The Fertility Focus Telesummit is underway. but there is still time to join in!

The second interview of the Fertility Focus Telesummit was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.” I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them. The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.

The 2nd Fertility Focus Telesummit, created and moderated by Sarah Holland, is running this week.  Twelve fertility experts from around the world, and 3 fertility bloggers, are speaking throughout the week on various aspects of fertility health and support.  Sarah started things off on Sunday, the 20th of March, with an introduction to the Telesummit and an explanation of how to get the most out of it.

Yesterday, Monday the 21st, saw the first two interviews; Dr Marion Glenville spoke on the nutritional aspect of fertility health, giving much of her hour-long presentation over to listeners’ questions and providing really comprehensive responses.  The second interview of the evening was mine, on how “Creating an Effective Support Network Can Make All the Difference When Trying To Conceive.”  I’m really excited by the response I have had, with many listeners emailing me afterward to thank me and/or tell me that what I shared really resonated with them.

The Telesummit is completely free to listen to the live presentations, and the replays for 24 hours after each interview. If you didn’t know about it before, it’s not too late to get involved.  Click here to register for the Fertility Focus Telesummit FREE!  You can listen live, and submit questions for each of the speakers, or listen at your leisure to the recordings afterward.  If you are really busy this week and know you won’t be able to listen in, OR you just want to have all 17 audio files to refer to over and over, Sarah provides the option of upgrading to a Golden Ticket so you can purchase the whole Telesummit’s talks, which will be emailed to you as an MP3 file afterward. This is an incredible value, this week only while the Telesummit is running, at US$67, including several bonuses. You can find all the information at the Telesummit website.

Because I’m a bit late in letting you know about the Telesummit and my own presentation on creating a support network, I’d like to share some of that information with you here.  Having been through several challenging years of recurrent miscarriage and secondary infertility myself, I have the benefit of hindsight telling me that I really could have coped far better if I had been more proactive about getting myself, and my husband, the right balance of emotional and practical support.  Infertility put a big strain on our marriage, and I felt very alone and fearful that I would not be able to have the children I had always dreamed of having.  We are fortunate to have come through those rough times, and to have our two children.  Using my training and experience as a fertility coach, I have developed a system to help each of my clients create a support network for their unique needs, thus easing their experience of infertility and efforts to conceive and helping them to feel less isolated and stressed.

During the call, I explained:

  • Why infertility support is so important;
  • The 5 most essential types of support every infertile person needs;
  • Why your partner is not always the best source of support;
  • How you actually create your personal support network;
  • What you can do is someone you expected to be supportive has turned out to be the opposite; and
  • How to maintain a really effective support network over a long period of time.

I’m also offering a Free Bonus to Callers from the Telesummit! I’ve created a comprehensive Worksheet that takes you through the process of creating your own infertility support network, step by step. So, if you haven’t already registered, don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

I’m listening to the other speakers throughout the week myself. I have to say, I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ve learned a lot already from both Dr Glenville and Andrew Loosely, Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist. Other expert speakers during the week include Sarah Holland on using EFT for conception, Kristin Hayward, Zita West, Gabriela Rosa, Toni Weschler, Sue Dumais, Nicola Smuts, Deirdre Morris and Cindy Bailey. Then, you can listen to talks from 3 prolific bloggers, including the authors of “From IF to When,” “Eggs and Sperm” and “Survive and Thrive.” I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week.

Flower Power Moms: The Emerging Generation of Mothers Over 40

By Angel La Liberte, www.flowerpowermom.com

The Wake-up Call.

One day, back in 2008 when I was still forty-seven—and my son Alex was five and daughter Lizzie two—I was delivered a life-changing blow. Or, you could call it a wake-up crack in the head.

In that honeyed-little-kid voice, Alex suddenly piped up and said to me: “Hey, Mama, do you know what you’re going to be when I grow up?”

I was in the kitchen (where I usually live these days, but not barefoot because washing the kitchen floor is somewhere in the proximity tooth-brushing the knobs on the toilet base on the domestic priority list), practicing the fine art of domestic “multi-tasking”.

Ergo, I was mentally AWOL. It was a good time and place for a kid to nail me if they happened upon a fortuitous opening. And that’s just what he had that very night. A fortuitous opening. And he took it.

Vaguely amused, I asked, “No, Alex, what am I going to be when you grow up?”

“My grandma!” he replied, grinning triumphantly from ear to ear, evidently expecting a round of applause.

I froze on the spot with a spaghetti spoon in mid-dangle, thunderstruck. As if the moment were divinely ordained, I remembered the oft quoted verse from the bible: “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, thou has perfected praise”

“Grandma…,” repeated the grinner. Suddenly I saw the light.

Everything that had made me often and inexplicably miserable, profoundly exhausted, a parental outsider in the pre-school playground, paranoid about disease, dying, and mortality in general, all laced with nostalgic longing for a dose of familiar camaraderie lost somewhere in my youth—well, it all boiled down to that one, simple truth: I was mother to my five and three-year-old children.

And I was already old enough to be their grandmother.

How I Got Here.

Let me begin with the single, most important, axiom of midlife motherhood:

No woman kicks back in her twenties and plans the course of her life just to cram in popping a few kids sometime after she’s forty or fifty, like a sad afterthought—the “red-haired stepchild” of life’s priorities.

It doesn’t work like that. Having a child is—and always will be—the most important choice of a woman’s life.

I was born in 1960, a child of the Flower Power generation. It would be the next millennium before I had my first child.

The 1960’s marked the beginning of an era when women were expected to do something with their lives other than planting themselves, “barefoot and pregnant”, in the kitchen baking brownies.

Back in those days, everyone was gung-ho that some book learning and a career more lofty than bottom feeding in a corporate typing pool while waiting for a Jimmy Stewart clone to come along, should come first.

Even so, my first marriage took place at the socially correct age of twenty-six, after I’d managed a BA (Hons) in Psych. But the fairy tale ended abruptly there.

The union promptly crashed on the rocks of Failure-To-Communicate when I discovered that my (then) husband didn’t want kids—along with a host of other little unexpected surprises I won’t delve into here.

Exit stage left, at age thirty.

It then took another ten years, including some relationships best defined as “learning experiences” or even “cul-de-sacs” (not to mention the de rigeuer kissing of a few unprincely frogs) before I met the Real Deal.

There he was: Frank. My new husband. The Man-Who-Would-Be-Father. And I knew it the minute I clapped eyes on him. We were inseparable from our first date.

It was 2001. I was forty, and finally on the road to motherhood.

And I was blessed with the “mother” lode: first with a son, just before I turned forty-two in 2002 and then with a daughter, when I was almost forty-five in 2005.

Miraculously, they were conceived without the need of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies). I was of the blessed and fortunate few in the “grandma class” of expectant mothers.

In fact, they were created “artlessly”, with a load of love and a heaping helping of elbow grease (literally).

Now I’m pushing fifty. I’m truly a midlife mom. A Flower Power Mom.

The Birth of Flower Power Mom.

I’ve learned some hard facts since having my kids: it’s a brave new world that will judge you without a hearing on your choice to become a midlife mom.

Don’t expect anyone to cut you a break—you chose to have a child when you were supposed to be harboring a growing fear of pushing up daisies instead.

You made your (flower) bed and now you’re going to lie in it with all of the sagging cellulite, aching arthritis and second chins your body can muster. After all, you’re a misfit who refused to subjugate your maternal urges to the “natural order”.

At least, that’s what some say.

What I say is that you can’t crush a growing army. Over 40s motherhood is changing the demographic of the American, British—and global—family.

Despite the lack of welcome—my ineligibility to be a member of the under-40 Stepford Moms—I felt inspired to celebrate. Women having babies after forty represent the neo-liberating force of our generation.

The return of Flower Power.

The power unleashed by the Age of Aquarius—an era spawning the scientific inventions that have empowered a woman’s life to blossom after forty—a watershed moment when our liberating foremothers were already fading away.

We are Renaissance Moms.

Motherhood after forty and longer life expectancy for women are here to stay. And if we ever needed the compassion of our age-related peers (other new 40+ moms), it is here and now, in the daily trenches of midlife motherhood.

To prove the point, I tested it out:

Most any mother under the age of thirty-five who heard Alex’s “Grandma Story”, would gasp (horrified) and whisper “Oh no!”. (Like, how revolting!)

Any mother (or grandmother) over fifty would immediately fall over laughing. (What a gas!)

Reactions were defined by age.

Ergo, that single, defining moment in 2008 was the birth of a mission. Alex had woken up the so-called sleeping dragon (or old dragon, in my case).

It is a mission to reveal the truth, to share, to commiserate and, ultimately, to unveil and celebrate the secret life of Flower Power Moms, as it is lived behind closed doors.

So, welcome to the club—the Flower Power Mom Club.

It’s a place where you can find the honest reality in motherhood after 40, share the pain (bitch if you need to), strive to be your finest, remember the old days, and have some laughs together.

And, oh yeah, there are only two requirements of membership:

1.    Acknowledge your gift: A mother’s fierce, tender love, entwined with a “grandmother’s” cup brimming with life’s wisdom. (How fine is that?)

2.    Keep your dreams alive: remember—most of all—to “stay gold”. (Recommended remedy: The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton)

Notes for this bl

Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (www.flowerpowermom.com), a regular blog featuring news, commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40.

og:

IVF success rates might be improved dramatically by new test

Just read this really interesting article online about a new procedure called Array Comparative Genomic Hybridisation (Array CGH) that has been developed by british researchers at CARE fertility in Nottingham.

It seems that the procedure involves selecting the most viable eggs for use in the fertility treatment, and  screening out eggs with genetic defects ,that would cause them to fail.

 It is hoped that the new IVF procedure will help thousands of infertile couples to start a family.

 It is hoped it will be particularly useful for older mothers where the risk of genetic defects in the eggs is higher and for those with a history of recurrent failed IVF attempts or recurrent miscarriage.

The test has also been licensed for use in younger patients.

 Click here to read the article

Some pitfalls of being an older mother

Just read an interesting article online at the Times.

As an older mother myself I can relate to many of the issues they raise in the article. My partner & I waited 10 years after we married before trying for a baby as we had busy careers and lives and the time did not seem right. I realise now this was probably foolish.

When we had our first baby my husbands parents who lived locally were in their late 70’s, and so less able to help than if they had been in their 60’s. Luckily we had a neighbour who was fantastic

As an older pregnant women I ended up having an amniocentesis in my second pregnancy, which I found quite stressful although thankfully everything was ok.

I also found I was often the oldest mum in the antenatal clinic and the oldest mum at the toddler group. Now I am one of the oldest mums in the playground !  

On the plus side it does keep you young, as many of my friends are younger than myself however if I knew then what I know now I would probably have started younger.

Here is an extract fromn the article:

The risks of trying to conceive a baby later in life, amid statistics about fertility plummeting with age and the relentless tick of the biological clock often hit the headlines.

Last week Maja Butscher made medical history when she was born after the world’s first successful ovary transplant. Her mother, 39-year-old Susanne, who had suffered early menopause, became pregnant a year after being given an ovary from her twin sister in a pioneering new procedure.

But while the number of women giving birth in their late thirties and forties has doubled in the past decade, there is little focus on the psychological and physical challenges of late motherhood. No matter how much they want it, pregnancy and the turmoil of bringing up a baby can still come as a huge shock.

Two years ago, 40,659 mothers in England and Wales aged 35 and over gave birth, compared with 19,468 in 1996. Of the 669,601 babies born in 2006, 22,512 were born to mothers aged 40 and over, according to the Office for National Statistics. A further 1,064 mothers aged 45 to 49 gave birth to 1,123 children, and 55 women aged 50 and over had 71 children.

Click here to read the full article