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'Giving birth is a rite of passage for all women'

DEB DAVIS, a doula from Greystones, had her first child, Nathan, at 33. Her plan was to have two children with her partner but things didn't work out that way.

"I wanted a boy and a girl and I wanted them with the same dad so I was really shocked and disappointed when myself and Jim split up."

When Deb was 37, she met Shaggy. At first, the couple had no plans to have children.

"I was very happy with my one child and I was very happy enjoying the freedom of a relationship without having a child."

Then, when Deb was 41, they decided to try for a baby and got pregnant straight away. "We were absolutely delighted and shocked at the same time," she says.


The pregnancy went well and Deb was approaching the three-month milestone in the run-up to the day of the couple's wedding blessing. "I thought this is going to be so perfect," says Deb. "I'm going to be three months pregnant on our wedding day."

"We lost the baby two weeks before the wedding," says Deb. "There was a huge amount of surrender during that time." Sadly, Deb miscarried her next baby also and was very nervous when she became pregnant again.

"We didn't really talk about it until we got to about 14 weeks," she says. "Then we breathed out and thought, we were both really carrying a lot there."

After that, Deb had a great pregnancy. "I really knew what I was doing and I was so excited about the birth. I had a fantastic home birth with Nathan but I knew it could have even been better. I did a lot of work with Shaggy and Nathan was up for being at the birth as well so it was really special."

Deb was 44 when she gave birth to Reuben at home. "For me, birth is such an enormous rite of passage for women, for babies, for relationships, for a couple."

So, new life can begin at 40 and beyond. Just be careful not to miss the deadline.