Having babies is hard. Having babies when you’re old is even harder because in addition to all the regular worries that come with babies you also have to worry about breaking a hip when you trip on a teether or mixing up Desitin with Fixadent. The struggle for those of advanced maternal age is real. I know. I’m an old mom. Not as old a mom as that crazy lady in Germany who just had her 900th baby at age 65, but I shucked my last pup a few months after turning 41 so my old lady street cred is solid.
There is a slight difference between your average, run of the mill granny-mom’s baby raising process and mine because in addition to the normal worries and that whole butt-cream/denture cream conundrum, I got an extra dose of concern with my very special 10-pound Nugget. My Nugget came with a bum kidney and a nub of an ear and while he is damn adorable and easy to identify in a room of 2-eared children, he has given this old mom a few more challenges than she expected. But above all the testing, therapies and medical procedures, the biggest challenge is one I’m finally ready to conquer – sharing our story. For a natural born Chatty Cathy, I’ve spent the past two years uncharacteristically quiet about the Nugget’s issues to most. It’s hard to shout from the mountains “My kid’s got birth defects!” when you’re an old mom because inevitably some judgmental hag points the finger at you and let’s not even mention the fact that I couldn’t actually use the words “birth defects” and “my kid” in the same sentence until he was over a year old.
But after this summer of ER visits, a couple tough diagnoses, ASL training, struggling though adding and deleting therapies, and preparing for an upcoming major surgery I realized that our parenting path is not run of the mill, even for old people. Our little dude does have some issues that we can’t ignore because they aren’t going away and that’s ok. I’ve also realized in all my time Googling like a nutjob and spending copious time in Facebook support groups for each of his issues that it’s vital to share because sharing your struggle can mean the world to someone in similar circumstances. So here we go. In regular installments I’m going to share our story but rest assured, our tale filled with nothing less than ample amounts of snark, sass and dark humor because if you can’t laugh, you may as well curl up and die.