In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas!

To all the Mommies-Come-Lately® I met this year through this blog and my speaking engagements, I wish you a joy-filled Christmas!
I'm taking a break to enjoy the holidays with my family and friends. I look forward to connecting again in the New Year.
There'll be some changes coming to my blog and website to better encompass the different issues I write and speak about.
See you in 2009!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another View of Late-in-Life Motherhood

Christa's 20-year-old sister, Amy, has been in Nicaragua since September. She arrived home for Christmas last night.
Christa is overjoyed.
She hugged her sister--and wouldn't let go.
Today, when I woke her up for school, Christa said, "Mom, I don't feel well. I can't go to school."
I asked her, "Is it that you don't feel well or that you want to stay home with Amy?"
And then, "I want to stay home with Amy."
Then she giggled. "Amy crawled into bed with me last night. I just laid there and smiled like this."
Big smile.
(Christa has been sleeping in Amy's bed since Amy left for Nicaragua.)
Christa went to school--but I know she's counting the minutes until she's back home with Amy.

Oh, yeah--the rest of the family is happy Amy's home too! We all went to Red Robin for dinner because Amy wanted one of their salads and french fries with ranch dressing. Big brother Josh and his wife Jenelle met us to celebrate too.

I'm a happy Mommy-Come-Lately®!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Handling a Holiday Birthday

Eight years ago, Christa, my caboose kiddo, was born on Christmas Eve.
And I was thrilled.
I loved having Christmas music playing in the background while I labored. (Go ahead, call me crazy.) I loved how the nurses fed my other three kids Christmas cookies while they urged me to deliver before their shift was over. (Like I had any control over that!)
As happy as I was about Christa's special birth day, I knew it could be a tricky situation for her. Several weeks earlier, I'd read an article in the paper where people told stories about how their holdiay birthdays ruined their lives. They hated having a birthday on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
One woman recounted how one year she wanted a pair of leather boots. She got one boot on Christmas Eve (her birthday) and the second boot on Christmas Day. Another person said all her birthday presents were wrapped in Christmas paper, year in, year out.
As I held my newborn, I determined she would never regret being born on Christmas Eve. Birthdays are about celebrating a person's life--and that should happen no matter what the birthdate.
Eight years into celebrating Christa, I would say so far, so good.
My family celebrates Christmas--acknowledging it as the birthday of Jesus. The presents under the tree are wrapped in Christmas paper.
We always try to set aside some time on Christmas Eve to celebrate Christa's birthday--usually early in the day. Her presents are wrapped in birthday paper--as they should be. We are celebrating her birth, not Christmas.
Earlier in December or later in January we host a kids' birthday party for Christa. It depends on whether we're traveling or not for the holidays. We don't want her birthday to get lost or ignored, so some years we've postponed the party. Christa's okay with that, especially if we have a family celebration on Christmas Eve.
A holiday birthday isn't a tragedy in the making. You just have to be intentional--to not let the busy-ness of the season cause you to overlook your child and their need to feel valued.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms December 10, 2008

News to know:

1 in 3 popular toys on sale for holidays contains toxic chemicals

A third of popular toys on sale this holiday season have significant levels of toxic chemicals, according to a new survey.
Researchers for the JustGreen Partnership — a coalition of children's safety, public health and environmental groups — tested more than 1,500 toys and found one in three contained medium or high levels of chemicals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic.
Children's jewelry was the most contaminated product category, with items marketed by Disney and Christmas Tree Shops topping the group's "worst toys" list.
A full list of the toys is available online here.

UN: New measures can save many young lives

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 830,000 children die each year of injuries from accidents. The biggest cause of death in children over 9 are accidents, with road accidents and drowning causing nearly half the deaths, followed by burns, falls and poisoning.
The World Report on Child Injury Prevention produced by WHO and the U.N. Children's Fund suggests 1,000 deaths a day could be relatively easily prevented through safety rules including:
obligatory lifejackets
smoke alarms
window guards
child-resistant packaging of medicines

Exercise helps heavy kids control their anger

Researchers report that sedentary overweight children who start exercising after school become more fit — and may also be less likely to slam doors, hit other children, and express their anger in other aggressive ways.
While there's no evidence that overweight kids are significantly more aggressive than their normal-weight peers, they are more likely to be bullied or to bully others.

Obese children risk thyroid damage

Research suggests obese children may be damaging their thyroids, creating a vicious cycle of metabolism and overweight.
Obesity may cause inflammation that damages the thyroid, which secretes hormones to regulate metabolism and other important functions, according to Italian researchers in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Tough Times: More women turning to egg donation for cash

The going rate for a surrogate mother is about $25,000. Egg donors generally receive $3,000 to $8,000. In these tight economic times, some clinics are reporting a surge in the number of women applying to donate eggs or serve as surrogates for infertile couples.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Another 70-year-old in India gives birth to IVF baby

70-year-old Rajo Devi of India gave birth to her first child, a girl, after undergoing infertility treatment, according to the Daily Mail. Both mother and baby are reportedly doing well.

Devi tried for 50 years to get pregnant with her 72-year-old husband. She became pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF) at a clinic in the northern Indian state of Haryana after doctors determined that she was healthy enough to survive a high-risk pregnancy.

Devi is the second 70-year-old in India to give birth in 2008. In July, Omkari Panwar gave birth via Caesarean section to twins, a boy and girl, after undergoing IVF. Panwar was already the mother of two daughters and grandmother of five. Her age couldn't be verified because she had no birth certificate, but at that time Panwar became the oldest woman to give birth. In 2006, a 67-year-old woman in Spain gave birth to IVF twins.


Friday, December 05, 2008

What's in a Name?

If you're like most parents, you spent a lot of time mulling over what to name your baby. And the name you finally picked had some significance. Even Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz had their reasons for naming their son Bronx Mowgli.
However, most parents avoided the unusual when naming their children in 2008, according to an annual survey.

The top boy's name for the year remained Aiden, followed by Jayden, Ethan and Jacob with classic names like Matthew, Jack, Michael, Alexander, Daniel and William all featuring in a list of the top 50 most popular names.

Emma replaced Sophia as the top girl's name followed by Isabella and Olivia with Sarah, Elizabeth and Anna also popular.

The list was compiled from thousands of baby name entries on the baby website In 2008, parents also selected names from the political arena (Barack, Madison, Kennedy); movies (Jada, Will, Gwen); and the Bible (Jacob, Isaac, Abigail.)


Monday, December 01, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms December 1, 2008

News to know:

FDA sets safe level for infant formula chemical

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials set a safety threshold for the industrial chemical melamine that is greater than the amount of contamination found so far in U.S.-made infant formula.
The setting of the standard comes days after The Associated Press reported that FDA tests had found traces of melamine in the infant formula of one major U.S. manufacturer and cyanuric acid, a chemical relative, in the formula of a second major maker.
The FDA set a threshold of 1 part per million of melamine in formula, provided a related chemical isn't present. They insisted the formulas are safe.

New prenatal tests may show inherited diseases
Scientists may have found a way to diagnose in fetuses such "monogenic" diseases, which are caused by a single error in a single gene in the human DNA. Doctors may soon be able to diagnose inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia in fetuses by simply testing a blood sample taken from the mother. This is possible because fetal DNA circulates in maternal blood.

Study: Brains of autistic slower to react to sounds
The brains of autistic children react to sounds a fraction of a second slower than those of normal children,researchers found. This may help explain the communication problems associated with autism.
Researchers studied 30 autistic children age 6 to 15 listen to a battery of sounds and syllables while monitoring the tiny magnetic fields produced by the brain's electrical impulses. Autistic children's brains were anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent slower to react than normal children's brains.

Low birth weight ups risk of infant skin tumors
The incidence of reddish skin tumors, known as infantile hemangiomas, has grown in recent years. Research published in the Journal of Pediatrics suggests low birth weight is the leading risk factor driving the increase.
Infantile hemangiomas are non-cancerous tumors that can grow rapidly during infancy, but usually resolve by 9 years of age. Hemangiomas are the most common tumors in infants and, aside from cosmetic concerns, most have no medical significance. However, some may cause medical problems or permanent scarring.

Study: Childhood sleep terrors inherited
Night terrors, which send children into sudden inconsolable screaming, are at least partially inherited, according to a study in the Journal of Pediatrics.
In a study of390 sets of twins researchers found identical twins were much more likely to both experience night terrors than fraternal twins. Identical twins have nearly identical genetic makeups, while fraternal twins do not.
Researchers also said environmental factors could be part of the cause of night terrors since the twins were being raised together in similar settings.

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