According to a Nigerian , a 52-year-old menopausal woman gave birth last month to her first and only child, whom she named Mary (along with 17 other names) without IVF, without any assisted reproductive technology or medical intervention. The successful businesswoman had reached menopause, and "after thirty years and three husbands," had given up hope that she would ever conceive and bear a child. Then she embraced a new faith, donated her land to the church, and prayed for a miracle. Her prayers were answered.
What I find interesting in the article are the cultural attitudes towards women and menopause. The journalist states that of all the aging processes, "one of the most pronounced and feared especially among many a woman is menopause. It signifies an end to her "womanness.'" Most of us probably bristle at the word choice though it's hard to know completely what that means in another culture. Later on the writer states that at 52, a woman is considered "past her prime." Certainly if a woman's primary purpose is to reproduce, then it is true that many women would be past their prime at 52.
But this particular woman fought the cultural stereotypes and then fought the doctors at a clinic who told her because of her advanced maternal age she'd have to have a c-section, which to a Nigerian woman apparently condemns her to hell. Our heroine not only gave birth "naturally" but also astounded the doctors and her townspeople, many of whom who had mocked her for wanting a child at her age. An interview with the medical director at the hospital said that while unlikely, it was not quite impossible for the woman to conceive and bear a child naturally. "Science is one thing, religion is another," he's quoted as saying.
I like this story, whether completely true or not. I believe in bucking negative cultural stereotypes of menopausal women. And in having faith that women can achieve whatever they want, no matter their age.