A Chat with Philippa

I love chatting to other ‘geriatric mums’ about their experiences and I am so glad to bring you Philippa – read her story – it’s ace and her attitude to being an older mum is nothing but brilliant.

The stats:

Name: Philippa Newland

Age: 50

At what age did you have your first baby? 36

At what age did you have your last baby? 43

Read Philippa’s own words below:

I enjoyed my teenage years, in fact, they were pretty wild. In 1989, I left home with my first real boyfriend, and we got jobs in Israel, travelled through Egypt and worked the holiday season in Greece.  This was just the first year. 

The next year we enjoyed the un-spoilt beaches of Thailand, stayed a little bit too long, so took a gamble with our last $50 and discovered Tokyo.

This was the life, and with regular trips there in the early 90’s, funded many more years of travel.

Without trying to show off, I consider myself lucky.

I’ve flown on Concorde, (showing my age now..), been paragliding in South America, (in fact, I broke my pelvis!), jumped on and off a cruise ship travelling along the Panama Canal, hand raised a monkey, spent years renovating and running a backpackers lodge in Malawi and danced under the full moon in the ruins of Maharashtra Fort, to name but a few.

My body clock was ticking though, and I hadn’t met anyone interesting and I didn’t even know where I wanted to be.

On a brief trip back home, and in the middle of the Notting Hill Carnival madness, I met the man that had the same ideas as me. 

He was to settle me down and father the 3 children we had always wanted.

The only thing was, I was about to start an 18-month stint on a cruise ship, as a photographer, but he was patient and waited until I finally came home.

So we made our home in South East London and we had our first child pretty soon afterwards at 36, and the second at 38. I thought nothing of the fact that I was probably a bit older than most of the woman at the clinic. I was fit and healthy, didn’t look my age and thankfully there were no issues.

I had a boy and a girl, what more did I want? Yeah, but didn’t we always say that we would have 3? Our youngest had just started school, and I was feeling a little bit lost. Shall we? Shan’t we?

And so it happened, there I was, 42 and pregnant! It happened SO quickly, I just didn’t think it would happen straight away, but I was absolutely thrilled and with no reservations whatsoever!

 

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Unfortunately, after the first scan, my blood tests weren’t good. In fact I was high risk in every bad way. I was advised to have an amniocentesis* which wasn’t very pleasant, in fact it was absolutely awful! If I had actually looked at the tests, all 3 tests from each of my pregnancies were identical, it was just the fact that the odds go crazy once you hit 40 which led to the amnio test.

I absolutely LOVE being pregnant and this 3rd one was probably the best. Am I bothered that I may be the oldest mother in the playground? Absolutely not! I’m proud! I ABSOLUTELY HATE the term GERIATRIC MUM though!! My aim is to be a fit Grandmother! I have a great diet. I juice daily, don’t eat processed food, haven’t got a sweet tooth and I haven’t really eaten meat since I was 17.

I’m blessed with the ability to have children. They are my world.  I couldn’t give a monkey’s what people think of my age! In fact I was 50 last week! Yay!!

 

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Philippa’s World

 

And when asked what advice Philippa would give to other ‘geriatric mums’ she replied;

Sleep when the baby sleeps! Delegate! I had a lot of help the first month, and as I have 3 children, this was invaluable. Take gentle exercise, no high impact, save your knees! I walked, and still do, sometimes 2 hours a day.

Don’t you think Philippa is an inspiration? her attitude to life and kids is so wonderful to read and I know she might help other GMs to think in a different way about their circumstances.

Thank you Philippa!

Lucy x

Have you joined my free facebook group yet? It’s a great place for us GMs to share stories and experiences; Join We are Geriatric Mums group

Philippa is a photographer and you can find her here:

Pip Newland Photography

www.pipnewlandphotography.com

*Amniocentesis is a test you may be offered during pregnancy to check if your baby has a genetic or chromosomal condition, such as Down’s, Edwards’ or Patau’s syndrome. It involves removing and testing a small sample of cells from the amniotic fluid – the fluid that surrounds the unborn baby in the womb (uterus).

Maternity models with fake bumps

I’ve been trawling the web for some maternity gear.  You see, I threw all of my pregnancy clothing away after my second child was born, and now that I am 21-weeks – it is time. It is time to buy some decent clothes that will see me through the next 19 weeks, without revealing my midriff or ever-growing generous chest area.

I’ve been living in tunic dresses since my skinny jeans were cast aside at week-18, but am finding that the dresses are rising up my thigh the more my mid-area protrudes, otherwise known as put some clothes on that fit you Mrs Geriatric Mum!

It’s time.

So with that in mind, I have been scrolling through the maternity ranges online. There are some gorgeous things to choose from and I am always drawn to denim and stripes and it’s been a feast for the eyes. I’m enjoying it because I like shopping for things I genuinely need and because I haven’t looked at maternity wear for 6-years!

What I am not enjoying, is the way the clothes are displayed.  Some sites use very pretty hair and make-upped women with, oh god I can’t say it, fake stick on bumps, or are they strap ons!?  What are these websites trying to tell us? That pregnant women don’t make good models? That it is better to use non-pregnant women and just tie a fake bump to their middle?  I don’t know about you, but I know some very gorgeous pregnant women – why can’t the clothes brands use them?

Perhaps they already have used them, but it is just that my dip into the maternity range water is of a time where they are not using them anymore. Perhaps they can’t find enough willing ladies to participate as models. Perhaps pregnant women are too much of a liability -no, it can’t be. I know that some pregnant ladies get a bit forgetful (me!) but surely that can’t be a reason. I think I am not educated enough about this pregnancy model topic – all I know is that I have seen a lot of fake bumps in the last 48-hours.

You see, I don’t look like a 22-year old, 5ft9 female with a perfectly round bump and extra slim legs. I look like a 42-year old, 5ft6 expectant mother whose bump is sticking out quite a bit now (with more to come) and my legs are looking thicker and my ankles already feel tingly and swollen by 7pm. A perfectly round false lightweight bump I do not have!

I don’t know about you, but I really prefer to see maternity clothes displayed like this (shown online using the moving rotation look too)

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Mothercare website

Rather than this…

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ASOS maternity website

 

I just don’t believe that bump is real, am I wrong? or it is a fake?

I totally understand the need to see the item on a flesh and bones person, but I’d much rather see the dress on a real-life pregnant person at 5-months pregnant and then again at 8-months pregnant – to see how the garment grows! I think this is really important for us expectant mums to see.

I mean, can anyone tell me this is a real bump or that it is inspiring to see? I felt utterly Mrs Blobby-esque seeing this today. I zoomed right in to see how fake it really was, to see the squishy pillow in all its obvious glory  – I think it’s horrid.

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ASOS maternity website

 

After seeing these pics, I investigated further around this topic (thanks google) and I found a tweet from Asos HQ where they were challenged by a twitter user who asked; Dear @ASOS, why do you use models with weird fake bumps instead of pregnant models? I’m sure some are pregnant but a lot are fake 🙁

ASOS replied:

Model welfare is important to us,we don’t want pregnant models on their feet all day so we use a prosthetic maternity bump

Personally, I think that is a silly answer. Pregnant women are more than capable of standing up for a few hours – it is one of the many things we can do really well. That, and give birth to a human being! I’ve been involved in many photo shoots over the years and I know a fair bit about how they work and how long they take. With the right photographer, a good stylist and fab lighting it needn’t take hours to get a number of good shots, and pregnant women have got huge amounts of stamina, I know this for a fact. So surely we are the ideal candidates to represent the mum-to-be shoppers out there who want to look and feel good about wearing maternity clothing.

I get that the Asos audience isn’t exactly geared to 42 year old women (more for the millennial) but maternity ranges should be inspiring, rather than weird – whatever the age of the shopper.

I will continue my search for great maternity clothes. I have to say, I do like going into actual shops to try on clothes but a lot of stores don’t stock their maternity ranges in the stores, which is what led me to looking online.

I just want to see LESS  prosthetic maternity bumps and MORE pregnant ladies who can stand up all by themselves.

Lucy aka Geriatric Mum x