy and he wasn’t trying to hear it.
InSeasonMom: What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?
Lori: My friends were ecstatic, once the shock wore off. Eventually I reconnected with my mother (after 8 years) a few days before my due date. She was shocked but happy.
LABOR AND DELIVERY
InSeasonMom: Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not?
Lori: No. Once I found out my son had Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, and knowing I had a giant fibroid on my uterus blocking the vaginal canal, for his safety, I decided to have a c-section.
InSeasonMom:Where did you give birth and what do you remember most about the birth experience?
Lori: I gave birth in the hospital. The c-section procedure took forever. I couldn’t see anything and no one would speak to me about how things were progressing. When my son was born, I wasn’t allowed to see him. I wasn’t allowed to see him right away on account of the huge opening in his back. They swept him away to get him prepped and to make sure the wound was covered to avoid infection. It felt like I was strapped to that birthing table for hours.
I will never forget when they finally brought him out wrapped in a blanket with this tiny white cap on his head. I couldn’t believe he had just come from my body! He was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen in my life. He literally took my breath away. His lips were red like rubies and puckered like he’d just tasted a lemon. I couldn’t hold him, but I kissed his lips and the nurse laid him on my chest for a minute. Then he was swept off to the NICU and prepped for surgery.
I AM MOM
InSeasonMom: What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you compensate for this fear?
Lori: I guess the biggest fear I have is having a sudden heart attack or aneurysm and dying and nobody knowing and not finding my son in time. I compensate by making sure my landlord knows to check on me if I haven’t picked up my mail in few days, and trying not to worry about things I cannot control.
InSeasonMom: What do you enjoy about being an older mom?
Lori: I love that I am absolutely nothing like my mother! I love that there is no doubt in mind about my priorities. I love and appreciate my son better at this age. I love that I have finally found unconditional love in my life.
InSeasonMom: How has becoming a mom changed you?
Lori: I’m a little more outgoing, nicer and have more patience. I have someone whose needs I can put ahead of mine and I like that! I have become a bit of an advocate for children with disabilities. I never in my wildest dreams thought my life would veer into that direction.
InSeasonMom: What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?
Lori: Don’t be scurred (laugh out loud). Just make sure it’s something you really, really want. Know that, despite these hard economic times, there are still resources out there if you need them. Just ask ask ask. You will find the answers. And most importantly, do not be ashamed of any help you may need!
WIC, Sec 8, and public assistance were all put in place for a reason. They are invaluable resources to take advantage of if you need to regroup and start over. Forget the media stigma associated with them. Good people havegotten help until they were able to sustain themselves independently and went on to provide stable and loving households for their children.
InSeasonMom:Any additional comments?
Lori: I have to admit, I am a bit concerned by all of this “over-parenting” going on. People have rules for everything. Babies don’t come with rules! In the end, I think it’s best to really tune into your child’s needs and go from there. They will let you know what they want and when.
At the end of the day, if being a parent is what you really want to be, the Universe will provide for you as long as you are actively seeking to succeed. You don’t need a special set of dvd’s or the latest best selling book to tap into the power that resides in all of us. The fact that my son and I are not homeless or hungry and I was able to pay my car off ten months after losing my job is testament to this. I’ve never subscribed to any particular religion, but I believe in my heart a higher power exists and that power wants us all to succeed.
InSeason Mom Cynthia would like to thank Lori for being an inspiration to moms across the world!
|March-April 2011 - Lisa Bruchac|
|July-August 2011-Shawna Garcia|