Carolyn Aronson is older than most, if not all, of the women in the maternity ward, but at age 54 she was thrilled to give birth last month to a healthy, beautiful baby girl.
The CEO of It's a 10 Haircare, who spoke candidly to TODAY Parents last year about her pregnancy surprise, welcomed daughter Aliya Dream on February 12th. The baby is Aronson's first with her husband, Jeff Aronson, CEO of Titan FC and founder of Cash4Gold, and joins a blended family of siblings who range in age from 13 to 20 years old.
"There are some people who criticize people for having children older in life and I don’t think in today’s world that is as applicable as it used to be," Aronson told TODAY Parents in an interview after the birth of her daughter. "Rather than judging, look at the individual and try to understand why it was a good fit for them."
The average age for a woman giving birth in the United States for the first time is 27, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The last time Aronson gave birth, she was 40 years old.
She said the biggest difference this time was seeing the advancements in medical technology, including 3D ultrasounds, which allowed her and her doctor to closely monitor the health of her baby. This pregnancy was also spent mostly in quarantine due to the pandemic.
"The last trimester was a little harder, but I think it was the way she was positioned," Aronson said. "Overall, I can say, being physically healthy from the get-go and being someone who likes to eat properly and stay active helped me."
Little Aliya was clearly ready to make her debut on February 12th. While it was the day Aronson planned to give birth, her water broke right on schedule.
"She was determined to come, whether we had scheduled it or not!" Aronson said.
The couple had agreed on the name Aliya, which is Hebrew for "to ascend." Aronson said her husband, who had been by her side for several nights, was taking a nap on a hospital cot next to her when the social security lady came in to register the birth and asked for Aliya's middle name, something the couple hadn't yet chosen.
"We had mentioned the name Dream (before the birth), but Jeff said it was up to me," Aronson said. "While he was sleeping, I just chose it!"
Now back at home in Florida, Aronson said she's enjoying balancing work and once again being a new mom.
"Within two days of having her, I was doing work. That’s the beauty of technology, right?" Aronson said. "It’s great also to be an older parent and be able to afford some help. There are benefits to waiting a little later in life. You’re mentally ready, financially ready."
She said Aliya's new siblings are enjoying looking at their new sister, but are at the age where they're more excited for the baby to get a little older so they can interact with her. Aronson said she wanted to share her story to encourage women not to feel the pressure of having to have a baby by a certain age, even if they don't feel ready.
"We need to support each other and be each others' cheerleaders," she said, adding: "The 50s are the new 30s!"