I’ve been reading a lot lately about later-life pregnancy and the fact that many women today are waiting until their late 30s and early 40s to have their first child. The media loves stories of over-40 celebrity moms like Halle Berry, who became pregnant for the first time at 41 and gave birth to her second child at 47; John Travolta’s wife, Kelly Preston, who was pregnant with their third child at the age of 47; and Geena Davis, who had her first child at 46 and two years later, gave birth to twins! These women seem to defy biology as medical science tells us the chances of getting pregnant decrease with age and the probability of a woman conceiving in midlife is slim to impossible. I’ve even heard Dr. Joshua Klein, medical director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York-Brooklyn, refer to a woman’s ability to conceive naturally in her mid-40s as “nearly miraculous.”
Well, hold on Dr. Klein, because miracles do happen, and this story of pregnant grandparents in High Point, NC, is indeed miraculous.
When my longtime friend Sara Harper phoned me with the jaw-dropping news, I was happy not to be in public because my mouth literally hung open. My reaction was the same as it had been for Sara when grandparents Sally and Charles Brown, members of a support group of relatives who are raising relatives’ children, stopped at her home recently to share their good news.
The Browns, ages 56 and 65 respectively, are the adoptive parents of three children, ages 7, 9, and 14. One is their biological grandchild, whom they’ve raised since birth.
“After a miscarriage 10 years ago, we gave up on trying to have children, and that was when we decided to adopt,” said Sally.
Sally received the news during her yearly physical exam, after explaining to her doctor she was noticing some changes in her body. She admits to having a good cry at first, but is happy and glowing after the initial shock, and believes without a doubt, “God is in control.” Sally, an ordained minister who loves to fish, said she dreamt one night about catching a big fish and began to call around the next day to see who was pregnant. It never for a moment occurred to Sally it might be her.
Sally works in the Guilford County Schools Special Needs Department. Her husband, Charles, is employed with Flowers Bakery in Jamestown, NC, and has not stopped smiling since the news. As a matter of fact, unbeknownst to Sally, Charles said he had been praying for this miracle.