18, and Luca, 21 months,
in their Atlanta home.
a Kathryn Petralia
Co-founder and president
of Kabbage, a small-business
online lender that did
more than $200 million in
revenue last year.
I was 21 and Mark was 22 when we
got married. We waited eight years
to have a kid, and when we did, we
wanted one of us to be at home—
we didn’t really care who it was.
We joke that we had a race to see
who could make the least amount
of money and I lost. Mark was
a day trader and he’s been an
at-home parent since 2000.
We were proud parents of an
only child. But when Alex was
in his last year of middle school,
Mark was getting kind of sad.
I was like, “Well, what if we had
another kid?” And he said, “I
think I like that idea.”
I’m old—I was 46 at the time—
so we had to use some science to
make that work.
When Luca was 2 weeks old,
he went on a nursing strike and
he never picked it up again. So
I was exclusively pumping, and
that is pretty challenging. I did
learn that every airport has its own
rules. Sometimes they want you to
take every single container or bag
of milk out so they can test each
one with a wand. Sometimes
they’d want to stick them in the
machine. When I was in India for
a week, I had to throw all that milk
away. That’s just painful. Crying
over spilled milk is a thing.
Since I went through the IVF
process, I have taken to telling
women under 35: Freeze your
eggs. Because even if you think
you don’t want to have a baby,
you might change your mind,
and IVF gives you a lot of options.
If I can gestate a baby at 46,
anybody can. —As told to M.A.