Both mother and daughter used humor to diffuse their anxieties about what was happening. There’s no denying that 61 is late in the day for a pregnancy of any kind, and both had serious health concerns.
“It was a funny sounding ridiculous situation that we found ourselves in and we used humor to deal with it. Of course we knew that some people would say, ‘What on earth are you doing?’”
Casey carried the baby for the rest of the pregnancy and ended up having a Cesarean after 36 hours of light labor. “She didn’t get any let up there in terms of maturity or experience, in other words,” Connell says.
But what about the naysayers who claim that what she and her mother did is unnatural, or those who object on some religious grounds?
“I’m sure I’ve judged other stories I’ve read that I didn’t know anything about,” offers Connell. “I’m really trying to not do that these days to the best of my ability. I’m a really big believer in honoring everyone’s right to say what they believe.
“But I really felt the love that this idea came with and it was something my mother wanted to do, help my husband and I to start a family. That kind of burns away other people’s opinions about it.
“We know this wouldn’t be the right choice for everyone. Some could see it as reckless or unhealthy. But it happened to feel right for us.”
Irish American by birth, Connell is proud of her heritage which is reflected in the name she chose for her son
“We chose the name Finn because I have always found a connection to my Irish roots. We just felt like we wanted to honor our Celtic heritage,” Connell says.
“The name came to me about six weeks into the pregnancy. I just felt it and I loved it, even before we knew were having a boy for sure.”
Connell reveals that her father is 100 percent Irish, and traces his ancestry back three generations to Co. Kerry.
“I’m half Irish and my mother is half Swedish and French so we’re a typical American mixture. Our son Finn is like a fifth Irish,” Connell says.
Regardless of how he came into the world, there is no question that Finn is loved and wanted.
“It truly is a gift,” Connell says. “We are really treasuring it. He’s just turned 19 months and he’s walking and running and learning words and he’s a happy child.”
Next on the agenda is bringing Finn to Ireland in 2013. “We really want to visit Ireland in the next year. The book looks like it will have U.K. distribution and we would love to visit our friends. We definitely want Finn to see the ancestral land,” says Connell. And then she beams like any proud mother.