Carmen Bousada, the world’s oldest mom, recently passed away from cancer at age 69. The Spanish mama conceived twin boys via donor eggs and artificial insemination, despite having gone through menopause 18 years earlier. How did a lady her age get knocked up in the first place? Bousada lied to an L.A. fertility clinic and pretended to be 55-years-old, not 67.
Tell me, what compels older women—and their doctors—to make mommies out of grannies? She went through menopause 18 years earlier. Menopause is nature’s way of telling your body that your babymaking years are finished. True, no mother knows exactly when she is going to die. But we do know the timelines of our bodies are a fact of life. Why can’t post-menopausal women face that fact? Using hormone therapy to ‘rejuvenate’ the uterus for a pregnancy makes sense for a woman who finds herself menopausal in more realistic childbearing years, like her 30′s, 40′s or maybe even 50′s. But considering how physically strenuous motherhood can be and all the medical problems which come with old age, it’s just plain irresponsible for 60- and 70-something moms to have kids.
I don’t know how to deal with this problem, because I do think it’s wrong for the government to stick its nose in women’s reproductive issues in any capacity. (Besides, Bousada managed to get past the age 55 limit at her fertility clinic by lying, anyway.) Saying no to some wannabe-mothers and yes to others opens a Pandora’s box we should not open.
But I reckon that part of the problem is the weird fetishization our culture has with crazy birth stories, like Octomom Nadya Suleman, or even Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight kidderoos. We all want to know who and how and why and, most disconcertingly, who is going take care of the kids? It seems like these pregnancies, as well as Bousada’s, are just attention-grabbing stunts. Not births or childhoods, but stunts.
And unfortunately, now two little boys are orphaned because of it.