Motherhood at 46, my story by ex-CNN correspondent Isha Sesay
Former CNN correspondent Isha Sesay recently gave birth to a baby girl at 46.
Being a mother has been her greatest desire.
At 46, single and without a partner, she opted for IVF from a sperm donor, regardless of what society thinks about her decision.
She said: “If you’d told the 16-year-old me that at 46, I’d be divorced, single, and having a baby on my own—by choice!— I’d have shuddered and firmly said, ‘No!’ Back then, I had very definite ideas about the future course my personal life would take, and it didn’t look like this.
“I imagined something way more straightforward and, dare I say it, conventional.
“I’ve been blessed to build the career of my dreams over decades as a journalist—13 years on air for CNN International, traveling the world to cover global events and interviewing presidents, movie stars, and world leaders. I published a book, became a UN Goodwill Ambassador, and started a nonprofit to help empower African girls, but in my quiet moments, the one thing I wanted the most—to become a mother—remained out of reach.
“When I got cancer, no one told me how to tell my kids. Here’s how I did it; a brief marriage to a kind man didn’t result in children, and then the year I turned 40, my mom had a catastrophic stroke, leaving me no emotional space to contemplate anything other than caring for her. Six years went by, and a few months ago I found myself in a subpar relationship with a man who took about 12 hours to reply to all my texts, among other red flags. It was then, in the aftermath of our inevitable breakup, that it hit me: Not having a child would be the greatest regret of my life.
“And with my biological clock ticking down, if I were waiting for the right man to come along before I did it, well, I might just find myself out of time.
“In the aftermath of our breakup, it hit me: Not having a child would be the greatest regret of my life. If I was waiting for the right man to come along before I did it, well, I might just find myself out of time.
“So, I decided to take control of my life and settle on the bravest and scariest decision I have ever made: to have a baby on my own. I had many long conversations with myself and tried to get to grips with questions about what it would mean to not have the support of a partner, both emotionally and financially.
“How would I handle society’s questions?
“What would being a single parent mean for my child?
“I still don’t have all the answers, but I decided to take the leap because I refuse to let fear, social conventions, or judgment hold me back from seeking this joy.”
Culled from Today (Isha Sesay’s story)