By MIA FREEDMAN
Today, my sister in law, Nicky, brings her babies home. Two weeks ago she gave birth to two beautiful twin boys after trying for years to become a mother. Years.
She is 46.
Another 46 year old who’ll be giving birth this year is Halle Berry. The actress has announced she’s expecting her second child, the first with fiance Olivier Martinez. Her daughter, Nahla is 5.
She will be 47 when the baby arrives.
Falling pregnant in your forties – let alone 46 – is not common. Except in Hollywood where it seems to happen freakishly often.
Kelly Preston had her third child last year, age 48. Susan Sarandon had a baby at 46, and Beverly D’Angelo had twins (with 65yo Al Pacino) at 49. Holly Hunter also gave birth to twins at the age of 47. Geena Davis had her twins at 48, Jane Seymour had twins at 45, Marcia Gay Harden and Desperate Housewives’ Marcia Cross both had twins at 45 and Cheryl Tiegs had twins at 52.
The unspoken question of course is how. How did these women become pregnant so late in life when statistically, the chances of conceiving are miniscule if not zero?
We’ll never know. My sister-in-law Nicky spent a long time trying to conceive with donor sperm. She was 40 when she first began – natural conception wasn’t an option because she was single. But despite years of IVF, it wasn’t until she went to Greece and used donor eggs along with donor sperm, that she was able to fall pregnant. With my beautiful, perfect, adorable nephews.
She won’t mind me telling you this. She’s always been open and candid about her journey to become a mother, writing about it here on Mamamia several times and on her own blog. I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for her. These babies are a blessing for our entire family.
But there are many women who won’t be so lucky. Women who can’t afford to travel to another country where it’s legal to purchase donor eggs (Greece, South Africa, India and America are some of the countries that allow it – the only way you can get a donor egg in Australia is via a friend, relative or altruistic stranger. No money can change hands).).
Money aside, there are thousands of women who will just leave it too late because they didn’t realise that no matter how young you look or how young you feel, your eggs have an expiry date. And it’s earlier than most of us think.
Halle Berry’s rep told PEOPLE magazine, “Halle is feeling great. It’s a very exciting time. This happened naturally.” And perhaps it did. One of my friends, Celebrity Apprentice mentor and former mag editor, Deborah Thomas fell pregnant naturally at 46. She thought she was going through menopause when her period stopped.