Motherhood, All Over Again
Ceri-Ann, Age 40
I have two daughters: a 23-year-old and a 2-week-old. No, this is not an episode of Maury. This is my life at 40.
My approach to life and motherhood is just as separate as their age. I will try and heal the wounds I unknowingly gave my first daughter, but stand tall in recreating the joy I provided.
I had my first daughter at 17 when the world was at my feet, and love seemed to flow from every direction. I watched her grow in the early 2000s through my eyes and the Kodak lens. We grew up together, in a sense. She taught me how to cook, how to multitask, how to forgive, and how to be fearless. My baby girl gave me a new lease on life, and I thank her daily.
I was winging it back then — an unexpected pregnancy with my not-so-true love. He went on to marry a woman and have a beautiful family, something I could never find. My daughter never approved of anyone I dated, so I was the one to sneak out and stuff a pillow under my duvet. My story proves the age-old tale of why shame and secrets bring trouble into the home.
In spring 2022, my darling girl graduated with an honors degree in law, set to join an accounting firm in the autumn. However, this wasn’t the only ‘Big 4’ that had come to rule my mind. It had been four big weeks since I’d missed my period. As a nurse, I hadn’t made much of it, prioritizing my patients and my daughter.
Early menopause, I thought. Embryo, I found out.
Is this even possible? How do I tell my daughter I’ve been seeing him again? How do I tell her I’m having his child? Wait, am I having this child? Have I explored options? Surely I can’t say no to this miracle baby?
I entered my forties in a daze of confusion, but I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and I needed this new maternal era. So I said yes. Yes, to possibilities and opportunities.
I gave birth to my second daughter In December. All the labels of “geriatric” had enveloped my pregnancy in this cloud of fear. However, the first decibel of her crying washed those memories away like the river of tears that simultaneously christened my face.
This is me now: a mother to an infant and a young adult. And both are always in mind and heart of this middle-aged, ever-loving mother. All three of us finding ourselves together in this crazy world.