doom-gloom 4bb @40? please tell me no

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2010
doom-gloom 4bb @40? please tell me no
11
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 8:43pm


Hi all. Just found out I'm pregnant. Did tne HPT twice this weekend and twice positive. First time being pregnant and I'm 40. Hubby and I are nervous but excited will be calling the doc on monday to schedule 1st appointment. Been doing some research on the do's and don't's and now I have info overload. Everything I read about having a baby at 40 is all doom and gloom, and is now causing me to worry to the nth degree about everything that can go wrong or what I might be doing wrong. I just read that my shampoo and lotion might be a danger to my baby! yikes...Deep breath. Of course I know raw eggs are not good to eat but I had a caesar salad two nights ago, so now I'm thinkin what did I do?

Two deep breaths..so, I turned 40 in Jan, had a leep procedure about 10 years ago and had another abnormal pap smear this past summer and was given the ok to have a baby. Okay, I would really like to know that women 40 and over had babies for the first time with similar medical history and had a perfectly healthy baby.

Someone?
Anyone?
Please? :-)

I also posted this on the first time pregnant board...I don't even know where I belong :-(

 Pregnancy Ticker

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2008
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 9:08pm

Hello and welcome. You're absolutely welcome here -- and I'm sure you'll be welcome on the First Time Pregnant Board, too. It's perfectly fine to participate on multiple boards; many of us do. : )

You're so right that everything you read about being 40 or older and pregnant is doom and gloom. There's no denying it, especially when they compare absolute numbers (odds) of a 25 year old mom to those of a 40 year old mom. I'm going by memory here, so I may be a little off, but not by much... I think the odds of an average 25 year old woman giving birth to a baby with Downs Syndrome (DS) are something like 1:2500 as compared to the odds of an average 40 year old woman who's odds are something like 1:62. Do the odds look scary? Yup, they sure do. But guess what... odds of 1:62 equate to a 98.39% chance that the 40 year old woman will NOT have a baby with DS. So try to focus on the fact that the odds are LARGELY in your favor that you will have a healthy baby. There's also an increased risk for miscarriage in women over 40 but I'm not familiar with the odds for this...

Don't worry about the raw eggs or anything else you ate or drank before knowing you were pregnant. Most of us have been there, done that and for those of us who have and who asked our docs about it, the standard response from the doc is something along the lines of "What's done is done. Don't worry about it, just don't do it anymore." I can't tell you how many women, including myself, who drank (socially, of course) before knowing they were pregnant. I enjoyed a few glasses of red wine a few nights/week until finding out I was pregnant -- and I know of many, many other women who did the same (or worse) and went on to deliver healthy babies. So don't dwell on the past, just focus on being health from here on out.

As far as your other health concerns, if you were given the green light to get pregnant, than I'd say you have nothing to worry about. I had a leep procedure done something like 25 years ago. I know longer live where I had the procedure done and quite frankly, never thought to mention it to my present OB/Gyn. I've had two successful pregnancies and deliveries and am scheduled to be induced with our third child this coming Thursday. So I'm not sure there's anything to worry about but if so, call your OB/Gyn and ask specifically about your concerns.

I'll share the same advice with you that I share with the other women who have the same questions and concerns you do (which are all perfectly natural and normal): try to just take one day at a time. If you look too far ahead and keep dwelling on what might be, you'll continue to feel overwhelmed and defeated. I suggest reading through other threads that deal with the same concerns you have -- there are many recent threads and many less recent, but all are relevant and I think you may find comfort from reading through them. Best wishes to you.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 9:47pm

Congratulations and welcome. Maybe make that three deep breaths.

I'm 42 (soon to be 43) and expecting a baby for the first time. I was on several different prescription psych meds when I found out I was pregnant and took to Google to try to determine whether or not I should continue taking them. I wound up almost pulling my hair out. Not long after I had a bad cold and took to Google to try to find out if a certain cold med was safe to take... same result. I soon realized there are many people online who have various opinions on what a pregnant woman should and should not do, and it was best to talk to my doctors about any serious medical issues I had questions about. And I learned that if I did take to Google, it was best to to so to get a general sense of the issues I faced but not necessarily to help me make a decision. I had people tell me I shouldn't take baths, for God's sake (my doctor later said it's only hot tubs that can pose a danger during pregnancy).

And don't even get me started on people's opinions that women shouldn't have babies after age 40 because of the increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities. My sister sent me an email saying I had a 30 percent chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome (she had misread the statistic citing a 1 in 30 chance at age 45, which is still a less than 4 percent chance and I'm not 45 yet anyway). True, the odds after 40 of Down Syndrome or another Trisomy are higher, but hardly a given. The main risk is for miscarriage, which tends to be a bigger risk than any other complication for women of all ages. My first ultrasound was actually done way too early, at 4 wks, and because I also had a urinary tract infection at the time and nothing could be seen yet in my uterus, a physician's assistant told me it might be an ectopic pregnancy. Two weeks later the pregnancy was confirmed as viable, and I haven't looked back since. I'm expecting a boy and all signs indicate he's developing typically (my screening results lowered my chance for Down Syndrome to 1 in 447), although I decided early I would continue the pregnancy as long as no condition was identified that would cause suffering.

If you don't already have one, find a good OB you feel comfortable with who can go over all the issues with you, the general risks as well as any specific health-related risks you might have. There are no guarantees and no test we can take at the beginning of pregnancy that can assure us we won't face major complications of any sort. But if having a baby is something you really want in your life, and your doctor doesn't identify any major medical reason not to, you might want to start learning to ignore people who are not medically trained who give you all kinds of reasons to worry.

Poking around the various sections on this board (and even reading back) may help you get a sense of the range of situations we're facing, but I can tell you that there are others on this board who are expecting for the first time.

Best of luck and let us know how things progress if you wish.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2010
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 9:52pm
Hi, Thanks for the advice and welcome! I'm excited but also nervous. According to all the pregnancy calculators, I'm about 5 weeks pregnant. But other than feeling tired sometimes, I haven't had any symptoms...not sure if that's normal. I mean there are norms but there are always exceptions right? Don't feel pregnant..so am I pregnant? I mean I know I'm pregnant..but..aargh. This is a confusing time...happy but gosh confusing!
 Pregnancy Ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 10:00pm

>>compared to the odds of an average 40 year old woman who's odds are something like 1:62. <<

Joan, I guess we were posting about the same time so I didn't see yours until after I sent mine and may have repeated some of the same points. Anyway, just wanted to note that the age-based odds for DS at age 40 are about 1 in 100 (around 1 in 62 is at age 42). I know that doesn't change the overall point that the odds are greater, but I pretty much memorized those statistics after my sister's misreading of them, which I've discussed here.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2010
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 10:11pm

It's completely normal not to "feel" pregnant yet at 5 weeks. Women vary in the degree of morning sickness they experience but mine didn't really start to kick in until about week 7 or 8 (once it did, I had it every day for nearly two months). Other symptoms vary as well. I have to say I started "feeling" pregnant gradually, sometime between when the MS started and I had my NT scan (an ultrasound done around week 12 to help determine the individual odds for DS). Now I'm jumbo and feeling the baby kicking, so I definitely feel pregnant now. But early pregnancy was the most uncertain time for me also, particularly when I was waiting for my viability ultrasound. Hang in there and, again, keep us updated.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2008
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 10:20pm
Thanks for the correction. Yes, now that you pointed that out, I seem to recall those were the odds given to me at my genetic counseling session back in October. Thanks for the correction. : )
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2008
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 10:28pm
If you got two positive readings from HPT's, congratulations, YOU'RE PREGNANT! You don't have to feel symptoms to be pregnant; the lack of them doesn't indicate there's anything wrong with the pregnancy -- especially this early on. Please, enjoy the lack of symptoms while you can! : ) Yes, you're so, so, right....pregnancy is VERY confusing. Those hormones are wreaking havoc on your body and your mind but it's all part of the game. So hang in there and just take things one day at a time. The other thing I like to tell women who find themselves newly pregnant and concerned, anxious, excited, and overwhelmed is that the nine months it takes us to grow our baby is a long enough time for us to emotionally and mentally adjust to and prepare for the idea of having a baby. The first trimester, for most women, is the most stressful. Once you get through it, the emotional aspect of pregnancy gets easier (at least in my opinion). Hang in there. : )
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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-08-2009
Tue, 05-04-2010 - 3:20pm

Hi there and congratulations!

Joan and Karen did such a nice job welcoming you and trying to ease your fears that I really can't add much.

I will tell you this (I'm 40.5, but this isn't my first pregnancy), I too engaged in "behaviors" that are not recommended for any pregnant woman...regardless of age. Had been socially drinking, ingesting soft "white" cheeses (like those at the Mexican restaurants) and was taking no prenatal vitamins.

That was my biggest fear...not so much about what I had or hadn't eaten (I do almost everything in moderation), but about the no prenatals.

The same thing had happened with our 2nd pregnancy...drinking, eating, no prenatals. We were referred to a perinatologist b/c of our high risk of loss, and I shared with him my concerns.

He said, "Valerie, 90% of the world's babies are conceived w/o prenatals (think Africa/Asia/Central America, etc.). The odds of you having a baby with a congenital defect b/c you didn't take prenatals is low!" I never really gave it a 2nd thought after that.

This 3rd baby was also conceived w/o any prenantals...of course the moment I discovered I was pregnant I started taking them, but really they are more for mom than for baby. My OB says that baby is like a little parasite...taking what it needs from you. So mom is actually the one that gets depleted on vitamins and minerals.

Don't 2nd guess yourself...what's done is done. Just move forward!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2010
Tue, 05-04-2010 - 6:54pm
I am also 40, finding myself pregnant again after 12 years.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2009
Mon, 05-10-2010 - 3:44pm

It wasn't my first, but I just had a perfectly healthy baby 6 weeks ago at age 41.

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