For Edie Schmidt, a radio talk show host, it all started with a simple pair of baby shoes.
While shopping with her husband one afternoon for new athletic shoes, part of their new goal to hit the gym, she held up the smallest pair of gym shoes she had ever seen, teasing her husband that they were just like "big brother's." Big brother, of course, was 20 years old and the man responsible for their gym membership, but Edie couldn't resist.
"No!" her husband responded resolutely. "I've already had the surgery and I'm not having it reversed. Besides, we're old."
Edie acknowledged her husband's point — she was in her late 40s and he in his 50s, so it only made sense. But deep down, right in between the rows of shoes that surrounded her that day, she made a silent wish for just one more baby.
So a few weeks later, when Edie was putting those new gym shoes to good use and hitting the treadmill hard, she learned that sometimes, you need to be careful what you wish for. Suddenly, she felt extremely sick and, as Edie tells it, even though it had been twenty-one years since she last felt that level of nausea, there was no mistaking it — she was pregnant.
"Let me just say that somewhere in the world, there is a vasectomy doctor who is not very good at what he does," says Edie wryly. "I love him. And who really knows if he isn't as skilled as he should be, or if our great God sabotaged his work. At the age of 45 for me and 57 for my husband, we saw those awesome, terrifying, wonderful, exciting, life-changing, tiny blue lines."
Although Edie says that her husband spent endless hour calculating "how old he would be for every milestone in her life," the family of three was thrilled with the upcoming addition. But not everyone was thrilled at her late-bloomer surprise. Edie recounts that she was apprehensive to share the news with people, getting reactions that included everything from commiserating stories of miscarriages to hand-wringing horror and shock. "My favorite for the moron-of-the-pregnancy award was a professional male whose first response was, 'Are you going to put it up for adoption?' Seriously?" says Edie.
When she got tired of feeling like she had to defend their decision to have a baby later in life, Edie says she set out on a mission to buy her unborn daughter a present. "I found myself being defensive, like I had to explain or justify a baby at our age," she explains. "At last I couldn't stand living in the grip of fear any longer. I needed to see something in the house that belonged to her. I needed to show her that no matter what people were saying, I had faith that she would grow and make it home."
On her lunch break from work one day, Edie found the perfect present that she tucked away at home, just waiting for the arrival of her daughter.
And when she arrived, perfectly healthy and robust three weeks ahead of schedule, Edie smiled when she laced up her tiny baby running shoes.
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