Love your post and I can relate in a lot of ways. First, I was an LPN and I was 27 when I went back for my RN. It was a bridge program so most were 2nd career (Respiratory Therapists, LPNs and Paramedics), therefore I was actually the 2nd youngest person in my class. Second, I also fell in love with all things birth when my son was born with a nurse midwife and aspire to become one after getting some experience. I just started working on an LDRP unit, which has been my dream since my first OB clinicals in school. Thirdly, my husband got laid off very shortly after our son was born so I can relate to that as well ;0)
Speaking of bridge, you should do some research and add that to your list of options. Many L&D units use LPNs for couplet (mom/baby) care and also as scrub techs for c-sections. If you became an LPN you may be able to gain nursing experience on L&D. Then again, hospitals dont pay LPNs much more than their techs, so you may be better off becoming a CNA/Tech (whatever they call them in your region) or even getting on as a unit secretary or the person who does newborn hearing screenings (no credentials needed)...the key being, like you said, getting your foot in the door so that if they like you they will hire you when you finish nursing school.
Best of luck on your journey! Keep us posted! :)