hi. i learned about ivillage from my younger sister who has participated here during her 2 pregnancies... not this group, specifically, since she was younger than 40 at the time.
brief history: i turn 44 next month. we have had 5 pregnancy failures over the last 8 of the 10 years of our marriage. it has been a very difficult road to travel.
• 1st pregnancy was a missed miscarriage at 11.5 weeks, baby died at 10.5 weeks, we learned at our first ultrasound for that pregnancy (at 11.5 weeks), i was blindsided.
• 2nd pregnancy was an ectopic. very scary roller coaster ride. dangerous. life threatening. in the end, i was ok, but my right tube was damaged beyond repair.
• 3rd pregnancy was a blighted ovum. how much can one person take? one disappointment after another, yet, no knowledge of what was still yet to come.
• 4th pregnancy was trisomy 22 (girl). we saw a slight flicker of a heart beat at 6 weeks, but at the 7th week ultrasound, nothing.
• 5th pregnancy was a chemical pregnancy. first pregnancy i was able to miscarry 'on my own' without surgery(ies).
many tests over the years. all normal. i am healthy. always have been. doctors have chalked this sad history of mine up to "age & back luck".
one specialist i saw after loss #2, at 37 said "you had better hurry up. i don't recommend for ANY woman to get pregnant after 43". this always stuck in my head. at 43, i told my husband i wanted to try to 'avoid' subsequent pregnancies. i think we were both sad to get to this place, but....???
after turning 43 i just had to 'let it go'... i started making modifications in my home to help me not focus on the void i felt. i took down all the 'kids pictures' off the side of the fridge... removed anything that i thought i was holding on for 'when we had kids'... listed all my pregnancy / infertility books on amazon to sell...
i started feeling better. i stopped participating on the 'childless' boards i had been chatting on. i just couldn't even talk about it any more. HAD to 'move on'. i joined WW in july. felt energized with new purpose of health / fitness beyond simply 'maintaining the health i had'. lost 25 pounds. was exercising consistently. feeling better. the year before, i had cut out coca-cola... my one 'bad' addiction i have had since my 20s. a miracle to accomplish that, really.
i started to more diligently focusing on the things in our lives to be grateful for, although that has always been a part of who i am, i was trying to be more mindful and frequent with this simple practice. i was STARTING to feel better... after 10 years of pain, sorrow... the emptiness... the grief.
although trying to 'avoid' pregnancy, our only form of birth control has been the rhythm method... counting days. has worked for the most part, although we got pregnant on day 8 or my cycle with pregnancy #1. we have never been 'aggressive' at trying for pregnancy... never the every-other-day-sex thing (not even close), no ovulation kits, no temping, no fertility treatments. i suppose getting pregnant has been relatively easy... but having a healthy, normal pregnancy... not at all.
odds that i would get pregnant at this point... age (43, almost 44), i have only 1 functioning tube, we had sex ONCE in february, and on day 6 of my cycle. crazy.
because of my history and my age, my obgyn (who has been with me through ALL of these pregnancies) has been very attentive. they did an ultrasound early at 5 weeks to simply confirm 'location' of the pregnancy, since women who have had an ectopic are more likely to have subsequent etopics. that fear has been there since every pregnancy after #2. not fun.
at the 6 week ultrasound i saw the baby and a strong, consistent heart beat. i could NOT believe it. after all these years and pregnancies, my FIRST positive ultrasound. shocking.
at the 7th week ultrasound, i expected that the good news wouldn't be there for me, considering all i have already experienced, but again, i was surprised. little bit bigger baby. even stronger / faster heart rate... as it was supposed to be.
8th week, exepected, certainly this is the time i'll get the 'bad news'... yet again, ultrasound was good, normal, perfect. i have been in awe.
doctors are CAUTIOUSLY optimistic, and i simply feel cautious. they said they will feel better when (if) i make it to 14 weeks.
i lost my symptoms about 5 days ago. of course, this concerns me, as in hindsight on pregnancy #1, i had lost my symptoms before i found out i had lost the baby.
my next ultrasound / appointment is tomorrow. we'll see. i want so much to be hopeful.
are there others out there with similar experiences to mine? i would love to hear stories of hope and encouragement. i don't really need any stories of doom & gloom as i can simply look back over the last 8 years of my life and see that reality.
thanks for listening and i look forward to getting to know those of you who are traveling the interesting road of 'pregnancy after 40'.