Stock photo by GERAS
Alicia Anderson Age: 49. Mother of Emma, and Loukas, age two. She is married to Bernard, 52
We had an 18-year-old daughter, Emma, who was our only child. She had a car crash and died in September 2002. It was terrible at the time, and still is. She's very much in our thoughts. We live in an above-average-sized house and felt that it was very empty. We looked at adopting, but didn't think that they would consider us because of our age (which has consequently proved to be rubbish actually) and because we were so emotional at the time that it would have been for the wrong reasons.
So we spoke about having another baby. I had more of a complication in that I had breast cancer that year too. I was on the drug Tamoxifen and I had to speak to the surgeon and the oncologist to see if they thought it was a good idea that I came off it for a period. They said they didn't see any complications, but advised me not to come of it for more than a year. At that time I had had the lump removed and radiotherapy for about six weeks. I was a little bit worried about the consequences of radiotherapy for the baby.
It didn't take long for me to conceive. I was absolutely delighted. We both were. Loukas was fine when he was born. I breastfed him for a month and then went back on the drug.
Second time around, I'm far more patient. We really do appreciate him. Loukas helped us to not only come to terms with what had happened to Emma, and at the time gave us a purpose to go on, but he's given us a great deal of happiness.
I worked during Emma's upbringing and I want to spend as much time as I can with Loukas. Losing Emma so early on you have certain regrets and I look back and think if only I had had a little bit more time with her. We have our own quality assurance accreditation company and I work for my husband at home.
I don't feel any difference at all being older. I might not do the Mother's Race, but I feel no more tired than I would have the first time around. Everyone has been delighted for us. I've only had one comment about my age. The young woman running an activity I took him to asked whether I was his grandmother. I just said: "No, I'm his mother."
I've made a lot of new young friends. I don't notice the age difference. They vary from late twenties to early forties. They all include me in any activities that are going on. I'm probably the oldest mum, but it doesn't bother me as long as I'm fit and healthy and can keep up with all of the activities.
I don't think an older mother offers any more or less than a younger mother. No age is too old to be a mother if you feel physically capable of looking after that child.
I do worry what will happen when Loukas goes to school when he's about 10. Will he get teased for having an older mother? Will they say: "Here's your grandmother collecting you"? But I think it's more acceptable these days. I'll just tell him not to let it bother him.
I would recommend being an older mother. The only regret I have at the moment is that I'm not able to have more children. I would have liked to have given him a sibling.
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