The 35-Year-Old Bride Became a Mother of 5

The 35-Year-Old Bride Became a Mother of 5

This morning I traveled with my four-year-old Yoni on an end-of-year mothers-sons trip to an amusement park near Jerusalem. While I’ve been kicking and screaming for weeks about how I didn’t want to give up a day to do this, in the end (after I discovered that none of my older daughters would be available to take my place) I went and (surprise, surprise) really enjoyed myself.

Yoni and I went on the mini-rollercoaster–his first and my first in maybe 30 years. And the bumper boats (a first for both of us). And I enjoyed having an opportunity to spend a few hours having fun alone with my youngest child. When was the last time that happened? And also have some full-length conversations with several mothers from the gan, beyond the daily “shalom” at pick-up and drop-off.

At our communal mothers-sons breakfast, I sat across the picnic table from a mother named Sara* who has struck me all year as an unusually lovely person. With an especially beautiful smile that lights up her whole face.

Most of the mothers in the gan are young enough to be my daughters. And I assumed Sara was also younger. 32 tops.

So I was surprised when she told me that she only got married when she was 35, 5 children and 11 years ago.

This is the amazing story she told me about how she met her husband:

“One night, there was an event for singles, a class on how to have a happy marriage. I had stopped attending singles events a while before that, but my friend pushed me to go with her. So I reluctantly went along.

“My husband was there too. He also hadn’t wanted to attend, but also his friend pushed him, so he came too. My husband had made aliya 2 years before from France. And we got married.

“B”H, we had one child after another. And then, last year, I found out that I was expecting again, and I would be giving birth when I was 46. My gynecologist told me that at my age, there was a 1 in 3 chance that this baby would be sick. She recommended to terminate the pregnancy.

“But we spoke with a rabbi at Machon Puah, and he told us, ‘Listen, I don’t know where she got her statistics from. I’ve heard different ones. But even if she is correct, you could look at it differently. At the age of 46, you have a 2 out of 3 chance of having a perfectly healthy baby. And b”H, that was what happened–Hodaya,” she said, pointing at the adorable baby in her stroller, “is 4 months old.

Who would have thought that older singles who married at the ages of 35 and 37 would end up having 5 children! An unbelievable end of the story for two older singles who kicked and screamed, but went anyway.

14 comments

  1. I just wanted to point out one thing that bothered me about the story (not what you said, this was such a nice inspiring story to hear! But about what happened to this woman). For some reason I have heard many stories recently of women in Israel being told to either have amniocentesis or terminate pregnancies because there “could be” abnormalities with the fetus. I live in chul for the moment and here I feel that pressure is way less. Why is that?

    Also, as far as I know, ANY pregnancy, from the start, has something like 15-20% chance of miscarriage. So are we just going to stop having babies because something could go “wrong”? Just made me sad to hear another story like that.

    • JewishMom

      right, I had an experience like that when I was pregnant with Yaakov, now 6. The doctor said I had once had a CMV infection, which sometimes causes deafness or severe retardation, and I should abort the baby! And so shocking that this is happening more in israel than other countries. Bizarre and horrible.

      • I’m so sorry you had to go through that. That same thing actually happened to a friend of mine also and turned out her CMV was actually before pregnancy and only meant she was immune now, which was only better for her baby. Imagine you’d abort and then find that out? Scary. Maybe time we speak up about this more?

        • JewishMom

          and then after he was born, I asked the doctor in the nursery if my yaakov was OK. Was his hearing OK, etc. He just waved it off, couldn’t understand why I had been concerned. Like, CMV what?

    • Thirty odd years ago, at the age of 39 in Chu”l I was also told to have amniocentesis since my child could be abnormal due to my “advanced” age. After consulting with a Rav, I was told to refuse and warned that the test itself could cause a miscarriage. Thank G-d my beautiful son (now the parent of a wonderful large family) was born with with an Apgar score of ten which they were not allowed to record(since it is an”impossible” degree of perfection). Mind you this was long ago in CHU’l so be aware there, too.

  2. Imma Fix It

    Thanks, Chana for all you do! I got married at 34, and BH 6 children later… I also had “advice” and said well Hashem runs the world…

  3. In the former Soviet Union,abortion was a popular method of birth control. I met a woman who r”l went through it FIFTEEN times!! But I also met a woman whose mother was an obstetrician and though she lived under the anti-religious Communist rule, she still held on to Torah values. She made it her mission to convince as many women as she could not to abort. Her daughter told me that her mother had a collection of pictures of the children born because of her persuasion.

  4. What a lovely story.
    In regards to Karen’s comment; There’s a strong ‘Christian’ anti-abortion sentiment in many western countries. This attitude is different in Judaism where abortion has a place in some circumstances. It’s not seen as so black-and-white

  5. I came on to your site, as usual hoping to see a story that would make my day happier. This certainly did.
    And I especially love the posts in which you make interesting and spot-on connections between things that happen in your life.
    I wonder – do you think that this ability to make these connections is due to you being more “tuned” to this over time?
    Thank-you for your wonderful blog.

  6. Such a nice story! About CMV, I had the opposite experience in Israel. The Dr. Told me that since I never had CMV I needed to be super careful (it’s highly contagious). She said if only I previously would’ve had cmv I would have been immune…

  7. So, back to the main part of this post… my husband and I were “older” singles. That in itself is a very significant experience. We, too, are the lucky ones who got married and have children. Unfortunately, we know so many people who were single with us and are still single, r”l. Years ago, when I was a tired and overwhelmed mother of small children I found myself grumbling a lot. One time I grumbled to myself that i had no time or energy to prepare for the mikva. Then I caught myself and realized how wonderful my life was, with a husband, children, and fulfilling the mitzva of mikva. That was when I started incorporating tefillot for singles during my mikva preparations.

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