Motherhood is a truly unique and special responsibility, one quite literally as old as our species is.
Becoming a mother is one of those life-changing things that sometimes comes by surprise, other times is the result of years of patiently waiting. Regardless of what form it takes, the one thing we should all agree on is that it is always a blessing.
For the most part, none of us can predict when we might become a parent. We can do our best to make it happen – if it’s what we want – but life has ever been, and will always be, unpredictable.
Some women become mothers young, bringing new life into the world while they’re still in their teens. Others fall pregnant later on in their own lives. Others, sadly, face problems that mean they might never get to deliver a baby of their own blood.
Of course, there is no right or wrong way. All babies should be celebrated, just as all mothers should be championed for the awe-inspiring journey they and their bodies go through in the process of creating another human being.
Some women, though, like Maria Carmen del Bousada, who lived in Cadiz, Spain, face scorn, sometimes even oppression, for their decisions concerning when or how to have a baby.
Back in 2006, Maria revealed her family were shocked when she told them she was pregnant with twins.
Why? Because she was 66 years old.
According to reports, Maria, a retired store employee, sold her house to be able to afford IVF treatment that would enable her to fall pregnant despite her years. She is said to have lied to doctors at a fertility clinic in California, telling them she was 55.
It was Maria’s belief that everyone should be able to choose when they want to start a family, instead of being pressured into it by society or the expectations of others.
As per The Guardian newspaper, she said at the time: “Often circumstances put you between a rock and a hard place, and maybe things shouldn’t have been done in the way they were done, but that was the only way to achieve the thing I had always dreamed of.”
Naturally, not everyone agreed with her.
Chief among her critics were members of her own family, who labeled her selfish. Maria even said that she had hidden her pregnancy for a time, and that her relatives thought she was joking when she decided to tell them.
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In 2006, Maria gave birth to a set of healthy twin boys, Christian and Pau, becoming the oldest mom in the world in the process.
Tragically, though, she would not get to see them grow up. Just six months after giving birth, the new mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
“They’re still babies, so I haven’t told them,” she said at the time. “They’re too young for these things.”
In a turn of events, Maria’s family was forced to step in and assist her in the raising of Christian and Pau. The retired mom passed away in 2009, only getting to enjoy a few short years with her boys.
Maria’s brother Ricardo commented: “I think she has done this too late in life … but now they are here. We love these beautiful boys.”
Not only that, but Pilar Pinto, a resident of Cadiz, where Maria lived, provided an update on how life is going for Christian and Pau.
“They are being well taken care of and are in great shape,” he said. “I see them here often in town.”
Pinto added: “God didn’t let her enjoy her children very much. He should have given her more time.”
For her part, Maria remained resolute to the very end with regards to her decision to have children later in life.
Such a beautiful story. I don’t know about you, but I think all women should reserve the right to decide when they want to have children.
What do you think about Maria’s decision to have babies in her 60s? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box on Facebook.
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