She had her first child in 2002 at the age of 42. Three and a half years later, Madonna Sampson-Doyle is the proud mother of two children whom she considers to be miracles.
“Precious Destiny, was born in 2002 and Samuel David in 2004, which I always say is kind of a miracle because people at my age are always so afraid of having children.”
In 2001, just a year after getting married, Sampson-Doyle had missed her period and soon realised she was pregnant. A couple weeks later, she’d had a
“I remember being disappointed that first time because I got pregnant and it was not planned.
“I felt as though I was no longer in control of my body and so I had to go to God about it,” she said.
A year later, when she conceived again, she was prepared.
“I embraced it because I understood that it was the will of God for my life,” Sampson-Doyle said.
Her husband Elton, who has two grown sons but no daughters, was also happy about the baby although it was not something that the couple had sat down and discussed.
Both her pregnancies were healthy and problem-free.
“I remember my gynaecologist telling me I had the health of a 20-year-old,” Sampson-Doyle said laughing.
During her first pregnancy, she was doing her masters degree in mass communications at Leicester University in England and had to take time off after getting a grade “C” in a paper. The results were not because she was not well, but because of her emotional state, she said.
“My first pregnancy, I journalled a lot because I felt as though the child was controlling me and I wrote about it.”
Having children at this age, Sampson-Doyle said, is an incredible feeling. The challenges she faced were not health-related, but in finding nice, comfortable, flat shoes and having to tread carefully on the slippery tiles as she would walk through the corridors of banks.
“I’m excited about being a mother. I look at them sometimes and I ask myself ‘Are you really a mother?’ because it’s so different for me now.”
Her priorities have shifted and her professional life is now decided around how it affects her family.
After having her first baby, the main challenge for Sampson-Doyle was finding a good baby-sitter, a
problem her mother solved by looking after the children herself.
Her more recent challenge comes from balancing how she goes about disciplining her children.
“I’m from the old school, so there are times I have to show Precious Destiny — who is now three — who is control, because I realise that it is a power struggle which starts at even that young an age. So I try to find that balance between spanking and talking.”
Women who want to get pregnant later in their lives, she said, need to know that having children is a legacy and needs to be treated as sacred.
“I was very obedient to my doctor. I went to every visit I had and did everything she told me to do,” she said. “Your health practices and your faith in God are very important.”
Prior to her marriage in 2000, Sampson-Doyle, said her priority was not being a wife and mother, but fulfilling a purpose. A purpose that is centred around her passion for communications.
“I see my purpose as using the communication vehicle to heal and enhance relationships.
“For me, contrary to most women, I really did not think that I needed children to fulfil me or give me a sense of being a woman. I was really pursuing my God-ordained purpose.”
Having also pursued her first degree in mass communications at UWI, Mona in Jamaica, Sampson-Doyle started her own communications consulting company in 1995 doing regional radio programmes for regional clients.
“My background is primarily radio, but I also did a couple stints with television and some editing of news letters in companies’ publications.”
“This branched off into me doing training in public speaking and presentations. “I was really busy doing those things and so I didn’t think a husband and family was number one on my agenda,” said Sampson-Doyle, owner of Mas Communication Ltd.
While there were some moments of loneliness, Sampson-Doyle did not let them overwhelm her. And when her husband-to-be came along, Sampson-Doyle was cautious.
“I did not want somebody to come and cramp my style. So I called my very good friends and asked them to pray for me. I had too much going for me to allow somebody to come and take away from that.”
But rather than taking away from what she had, Sampson-Doyle’s husband has added in a different way.
“To be honest, I thought I was the quintessential woman and I realised that I had some things that needed fine tuning,” she said laughing.
Sampson-Doyle has no regrets about marrying and having kids at this stage of her life.
“I’m glad that I did not start this part of my life at an early age because I don’t think that I would have had the patience, the wisdom and the maturity to handle things that I do now and there are still times that I put up a fight.
She likened her life now to that of being sand-papered.
“I now have another personality and other responsibilities. And it is not that I have changed something good for something less good, it is really just about adding value,” she said.
It is a new experience for Sampson-Doyle, and “I’m doing it part time and it’s amazing how many things you need to know, but I’m enjoying it,” she said.