Dr. Wendy Walsh: When I heard Kelly Preston and John Travolta's pregnancy announcement, my heart leapt with joy for this family that has endured so much tragedy. Almost two years ago, their 16-year-old son, Jett, died of a seizure -- and this week, both family dogs were killed in an airport accident.
Add to that empathy my personal pleasure at seeing a "chronological peer" of mine carrying a baby. Yippee! There might be hope for me, should I ever entertain such a goal. So, when I saw the 47-year-old expectant mom beaming on the cover of Star Magazine with her pregnancy news, I was -- and still am -- thrilled for them.
Then I had dinner last night with two families. The parents were also in their forties, and we started to do the math: By the time this baby graduates from college, Kelly will be 70 years old. The opinion camps at my dinner party were divided. Some people thought she was too old to have a baby, and that it's not fair to make someone in their twenties plan a funeral or deal with aging parents. I argued that in my twenties, I'd dealt with long-term parental illness and death -- not because of my parents' ages, but because of bad luck. While it would be great to have my parents alive today, I sure don't regret being born, or feel that I missed out on anything because I dealt with family health obligations in my twenties.
A friend brought up Carmela Bousada -- the Spanish woman who, at 66, was the oldest woman ever to give birth. Sadly, Carmela died of cancer two years later. Since she was single, the twins are reportedly being raised by
their godfather, who is also their first cousin. That's a sad case, but Kelly is almost twenty years younger than Carmela was. Let's not forget that.
Bottom line: New life is a joyous thing. It takes a village to raise a child anyway, so this kid will undoubtedly have many attachments in the form of family and friends. He/she surely won't feel alone in the world with a sister 10 years older. Who cares if this child has parents who are older than his/her friend's parents? No one knows how long they have. The average life expectancy in America is 78.4 right now. That's the average, which means that much of the population lives longer than that. Who knows? Kelly and John might live to be 100!
Do YOU think Kelly is too old to have a baby?