Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In Celebration of Mothers - Guest Post


I am so excited to introduce you to my first guest blogger (ever!)  Sharon Munroe is a contributor at The Advanced Maternal Age Project.  Here she and co-founder Jennifer Rustgi strive to provide support and encouragement to women who become first-time mothers over the age of 35.  They offer much-needed advice and information on the many paths women can choose to pursue motherhood.  Sharon shares with us her story about finding her family when she realized the time was finally right for her.  I hope you enjoy, and be sure to check out Sharon's blog as well as her children's store, Little Green Beans!

This is My Advanced Maternal Age

Sharon and Baby Shannon
By Sharon Munroe 


From age 27 when I first married through age 38, I was regularly asked “when are you going to start a family”? I had a set answer, one that seemed very socially acceptable: “I do not think that my husband and I are going to have children.”  I was perfectly content with that response both in my head and my heart.

Fast forward to the present day: age 44 and being married to a different, caring man who comes from a large family. This chapter of my life is the best and includes a healthy infant boy. Sweet Shannon was a pure miracle or accident depending on one’s perspective. Is the old adage, “good things come to those who wait (and wait and wait)”? This one was worth the wait.

Shannon (yes, that is a boy) is a very smiley seven-month old as I write this. With bright blue eyes, fair skin and fine, strawberry blonde hair. He is what empowers me most in my busy, ambitious life that includes owning a one-year-old retail business, co-founding and leading marketing and business development for a new marketing research agency, and being a writer.

I am proud to have an infant son again. I hold him dearly and am truly amazed. He nurses, nibbles at pureed vegetables and smiles with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen on a baby. His smile melts my heart, truly.
Just one year ago my husband and I were awaiting the results of the CVS test, the much dreaded and highly accurate embryonic test for genetic abnormalities. I held my breath during the procedure in the perinatologist’s office. The same lack of air enveloped me when I got the call back from the genetic counselor whom I know well. She was calling with good results this time. I was already 43 years of age and having been through the test twice before I knew the odds. I exhaled and smiled. I haven’t stopped smiling.

Like most babies, Shannon has suffered from many minor infant ailments: jaundice at birth, colic during the first three months of life, hair loss at four months, a bit of eczema, and he also tends to spit up more than other babies. (This is what bibs and burp cloths are for.) Nothing rattles me though. Shannon takes it all in stride too--smiling, laughing at all of us but mostly at his big brother and soon-to-be adopted sister.

Our family is bigger than I could have ever imagined or dreamed. At age 38 I was busy with my career as a market research executive, lots of business and personal travel, volunteer work and hobbies. I liked young children though I wasn’t prepared to have my own.

What changed? Not the proverbial biological clock but an awakening instead. This was the right place, person and time in my life. Today at age 44 ½ I have two healthy sons and a daughter in the middle. They are all active, bright and loving.

Every nook and cranny of my pre-child home is filled with their lives. Their books, stuffed animals, building blocks, clothing, coloring pages, and other remnants of their childhood are everywhere. Organization hangs by a thread. We can still find everything we need (most days) but it is far from my neat and clutter-free days when I inhabited this place on my own, just five and a half years ago. It is never dull or un-exciting. Someone always needs something and I am able to help, at least one of them at a time. We are outnumbered but getting used to it.

Sibling bonds are already forming. They joke and giggle together. They run, pull hair and sing together. They are already making music that’s beautiful to my ears. The “big kids” ages 4 and 20 months tickle Shannon and make him giggle. I could not have imagined this time. 

This is my time to have a family. This is my advanced maternal age. It’s filled with sincere appreciation for these young lives and their love. It’s a very rewarding time in my life.

Sharon Munroe owns LittleGreen Beans, a unique children's and maternity consignment shop, is an executive in a market research agency called ReconMR and lives with her husband and 3 young children in Austin, Texas. She blogs for each business and is thrilled to be working with Jennifer Rustgi on this exciting new and personal writing effort called The Advanced Maternal Age Project, which is now seeking stories from first-time mothers of age 35 or better.

23 comments:

  1. Sharon, thank you so much for being here today! I love what you are doing over at the advanced maternal age project and I am so grateful you shared your beautiful story with us here :-)

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    1. Dawn: thanks for this opportunity to share a story! We sincerely hope to inspire and empower other women who have waited and are now ready to embark on starting a family.

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  2. Thanks for sharing the story! While I can't birth a child, I hope to be a parent someday and just celebrated birthday #37 this week...

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    1. Michelle, be sure and check out Sharon's website. She has loads of valuable information and advice over there. :-)

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    2. Michelle: there are so many options for you. Be brave and explore what can work for you. If you are ready, this can be a wonderful and fulfilling experience.

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  3. Cheers to doing it your way. This will most likely be me some day.

    PS Thank you Dawn for participating in my last Blog Mingle and for your contribution as tomorrow's featured blogger.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tina! I love meeting new bloggers on your mingle, and look forward to hanging out over there tomorrow!

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    2. Tina: what, if anything is holding you back?

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  4. Dawn, thanks so much for sharing this story and website, there is a lot of good info and support on there. Who knew there was a term for my life decision, I thought it was just called crazy to have your first child at age 37 and considering having your second at age 41. It was wonderful to read stories of other mothers like me. As a Catholic, strong in my faith, I never thought of this as the right time for me to become a mother, but the right time for God to bless me with a child. I do feel truly blessed that His "right" time was later in life for me. I think I'm a much better mother at this age than I would have been in my 20ies or 30ies. Thanks again for sharing. I love your blog!---Chrissy

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    Replies
    1. Chrissy: thanks for your feedback and it sounds like this is your time. Being an "AMA Mom" can be so rewarding we find. It is not at all a "crazy: choice.

      Do you want to share your story in more detail? Please see www.advancedmaternalage.com for our submission form. Thanks again!

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    2. Chrissy, I'm so glad you found Sharon and her site! Her story is kind of like yours, isn't it? You were ready to have a family when you found the right person to share a family with (and God knew this all along, didn't He?) I'm so excited to hear you guys are hoping to expand your family - so exciting! Thanks for reading and for commenting :-) Miss you!

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  5. it is exciting being a mother at any age---i had my first at 24 and my last at 41--wonderful post!

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    1. Lynn, I completely agree! Reading Sharon's story reiterates my belief that we should celebrate our opportunity to be mothers, and I'm so glad she was here to share with us today :-)

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  6. What a wonderful story! Motherhood is a blessing at any age. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I agree, Sherry! I love Sharon's site and all the important information and support she and Jennifer provide. They definitely fill a void out there!

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  7. Jennifer and I sincerely appreciate your feedback and are trying to fill a void. We want to encourage women to think beyond the Advanced Maternal Age stamp that we receive on our medical charts.

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    1. Sharon, thank you so much for being here on Since You Asked. I am not surprised your story resonated with so many of my readers - more and more women are waiting until they are older before they get married and start their families. Thanks for having the foresight to provide a place where they can go for information and support.

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