Raising Healthy Families with Moms Meet and KIWI

Becoming Mom: Three Journeys To Motherhood

March 01, 2022 Moms Meet and KIWI magazine Season 3 Episode 1
Raising Healthy Families with Moms Meet and KIWI
Becoming Mom: Three Journeys To Motherhood
Show Notes Transcript

Each journey to motherhood is unique. Join us as we share our stories and talk about the many ups and downs and considerations that go into creating a family. We hope through sharing we can all feel a little more connected in our community, especially when the bumps in the road can feel so isolating.

* Trigger Warning * In this session, we talk about adoption, fertility treatments, IVF, miscarriage, and pregnancy. We know these are very personal and sensitive conversations that can be hard for some to listen to.

Chrissy:

Welcome to Raising Healthy Families with Moms Meet and KIWI. We're giving you the tools to enjoy the beauty and chaos of life with little ones in the healthiest way possible.

Maureen:

Hi, everyone. I'm Maureen Frost, editorial director of KIWI magazine and one of your Raising Healthy Families hosts. Today we're going to be talking about the journey to motherhood and the many paths you may find yourself on to get there, we'll be sharing our unique stories on how we became moms and talking about all the ups and downs and considerations that go into creating a family. I love that we have this space to share and connect and in doing so hopefully we all feel a little bit more connected in our community, especially when the bumps in the roads can feel so isolating. Today we'll be talking about adoption, fertility treatments, IVF, miscarriage, and pregnancy. and we know that these are very personal and sensitive conversations that can be hard for some to listen to. As moms it's important for us to take good care of our bodies so we can take good care of our kids and families. That's where MaryRuth's women's multivitamin liposomal comes in. The delicious vanilla peach flavor comes in an easy to swallow liquid form and contains 11 essential vitamins and a proprietary botanical blend to support women's hormones and reproductive health, mood cognitive function libido, digestive function, bone health, endurance, eye health and more. Add this vegan and non-GMO multivitamin to your daily routine to take better care of your health. Welcome to the first episode of season three of Raising Healthy Families with Moms Meet and KIWI. Today I'm joined by our founder and CEO Maxine Wolf, and one of our Moms Meet and KIWI magazine team members, Lindsay Klinger-O'Donnell to talk about our stories of becoming moms. Alright, so let's go around and introduce ourselves. Max, can you start?

Maxine Wolf:

Sure. I'm Maxine Wolf. I am as Maureen said, the founder and CEO of May Media Group, parent company of Moms Meet. And I am a mother of a 23 year old daughter, and she was adopted from China. And I guess that's when we'll be talking about today.

Maureen:

Great. Great. Thank you. Okay, Lindsey, you want to share a little bit?

Lindsey:

Yeah. So hi, everyone. I'm Lindsey Klinger-O'Donnell. I'm one of the Raising Healthy Families, hosts. And I'm also a mom of two beautiful daughters, I have a daughter turning five this month, and another turning one next month.

Maureen:

So great. I have two kids as well, I have a son who is three, and then a daughter who was one. So Max, I was hoping that you could kind of share your story with getting Maley and how you kind of got to that part and share your adoption story with us?

Maxine Wolf:

Sure. Gosh, I was like every everybody else wanted to be a parent. And I tried for many years. Different ways to do that. Infertility didn't work out for me. And finally went the adoption route. Tried adopting domestically that fell through. And then I chose China. For many reasons, it seemed to be a really good adoption program at the time. And I wanted a girl. And although you can adopt boys in China, most of them are girls. So I went that route. And that was about 22 years ago. And it, at that time was a very organized program. Once you decided to adopt, after you did all the steps, all the background checks and, and home studies, etc. You were you were pretty certain that you would be able to adopt a child it was typically a one trip trip, whereas other countries were two trips, some of them I think it Russia at the time made you stay for like a month. And China was very much do your work. If once they approve you, you know, it was just a matter of time until they sent you this little picture in the mail of your your child and you plan your trip. So very organized program. And for those of you who don't know at the time, and actually very recently changed. China had a one child policy. So there were there were many, many children in order for orphanages that that needed homes. So that's another reason it was so organized. That changed and I just heard on the Olympics that they're now allowing families to have three children, whereas it used to be one child.

Maureen:

Wow. So how long did it take from the time that you started the process to the time that you actually were able to bring Maylee home?

Maxine Wolf:

It actually took a year, approximately a year, I would say, took a lot longer before that for me, right, get to that point. But once, once I made the decision, and sort of hit the go button, found an adoption agency, and started all the paperwork, and there was tons and tons and tons of paperwork, paperwork, you had to write your autobiography, there was, there was just so much to do background checks and clearances, and just probably about six months of paperwork. And once you finished all of that paperwork, and a home study conducted by the adoption agency, my favorite story that my daughter loves, is on the day of the home study, I, I read somewhere to get a pot and put it on your stove with cinnamon at an apple and fill your house with that smell so that the agency thought, you know, got that really warm, wonderful feeling. So she always laughs about that. But you know, that just want to know, things you did you cleaned your house, you made sure you look like the perfect parent, you made sure your house smelled well. And when all of that was done, we waited, we waited for six months. And again, things were or I'm gonna say are a bit bit bit different now. But at that time, you had no contact with the child, you had no contact with the orphanage. For friends of mine who went later, they actually got progress reports during that waiting period, they saw pictures of the children and, you know, they actually, you know, got reports from, from the caretakers. But for me during that time for us, we just we just waited. And one day we, you know, got a call from the adoption agency and say, you know, your they have your child, they have your little girl. And of course, you know, we we picked out a name, my daughter, my daughter's name is Maylee - m a y l e e. And we had been through, you know, as both of you have done to a million different names. And we had a codename for the adoption process because, you know, I'm project oriented, you know, that's kind of my job I've had my whole life. And so we when I was a little girl, I had a book, and it was called Mei Li, M E I L I two words. And so we were calling it project Mei Li. And we went through every single name million different names and and finally, I was out to lunch with one of my friends who said, why don't you just call her Maylee? And I said, Well, you know, the agency wants to make sure you know, it's, you know, you want to Americanize your kid, you don't want it to be to Chinese. And she said, Well, why don't you spell it m a y l e e. And that became my daughter's name. And in Chinese it means beautiful plum blossom. Can also mean beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, but the spelling the Chinese spelling, we use this beautiful plum blossom. And she loves it. You know, she doesn't want anyone else to have it. She loves it.

Maureen:

I know, It is a beautiful name. And I she's the only person that I know of that has that name. And it is so pretty.

Maxine Wolf:

Well, I'll tell you another really, really quick story, not interrupt you. But I was when my daughter was seven. And when I started the company, I was on at a meeting with a client in New England. And I was showing her TV magazine base that was our, our very first property of May Media Group. And I my daughter had a column. She was involved in it for many years. And I was showing the client, the her column and I said yeah, my daughter Maylee has a column. And she said I know Maylee and I said you do. She goes I named my daughter after her. Oh, when I went home to my seven year old she was totally pissed off. She's like, that's my name.

Maureen:

She wanted to be the one and only. Well rest assured it's still very unique and beautiful. So that's great. It's actually really nice. Like we've known each other for six years, but it's nice to hear how like your your whole adoption story with Maylee and, and just learn learn a little bit more about how you guys kind of became to be a family. Lindsey, do you want to share with us kind of your little family story?

Lindsey:

Sure, sure. Um, yeah. So the journey to parenthood happened, kind of, you know, shortly after my husband and I got married, so probably about eight years ago, we decided, you know, that we wanted to start trying. And it happened, you know, I got pregnant, kind of, like, shortly after we started trying. But then, you know, that first pregnancy didn't work out, we ended up having a miscarriage, and it kind of led to our infertility journey. And so, you know, we had all the kind of genetic tests done, and we had a lot of, you know, family history checked, and, you know, just kind of looked into that and started seeing our fertility doctor. And, you know, that process kind of went on for, for a few years, honestly, just testing and kind of trial and error with different things. We ended up doing several rounds of IUI. And we ended up having my oldest daughter, Lily, from that. And kind of shortly after she was born, maybe like, six months after she was born, we were like, Okay, we we definitely know, we want to try this again. And we know it's gonna be, you know, we were kind of anticipating that it would be, you know, a journey again. So, we, you know, went back to the same fertility doctor and started to kind of, they kind of put you back at square one, and you kind of go through all the tests again, and kind of start back from the beginning. And so we went through the testing process, we went through the IUI process again, this time, it was unsuccessful. So we moved on to IVF. And we kind of navigated that through COVID. And a lot of other things, a lot of starts and stops. But we were so fortunate and lucky that it was successful for us. And our daughter, Nora was born on St. Patrick's Day. She's our, you know, lucky charm her last name is O'Donnell. My husband's name is O'Donnell. And so she's our little Irish girl. But yeah, like a lot of, you know, we always knew we wanted it. And we just, you know, needed to work at it. So it's one of those things that, you know, persistence pays off for us. And, yeah.

Maureen:

Yeah. As many and most people do, really, you know, everyone's experience is totally different, even if, like you, we both have two kids, but we both have come about it in two, like entirely different ways. For myself, we, so we got married in 2017. Then I had Declan in 2018. And then I also was pregnant during COVID. Like you that fun, whole fun experience for my second two crazy ride, right? A crazy ride. Yeah, we talking about it for the rest of my life. But you know, so I was lucky enough to get pregnant on my own naturally. But you know, there's there's other things that arise when you're pregnant, too. And then I had two emergency C sections, or excuse me, one emergency C section, then one planned C section after the after that, and it just kind of like, we all have these unique stories that hurt me from and it's just the many different ways that we can, can, can become moms too. So I feel like, you know, I know that I always wanted to be a mom, I don't think it was ever like a conscious thought it just like was always within me. There was never like, at this moment, I decided I wanted to be a mom. But then you have to actually like, it takes a lot to get to that point, too. So, Max, do you feel like you always knew that you wanted to be a parent?

Maxine Wolf:

You know, I, I wasn't sure. When I was young. I was like, I think I want to have kids, but my career was the most important thing. And when I was I guess I was 27. And I decided that it was time, you know, I don't know, biological clock or, or just intellectually, I was like, Yeah, you know, if I get pregnant now my kids will be this age, you know, whatever. And I remember having dinner with a business colleague in New York, and she invited me to her house to make dinner and we were good friends. She worked for an advertising agency that I work with. And I told her, you know, I was planning to get pregnant. And she said to me I said, you know, I really want to get pregnant. I'd like to be pregnant by the time I'm 30. And she said, Well, what makes you think you can get pregnant? And I never doubted it until that moment. And I was like, Oh, I never even thought about it. And of course, I was the one who couldn't get pregnant. But I always go back and think about that, because I don't think you typically think of that, you just assume that, you know, my mother had three children, I'll be able to have as many children as I want. But yeah, it didn't work out that way. And I was married. And when I was 35, the biological clock, that thing is real. It just hit me like a ton of bricks. And I became kind of someone who was thinking about wanting to get pregnant, but not feeling any urgency into someone who like, had to had to have a child. And yeah, it was the craziest thing. It's just 35. And, and I was obsessed, to the point where, and this is also I went through infertility treatment, like Lindsey did, to the point where, when it was Halloween, I would just like, hide, I would like have my husband hand out candy, because I couldn't bear to see all the kids. I never went to baby showers. I mean, I can't even remember the last baby shower, I went to, you know, because that was definitely before I was 35. So yeah, I mean, I wanted to become a parent, I, you know, I needed to become a parent. That was the thing that to use kind of a trite phrase, but that was the thing that I felt would complete me and make my life and, and it did. Like, lit like, Lindsey. I always say the day. The day I got mainly was the day I won the lottery. And, you know, that was the best day of my life. So yeah, so that's, that's what happened to me. And yeah, I just think the wonderful thing about today is there are so many ways to have children. You don't have to my parents generation, if you wanted to get pregnant and done it, it was harder. But now there's so many different ways that if, if that's what you want, if that's, you know, you hit 35, and you must have a child, you can do it. And, and there's lots of ways there's lots of kids in this country all around the world who, who, who need moms and dads. So find what works for you.

Maureen:

And there's so many different options, I feel like especially like you talked about being career oriented, a lot of women feel that way. And just a lot of people are just finding the person that they want to be with and starting that a little bit later than maybe the earlier generation. So the biological clock is something that comes into play, but you can, you can, there's so many more options, now you can freeze your eggs, which I think is great. And something that a lot of women, I think it's more normal these days than ever to be able to take part in those types of things. And then you also can adopt and you know, or you could go to the route of foster care, or there's just so many ways that you can create your family. I mean, I think that even, you know, maybe our families were, whatever we pictured when we were younger, like, the reality is, is that we get to that place and our families are potentially look similar to that potentially look different, but they're exactly what he's like meant to be for us, which I think is a nice thing. And then we fall into love with how our life is with our families, too. So do you feel like you always wanted to be a parent? Lindsay?

Lindsey:

Yeah, I think so. I think, you know, like, Max is saying, I think, you know, my early 20s Maybe I wasn't thinking about it as much. But certainly, like, after I got married and things like that. Yeah, my husband, I definitely, you know, that's something we always wanted together. But I think you're you're like dead on like, it's not always how you imagined it. But you kind of navigate that path and you get to a point where you're like, Oh, this is this is how it was supposed to be, you know. So I think that's kind of kind of beautiful, too.

Maureen:

So a lot of people talk about this feeling of maybe their family is complete at some point. Max, is that something you ever felt? Can you like? Does that feel right to you? Or is that a feeling that maybe that's not something you ever experience?

Maxine Wolf:

No, totally. When I got Maylee, my, my family was complete. And, and I was older when I got her and you know, I worked full time then eventually I started a business. And I was just so grateful to have her that I just felt I didn't want to press my luck. You know, I just I, like I said, I was so grateful. And I am still so grateful. And so yeah, I didn't. I love the friends that we went to China with that we the group that we were with in China, went back and got second children, but I was good. I had, I had Maylee and that was that was I needed.

Maureen:

I think it's a nice feeling the feeling of being complete, like you feel very satisfied with what you have. I feel like right now I'm in a weird Limbo place of I have two wonderful, amazing children. But do I keep going? And all of the things that go with that. And I'm stuck in that like place right now.

Maxine Wolf:

I'll warn you about paying for college.

Maureen:

I can't even get there. I'm talking about paying for preschool. Right. But um, I that feeling that you knew you were complete, is is a nice feeling. I hope to get there one day. What about do you feel that Lindsey? Or are you guys still going?

Lindsey:

No, we're complete? Yeah, I definitely had that feeling after Nora, I would just you know, after, you know, I met her or her. Yeah, I was like, this is yeah, you completed our family. So yeah, we we always talked about having two and, you know, worked hard to get to that point. And yeah, I think, yeah, we knew immediately we're like, we're good. Yeah.

Maureen:

That's nice. Yeah.

Maxine Wolf:

Don't you want six, Maureen?

Maureen:

I guess that means I'm having another. Well, they do say that if you don't feel I don't know. A lot of people say if you have the feeling that you you still have that nagging feeling that you want more kids in your life, you're, you're probably going to keep going. But there is there's a lot to consider I at this stage, there's so much to consider. And it's there's the practical. You know, do you have room in your house? Do you have Are you financially like Max was just talking about as far as like, paying for their education? Do you have enough money to give your kids the type of life that you'd like to give them. There's so many other too, I mean, we both just had pregnancies during COVID. And that's a lot to take on again, where we're in this place where we don't know what the safety will be in the world going forward. And then there's, there's a lot to consider when you decide if you're going to expand your family or just be happy with the way you set for myself too. I feel like I some of the things that happened in my pregnancy, were just some health related things for myself. So going out there and going again, and I had high blood pressure with both pregnancies just at the just the day I delivered that good blood pressure till I delivered skyrocketed. And then, you know, I'm also in my mid 30s, too, so I don't know. I don't know so there's a lot to consider for for families and every family looks different I have friends who want to keep going after three and four and I don't think I've heard of anyone talk about five yet but but but it but it's it's night, I don't know it gets crazier, obviously. But it's nice to to know that whatever is right for your family, you guys can work towards that too. But um let's say did anything like within your family or or anything within your health, like, make any decisions for you as far as like, how you created your families or anything? What about you, Lindsey?

Lindsey:

Yeah, so so, as I mentioned, I did have a loss, my first pregnancy and so, you know, it was definitely eye opening was one of those things that you know, you don't always you definitely don't expect it. But it's it's something that it's interesting. There was a lot of communication with my mom and I she had losses as well. She had several miscarriages and was always open and very communicative with me about that. So, you know, I knew that that was a possibility. In any pregnancy, she's also a nurse. So she's very, you know, just medically oriented, but in a loving mothering way as well. But so there's there was always that honesty with it. So yeah, I think that information just was always kind of in the back of my mind. And, you know, I think that was was helpful to me, it's certainly something, you know, we could lean on each other about the situations that happened around her losses were different than the one that happened around mine, but it was still, you know, so great to have that support and be able to talk about it. But yeah, I think, you know, knowing your family history is really important when you go to try to build your family, just knowing your partner's family history. And, you know, that definitely plays a role into as you're thinking about, you know, growing your family and that kind of thing. So, yeah.

Maureen:

It's so nice that you had your mom to support you in that situation that, you know, I haven't experienced it myself. But the majority of my friends have, so it's so common. Yeah. As you now and as everyone knows, so it's just, it's nice when there's an open, you know, you can be open and vulnerable about it and, and talk about, like, the losses and everything. So, yeah.

Lindsey:

You need that support system. Absolutely. It's not something that, you know, you should have to do alone, for sure.

Maureen:

Yes, definitely. You know, and that's one of the other things that we win, no matter what your journey to motherhood looks like, supporting each other is just paramount. I mean, Max, I'm sure you had so many cheerleaders on on your side, supporting you through every, your whole journey from trying to get pregnant and then going to get mainly to and I just feel like, it's, it's such an important thing to have those people in your corner, because the process that you're going through is so hard.

Maxine Wolf:

You know, it's, um, was really interesting for me, because, yes, I did have a lot of great support a lot of cheerleaders, but I also had people say to me, why do you want to adopt a child? You know, are you adopting a child? I even had a doctor tell me, he said, what he's, I don't know, you have a great life? Why are you adopting a child? And there was also that little bit like, you know, what I mean, okay, if I had the child biologically, but why, you know, are you gonna love this child? I mean, I had some really strange questions, but different from people I was close to. So you know, that was, that was different, but I was going to be single minded, and was okay with that, because I made the decision. But, like, Lindsey, and as I said, I went through infertility, and every time you don't get pregnant, it's, I mean, it's probably not the same thing as a that miscarriage, but it's, it's really intense emotional loss. Yeah. And one of the things that they talk about in adoption counseling is, as, as a mother, as a father, you know, you have to grieve for the, the biological child that you're not going to have. But on the other hand, your child has to be able to grieve for the biological parents that they'll never know. So you share this kind of amazing bond where you've, you've both sort of had loss. But you've been bought together. And, you know, there, there's a beautiful, I think, in our case, a happy ending to it. And the Chinese have a sort of a philosophy and it's not necessarily a proverb, but it's something they call the red thread, which is that you're connected to people you love through destiny, and, you know, we start talking about that and when Maylee was little and you know, she, I was her destiny, she was my destiny. And she even just got a tattoo and now she's 23 she's around decisions are those years of no tattoo. She, she's an artist. So she drew my hands, my mother's hands who passed away a few years ago, and her hands and she connected us all with the red threads. So, you know, she you know, are sort of shared lack of experiences combined with, you know, the beautiful life we have together is, you know, proof for that Red Thread, you're you are where you're meant to be. And it happens, you know, for all of us happened for Lindsay happened for you, Maureen, you might have a few more meant-to-bes on your list, but...

Maureen:

One tops.

Maxine Wolf:

Yeah

Maureen:

But there's also a lot of women, like yourself that just choose to have one child and you know, what were the other kind of practicality impacts that that made you choose that decision, Max?

Maxine Wolf:

I you know, I don't know, I guess I was thinking practically because the adoption process is extremely expensive. There's no question about it, especially when you adopt internationally. So just the money you spend up into the point where you're bringing your child home is a lot and there's no insurance covering it. It's, you know, it's it's all out of pocket. So there's a lot of scrimping and saving for me to get Maylee. And I guess afterwards, I felt like anything after that would be less expensive, but I was wrong about those diapers. But um, yeah, I think, um, I think I wasn't so concerned with it. Because I was sort of, like, driven in my path i i fell complete was one child. Like I said, if I'm extremely lucky and extremely grateful. I figured it would all work out in the end, because it did. This amazing thing happened to me that this all worked out. You know, sometimes I go back and look at it. And, you know, I know you guys do that, too. And I know you do that, Lindsey, you back and you think, gosh, I can't believe it. I can't believe how lucky I was. So I wasn't as concerned with it. Like, it is expensive. And as somebody who my daughter's a senior and I just paid my last tuition payment. You know, there there is a lot to think about, you know, for sure. You know, when you're multiple children. You know, there's there's so many expenses, as you all know, but as they get older, those expenses get even worse when you put them into activities, and you think you're done with daycare, but then you've got all the other fees that come with all the other dance class and soccer and, and then you hit college, and you'll be like, Oh, my child to get a full scholarship. Not unless they're a super athlete, you know, or some, I don't know, incredible lucky person. But in hindsight, like, I can say, Yeah, I should have been a lot more worried. But it wasn't. But um, you know.

Maureen:

But it's true. Sometimes you just have to trust that it's going to work out. Like, I mean, I could worry about the financials of it all like for forever, but like, we've made it work so far. And will continue to do so how I don't know. But that's just you know, you can't predict those things.

Maxine Wolf:

Right. But there are there are a lot of people, I actually know of two young women who have had their, their one child and have said that said, you know, and they do say that the average number of the average size of households is dropping. So, I don't know if that's financial or, or if it's lifestyle oriented. I don't know. But as I said, I was part of a family of five and three kids and you know, it's great to have siblings, you know, I loved it, but you know it um, it wasn't in the cards for me Lee but she's okay, you know, her two for best friends are their only children. So she's alright with it. So she says so. She has a dog.

Maureen:

Snowball. Yeah, it's true. I mean, I I want my kids to have each other. That's kind of one of the biggest reasons why I want to have multiple kids. I have one sibling, but a very large extended family in the area. I just like the idea that when things get tough, and when maybe I'm not there anymore. There's not just one on one helping each other. There's more helping, like, I just want them to have that service. of love, but that also can come from other people too. So it's, even if I like dead set on that idea, I know that they could potentially build it without like our little family unit too. So, I mean, family comes in all different shapes and sizes, obviously, we know that. So Lindsey, could you... the IVF process is, an even just all fertility is very daunting, if you have to go down that path. If you're lucky enough to get to try options in that way. Can you kind of like, share with us a little bit more about your experience there?

Lindsey:

Yeah, absolutely. Um, so my, my husband and I were very fortunate to, you know, find a great doctor in the Philadelphia area that we can work with. We also sought resources through an organization called Resolve, which is the National infertility Association. They provide just information and resources for, you know, they kind of go into information about, you know, options that are available to you even questions to ask your doctor at appointments, or, you know, things to bring up about your family history, different tests to get that kind of thing. They also provide information for grants and funding, if that's something that you know, and I know, a lot of times people are not lucky enough to have things covered by insurance insurance is very picky with things depends on your provider depends on the area that you live in the state. So there's different guidelines and rules and everything. So you know, they kind of help navigate that on on their website, there's a lot of information there. They also have information for support groups, and peer counselors, and different either sometimes their virtual groups, and some are in person. So just a lot of great supports there for just different paths that you want to take. And just I think being armed with information is the best way to kind of combat some of it because it's, it's a lot, it's a lot to, you know, I heard one once someone told me, they're like, there, there's no just dipping your toe into the infertility world, your you're thrown in, and you're totally and I'm sure Max, you can attest to this, like, you're you know, as soon as you're at that first appointment, like you're in it. So you know, really helps you navigate that, that process. So they were just a wonderful resource to me, and I'm sure there's others out there as well. But that's the one that that really helped me. They do advocacy at like, you know, the, the state level and the national level for for different laws. And so they're just they're amazing organization. So that that's really helped me, so I just wanted to share that.

Maureen:

What was the name of the organization again?

Lindsey:

Resolve, which is the National Infertility Association. So they also hold an annual Walk of Hope they hold them all over the country. But they're one per year and in different states. And basically, it's a walk or a journey so that people on this path, don't have to walk alone. It's really good. I could tear up thinking about it. But it's, it's really, really cool.

Maureen:

I love that because I you know, the process of trying to get pregnant can be isolating absolutely for everyone. So knowing that there's like a great support out there. And I just I had no idea that there were grants available. Like that just makes it. Yeah, that makes it so much more doable for so many people. Right. So that that is that's awesome. So yeah, I mean, that's really, really great. Yeah.

Maxine Wolf:

That's great. Yeah, I would have liked to have had that. Right. Twenty odd years ago. There was nothing like that. You and if you were doing infertility, you were like, by yourself, you didn't talk about it. Yeah. Very, very isolating.

Lindsey:

Yeah, my mom actually talks about that a lot. And that's one thing that that we would talk about together because she's like, you know, I had my own mother that I talked to, and she had her sister that she would talk to, but not like friends or you know, and, and it just wasn't it was something that you kind of carried solo a little bit. And I'm, I'm glad that that stigma is kind of changing. And because I certainly, you know, felt like I needed that at the time I needed that support. So just being able to talk about it today with you all too. I mean, you know, just to, to kind of be open about it and and hopefully this helps somebody out there too.

Maxine Wolf:

Yeah, absolutely. And it's great. What a great organization. Yeah, It really is. Can you put a link to that somewhere for people?

Maureen:

Yeah, we'll do that we'll we'll share it on the page. But yeah, there's there's so much that we carry just going to building our families, it's just so important that we can talk about it because I, I feel like when you don't talk about it, you build up like this trauma and you, it just kind of might let weigh heavy on you. And I, you know, I had, I guess I would consider my first birth like my son, very traumatic. It was a very quick emergency C section out in I don't know, I think we say like under seven minutes, from the time that it happened. The C section process is usually more like 45 minutes, but it was very emergency situation. So there's, there's so much that goes into having kids, they've been open about it, it's just like, it's, it's so important. I love that more people are doing it. Now I'm currently following along with this influencer, that I follow on Instagram with her IVF journey and just, you know, like rooting for her, and she updates us the whole time. And it's just, it's nice that we can all kind of have this community where no matter what your your different situation is, like we all can, can understand the feeling that we want to be parents and, Max, like you said earlier, you needed to be a parent, I feel that way too. I'm sure many people identify with that and just kind of like, helping each other along and talking about it is just, you know, it makes it, it makes it that much easier when you feel like you're less alone and you can share with each other. Definitely. Okay, so, Lindsey, I want to talk about the term geriatric pregnancy, because that is something that you had been identified as with your second pregnant. Yeah, right. Yeah.

Lindsey:

So it's just a lovely title. And everybody wants that. No just kidding. Um, yeah, it was, it was kind of interesting. So there's a four year age gap between my oldest and my youngest, and just night and day, the different pregnancies. It's, you know, in general, but then also, you know, the second one being terms, you know, with my, my youngest just being termed geriatric pregnancy, which is anyone over the age of 35. Because, you know, that 35 some crazy stuff at all just turned different, apparently. But, but yeah, so, yeah, it just meant more doctor's appointments and meant more tests, in my case. And so yeah, it's, it's very interesting, it changes your mindset a little bit, because you're like, but I don't I don't feel geriatric, you know. But, um, but yeah.

Maxine Wolf:

Does it scare you? I mean, it's such a scary term.

Lindsey:

Yeah, it's an intense term. Yeah. So in, in my case, it meant more anatomy scans for the pregnancy and more blood tests. But everything turned out okay. And everything was fine. And certainly, because we did IVF, too, there was a little bit more, it was over, over 35 and an IVF. Pregnancy. So, you know, they just kind of kept kept an eye on things a little bit more. And did have, like, a, I'm forgetting the term now, but a bleed in the beginning. So they were you know, monitoring that. And so, yeah, it just, they they just keep a closer eye on things. But yeah, it's, it's very, it's very difficult sometimes when you're like, but I don't feel like this term. You know, age is just a number.

Maureen:

Yeah, we all you know, everyone feels younger, older these days. Like my mom always talks about, like, I like when her the generation before her was her age, they looks like they were at when she's only 60. So it's, it's, it's, if I do have another child, I will be in the geriatric category as well.

Lindsey:

Joining the club!

Maureen:

I think that like what I've just seen and experienced with a lot how a lot of people are like, trying to reframe this. And, you know, I think there is maybe additional risk in some areas, but maybe there's also not in others. And while that title makes you feel a little bit more scared, going into it, definitely. There's so many women that are having, you know, great pregnancies and great outcomes post 35. That like, I don't want to make that label. Make me feel any more scared going into a pregnancy. I'm not saying no well, but I don't want it to Yeah, but yeah, it's it's interesting because, you know, as Max, like, I started my career for my all my 20s and didn't get around to getting married even though I was with my husband, since we were 23 Till we were, I think 30, somewhere between 30 and 31. So then we just started our family, not late, not late, but later than like I had imagined when I was younger. So, but that's also like, what a lot of people are doing these days. So I think, I think, I'm not sure. If people are going to there's going to be any more stigma around being 35. I hope that that phases out.

Lindsey:

Yeah, it's definitely it's your point to like, it's a growing club. Like, I think that's more than norm as is just as you're saying, I think women are, are building their careers getting married a little bit later, you know, starting to have their, you know, have their kids and start their fertility journey a little bit later. You know, you had mentioned freezing eggs, you know, there's there's many more options out there. So I think it's, you know, we should adjust that term, we should frame it in our brains. So yeah.

Maureen:

Yeah, definitely. Another topic that I want to just touch on is the idea. I know we're talking about all the many ways that we can become families, but talking about like a blended family too. And I have experienced in that my parents got divorced when I was nine, and then my dad remarried when I was 13. So I have step siblings, step parent, my my husband's parents also hard divorce. So my kids have like a million grandparents too. But you know, it's the more the merrier. But I know Max, you also kind of have a blended family. Do you want to share with us a little bit about that?

Maxine Wolf:

Yeah, I do my I, my ex husband, who is my daughter's dad, his daughter, who was my stepdaughter, and who I think of as my daughter, she was my first daughter is married, and she has a child. So I'm grandma. And the beautiful thing about being on grandma Max, about being grandma is, you know, it doesn't matter how you became Grandma or Grandpa, you are to that child. So it's wonderful. But so we have so Maylee's actually. sister is 40, you know, so they never were that kind of close in age. And, and she has a niece, and his name is Cairo. So yeah, so it's a blended family, and it's full of love. And we all everybody gets along, and it's wonderful. And yeah, it's, it's the way families are, you know, there's lots of different situations. And, you know, fortunately, we all remain close and cool. And I get to be a grandma.

Maureen:

Yeah, the best part

Maxine Wolf:

Tell me you know, I don't look like a grandmother.

Maureen:

No you do not. But I think it's nice. From my, like my three year olds perspective, he has no idea the complicated family trees of you know, who's with who and whatever. He just knows that everyone loves him. Yeah. And it's just more to to more people to love him, which I think is nice. And you know, it can be tumultuous at first when when those situations happen. But then, you know, decades out, which is where my family is with that. It's it's just nice to having more family to love.

Maxine Wolf:

Right, the more people who love your children, the better.

Lindsey:

Absolutely. And I think you're right, Maureen, I think the kids say just see the love, which is really Yeah, the cool thing about kids. They don't see the drama, they just see Yeah, more people there to love them. Yeah.

Maureen:

Yeah, exactly. Alright, so I think we're gonna wrap up soon. But I want to touch on one more thing and just kind of get everyone's perspective on what your favorite part of being a mom is. So Lindsay, could you share with us?

Lindsey:

Yeah, so my favorite part is just seeing who they are as individuals, like, you know, you all you know, I think when you're pregnant, you kind of daydream about who they'll be. And, you know, certainly as as the girls are growing up, I'm still daydreaming about that, but just seeing you know, what makes them smile. What what makes them laugh. That's my favorite part. Just, Just seeing who they are and who they're becoming is just, it's a total privilege. It's a gift.

Maureen:

Yeah, it really really is. Yeah, every day. Yeah. What about you, Max?

Maxine Wolf:

I love being a mom. I've loved every single step along the way. But to Lindsey's point now that Maylee is 23 I, I love seeing her as an adult friend. I mean, it's amazing. We like each other so much in a different way. You know, as I mean, I'm still mom, but you know, I can't tell her to clean a room, you know, she's, like, I couldn't tell her not to get the tattoo. But we, yeah, we we have a wonderful friendship. And I'm just so blessed to have that, you know, because not everybody gets that, you know, when their kids are older. So yeah, I think, like I said, everything, but especially now knowing that we have an even more special relationship because we, we really like each other as people, not just as I love you, because you're my daughter. But I like you. Because you're my daughter, not because you're my daughter, but because you're you. So I think that's, I think that's the best part of it. At this point in time.

Maureen:

Yeah, I only hope that, you know, I have those relationships with my kids, when when they're older, too. So that's, that's definitely what you strive for. As a parent, I feel like, I am just content with my family like I have, I have everything I could ever want. And that's what I love most about my family. Like, I don't know what my husband and I, you know, if we're stressed about certain things, or financial or we need this, we need that, but then I sit there and I think but I have everything I need. I am happy. This family is all I could ever want. And hope for and and I feel like that's, that, to me, that's what my kids have brought me just a feeling of like peace and getting to be the like, Luckiest person ever to be to be their parent and and I could go on forever. But if I just could put it succinctly that's just it just just the the contentedness in life and not feeling like I'm still searching, I'm still I have it. And they gave me that. And so I feel grateful for that. And, and I also love seeing them grow and become their little people that they are to. So it's all amazing every step, even though we don't sleep and right. There's tauntums all the time. Yeah, and you worry all the time.

Maxine Wolf:

By the way, that doesn't stop when they get older, it never stops.

Maureen:

But it's all you know, it's all I've ever wanted. So I know you both feel the same way. So we are lucky. And I'm just happy that we were able to have this conversation. And while we can't cover every experience that's happened, I feel happy that we were able to talk about different different avenues that people become, join and become families and all of the different things that we we go to and then everyone's story is unique and everyone's experience is valid. And it's just nice to hear all the different ways and I hope that anyone that's listening, listening out there, like could connect to some of our stories or maybe learn something that they can take on on their journeys too. So I really appreciate everyone sharing with us. Here's what's new at Mom's Meet and KIWI magazine. Make sure you register for WOW Summit '22 Virtual. Join us from March 29th through 31st 2022 to attend educational workshops, learn from compelling speakers, network with like minded moms and discover new products in our virtual exhibit hall. Plus, you'll have a chance to win amazing prizes such as an Apple iPad, Ninja foodie, and more. Don't miss KIWI magazine's 2022 Spring issue dropping on March 8. Featuring fresh recipes, family mental health advice, crafts and more, there are so many amazing articles to check out this season. Plus dive deeper into what you need to know about climate change and its impact on your kids health. If you're looking to fuel your body with a granola that's both delicious and good for you, look no further than Lakanto cinnamon almond crunch granola. This granola has fewer carbs than the leading granola and is free of gluten and sugar. Plus, it's a kid and mom approved snack offering the perfect crunch in every bite made with a mix of coconut sunflower seeds, almonds, chia seeds, cinnamon, sea salt, and a touch of monkfruit (a natural sweetener that tastes amazing without the negative effects of sugar). Dig into delicious today.

Lindsey:

Thanks everyone for listening today. And don't forget forget to hit the subscribe button and make sure you don't miss any of the latest episodes of the podcast that are coming up.

Maureen:

All right. Thank you everyone and thanks for joining us for our third season. We can't wait to continue to help you raise happy and healthy families