My Mid-Life Baby: A Dream Come True


Tears puddled my eyes as I sat in the doctor’s office. Every pregnant woman coming through the door reminded me I would never have another baby. I was blessed to have two beautiful daughters but always wanted more children. Now, recently divorced, having another child seemed a distant dream.

As a single parent, I didn’t plan on dating for a while. I was grieving the loss of my ideal family: two parents raising their children together. Now, I faced parenting alone. After a messy divorce, I wasn’t interested in another relationship. But then the unexpected happened. I met a man who changed my plans.

A strained co-parenting relationship with my ex-husband, who was struggling with alcoholism, prompted my involvement with an Al-Anon group. A diverse group for families of alcoholics, we related comfortably with one another as we searched for answers in our relationships. I made friends with Randy, a regular attendee who was easy to talk to and quick to notice others. I needed help with a lock at my house and asked one day, “Do you know a locksmith I can trust to change out a lock for me?” He graciously replied with a grin, “I’ll be happy to do it in exchange for a home cooked meal for me and my children.” Satisfied with the offer, I agreed.

The evening went by quickly with our children playing together like best friends. Randy and I related easily to one another as we shared stories about the stress of divorce and single parenting with two young children. It seemed only natural to make plans to see each other again. It was the beginning of an unexpected relationship with a happy ending.

Two years later, Randy and I married with our four children in the wedding. We settled into raising our family, seeking to unite our children after a broken past. Stepparenting proved harder than I imagined and the fight for my attention was overwhelming. Compared and contrasted to my stepchildren’s mother, I didn’t think I could measure up. The children’s back and forth routine between homes and the constant interaction with ex-spouses was exhausting. But I was committed to making my marriage work and refused to entertain the thought of divorce.

As months turned into years we began to accept one another, living together peacefully. The early years of dissension faded and one day, my dream of years past came flooding back. I yearned for another child of my own, knowing the chances of pregnancy were now slim. I was approaching 40 years old and Randy faced an expensive surgery, with no guarantees of success, to reverse a previous decision of not having more children. Despite the odds, however, we chose to pursue our dream of a mid-life baby and braced ourselves for an emotional year.

Randy’s surgery went well and within a few short weeks the doctor gave the green light to move forward. I wanted to make plans for a mid-life baby but knew my dream might not come true. Life resumed its normal pace while I took steps to do everything right in pursuit of getting pregnant. And then it happened. Only two months after Randy’s surgery, I suspected the change. The pregnancy test was positive! The child I believed would never exist was on its way.

Overcome with joy, we could hardly wait for the new baby to arrive. After nine long months, we were blessed with a sweet and healthy baby boy, Nathan. A common bond to all of us, Nathan united our family in a unique way.

The blessings of our mid-life baby abound. Although the sleepless nights proved harder to endure at 40 years old, the wisdom and patience that accompany midlife have resulted in a parenting journey naturally cherished. Now, as our mid-life baby begins his teen years, we value the privilege of parenting into another decade. And through the unexpected blessing of another child, I am reminded that rainbows follow storms and dreams do still come true. 

Gayla Grace
About Gayla Grace

Gayla Grace is a mom/stepmom to five children. A former piano instructor, she enjoys playing the piano at her church and other community events.

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