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Jul. 16 2009 - 10:09 am | 60 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

Mom – 69 – dies leaving 2 years olds. Tabloid horror follows.

I’m at Heathrow for a few hours, where the British newspapers are full of stories of a 69 year old Spanish woman who’s just died, leaving two year old twins. Maria del Bousada lied to doctors in the US to get IVF treatment becoming the world’s oldest mom when she delivered at the age of 66. A few months later she was diagnosed the with cancer and now Christian and Pau are orphans. The papers uniformly suggest it was irresponsible of her to have the twins so old and almost imply the cancer was inevitable.

That’s crazy. Mrs del Bousada could have been 39 and still gotten sick, been run over by a bus or died in countless other ways. What shocks me most about the story is how on earth she could have wanted babies at 66. Having just flown across the Atlantic with 3 of my 4 I realize I’m exhausted by the demands of motherhood (and my kids have behaved impeccable all journey, but it’s still tiring) at 44. I don’t see how anyone could think they’d have the energy for newborns, and twins, to boot, in their mid 60s.

Yet, I’m conflicted. Lots of men have second or late marriages and have children later in in life and few people throw their arms up in horror. Which leads us back to the original, politically incorrect conclusion that men and women, moms and dads are different. By and large, the demands made on us by our children are greater than those they make on their dads and, I suspect, most of us wouldn’t have it any other way. We love the intimacy that goes from being Mom and are happy to pay the eye-bag price that comes with it.

That said those twins are now without a mother, father or any other obvious form of parental input. Mrs del Bousada’s siblings were themselves elderly. Which leaves little Christian and Pau with bleak prospects. That she should have thought of.

Katty


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  1. collapse expand

    We have to be really careful when talking about older mothers. This woman was an anomaly and clearly it was a risky choice. I feel so bad fo those girls. If she had been 40 and the same thing had happend, I’m not sure I would feel angry about her age…

  2. collapse expand

    We have to be really careful when talking about older mothers. This woman was an anomaly and clearly it was a risky choice. I feel so bad fo those girls. If she had been 40 and the same thing had happened, I’m not sure I would feel angry about her age…

  3. collapse expand

    I’m more astonished by the fact that you’re sitting at Heathrow with three children and you still managed to think about this and then whip out your laptop and write this post! Now that’s discipline!

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Claire's the one in red, Katty's in grey. We're both reporters--Katty for BBC, Claire for Good Morning America. Writing Womenomics (a New York Times best-seller!) is one of the best things that we've ever done. It was a labor of....complete passion. Who wouldn't love the subject--it's our lives. But we learned so much along the way--about our power--and about how other women pull it off. And we had a blast working together--even though we were warned that teaming up might destroy our friendship. Ha! I think our husbands worried we might run off together.

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