41 & can't keep a viabile pregnancy

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
41 & can't keep a viabile pregnancy
14
Wed, 01-24-2007 - 3:48pm

I got pregnant the first time at age 40.5 and had a miscarriage early, approximately 6 1/2 -7 weeks. Had a D&C. Got pregnant the second time just two months after turing 41. Had another miscarriage and D&C. My chromosomes were tested with the last pregnancy. I had an extra chromosome 18, total of 47 chromosomes.

The doctor says I have no problem getting pregnant (both were natural), just keeping the pregnancy or having a viable pregnancy. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice as to what I can do to help keep a pregnancy? Fertility doesn't seem to be the problem, maybe my eggs are just too old, but I don't want to go the donor egg route. My doctor said something about taking baby aspirin to remove blood clotting if there is any and also mentioned suppositories. Not sure what that is, haven't discussed it enough.

Thanks to all for any advice or suggestions.

Sheila

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Avatar for sk8termum
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Wed, 01-24-2007 - 4:24pm

Baby aspirin is supposed to reduce the chances of blood clotting issues and also helps make a good uterine lining (1/day and make sure it's baby, not regular aspirin). The suppositories the doctor is talking about are probably progesterone. You take them after ovulation until the beginning of the next cycle. If you get pg, you usually continue until 12 weeks. Some doctors say that after about 35, women's bodies don't make as much progesterone. Some say that if the egg is poor quality then the corpus luteum won't make enough progesterone, so supplementing won't change a pg that's desitined to fail anyway. Who know's what the right answer is. I have known some women that had several m/c's, went on progesterone and then carried to term. There don't seem to be any side effects from it, so I take it just in case I get pg with a good egg - I don't want to lose it just because maybe I didn't have enough progesterone. I also get acupuncture treatments, which they think can improve egg quality. Good luck.

Désirée, mom to Steven, Juliana, Andrew, Carina, Michaela, and Daniel, ages 19 to 4, and all homebirthed

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-14-2007
Wed, 01-24-2007 - 9:32pm

Hi Sheila,

I seem to have the same problem as you. I had my first pregnancy at 41. Miscarried at 7.5 weeks (the baby had stopped growing about 2 weeks prior). Got pregnant again at 43. And miscarried at about 5 weeks. This last time, I was pregnant at 44--and miscarried last month at 17 weeks. :-( Too sad. (I had IVF treatments but none of them worked for us. All our pregnancies were conceived the good old "natural" way.) I will be 45 soon, and we don't want to try for much longer--so this is probably the last year for us.

I'm going to tell you what I've been doing--which I've gotten OK'd by my doctor--but I would strongly advise you to check with your doctor or midwife or caretaker before trying any of this (or anything else) first. He or she will know what's best for you and how your body deals with things. My doctor knows all my test results and blood levels and blood pressure and thyroid tests etc. Your body may react different to what they suggested for me.

My balance of estrogen and progesterone levels were off, most likely due to my age, so during my last pregnancy, the OB had me taking progesterone tablets twice a day (for a total of 200 mg a day) as well as baby aspirin (81mg--make sure you don't take adult aspirin--that dose is too high). I had to stop taking the baby aspirin early on as I had early bleeding, and the doctor thought the aspirin was making me bleed more than usual. (Now I wonder if I would've been able to stay pregnant if I had kept taking the baby aspirin...most likely not...but you can't help second guessing your actions, you know?)

Now, we're trying to conceive again and the doctor told me to take the baby aspirin (one a day) starting on Day 7 of my period. I started the Prometrium around Day 18 or 20 of my cycle. They said it's important to take it AFTER you've ovulated and possibly conceived. If you take it before, it can actually hinder conception. (I used to take the progesterone suppositories vaginaly when we were doing the IVF, but my doctor said the pills are more effective.)

I also asked them about the effectiveness of taking Robitussin--they said sure, even though it's an old wives' tale. I took that starting around Day 6. If you use it, make sure to get a EXPECTORANT (which loosens mucus) with GUAIFENESIN as the ONLY ACTIVE INGREDIENT). This theoretically will help the sperm reach the eggs easier, since it'll loosen up the mucus.

Good luck to you! I hope we all get pregnant this year and deliver healthy babies 40 weeks later!

Lois

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Thu, 01-25-2007 - 7:49pm

Hi Lois,

Thank you so much for your reply. Although I'm sad for you for being in the same boat as me, it is nice to know that there is someone else out there going through the same thing and I'm not just really abnormal. Most of the women I read about being over 40 are having problems with the conception.

I have an appointment with a reproductive specialist on February 13th. I should have my period any day now and think I should be ovulating around Valentine's Day :), although I can't really tell when I am ovulating. I just figure 12 - 16 days before my next period should start. I read that somewhere. Okay, so I will start taking the baby aspirin 7 days after I start my next period and I will also try the Robitussin. It can't hurt. I will wait to see the reproductive specialist before I ask for a RX for the progesterone suppositories.

Thanks again and good luck to you also.

Sheila

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-14-2007
Thu, 01-25-2007 - 8:09pm

Sheila,

I am taking the progesterone oral tablets now (they're called Prometrium and are a prescription drug). When I did the IVF, the doctor had me taking both the Prometrium and the vaginal progesterone suppositories. Since we're not going to do IVF anymore, we're just doing the Prometrium. Your doctor may tell you you don't need it--your levels may be better than mine! :-)

As for when you ovulate...all women are different, but the docs I've seen had said that days 12 to 17 are the most fertile for MOST (but certainly not all) women. This is based on a 28-day cycle. My OB suggested that the husband and I try to conceive every other day from days 9 to 17, just to be on the safe side. She also recommended that I lay still for about 15 minutes or so afterwards, just for added measure. (She admitted that there was no medical reason to do this--but it couldn't hurt and it would give me some time to relax.) Also, try not to use lubricants if at all possible and if you must, make sure it's water based so it doesn't deter your husband's boys from doing their job! :-)

My friend got pregnant when she was 43 and gave birth when she was almost 44. She had had 2 bad miscarriages before that and said she bled throughout her pregnancy and was positive she would miscarry again...but she had a perfect baby! (She and her husband got pregnant naturally.) I was hoping I would emulate her...but when I miscarried at 17 weeks, that was pretty disheartening.

Anyhow, we'll see if we all have better luck this year!

Hugs to all you brave ladies!

Lois

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2006
Tue, 01-30-2007 - 2:01pm

Sheila,


Hi, and welcome, and I'm so sorry I haven't been at the board sooner to say so.

Emily (Ada's maman since 3/14/04)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2006
Tue, 01-30-2007 - 2:06pm

Hi Lois,


I just want to tell you again (I think I've written you; I HOPE I've written you) how sorry I am for your m/c.

Emily (Ada's maman since 3/14/04)

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-14-2007
Tue, 01-30-2007 - 2:44pm

Hi Emily,

Yes, we have corresponded (via posts?) and I always enjoy reading your observations. Thank you for your kind note. Like all of you who've miscarried, I have my good days and I have my bad days. I've cried a lot and allow myself to be sad when I need to be, but I am trying to concentrate on the positive. I cull all the good information that I get from here and think about whether that's something I want to try, ask my doctor about it, read up on it... It's all good! I don't think about all the bad things that could happen now IF I don't get pregnant (or heck, IF I do!). I just think positively. I'm just assuming that I AM pregnant now and am taking my pre natal vitamins, exercising and eating well. We will find out in a couple weeks if I am pregnant. But until then, I'm treating myself like I am. And if I'm not? Well, then we try again later.

As much as we'd like to have our own biological child, we know that adoption is a wonderful option as well. And as much as we want to have a baby, there are so many children out there just yearning to have parents. So I know things will work out somehow! :)

I find that even though it's not fair that some of us miscarry, it helps me to think about all the GOOD things going on in my life. Having a wonderful husband, a great family, nice friends, a warm house, a good job, etc. etc. etc.

I felt a little bad when some friends and I recently were talking about what it felt like to be pregnant and one woman said to me, "I thought you didn't have kids." That really hurt, 'cause it felt like she was saying I wasn't allowed to join in that conversation since I was unable to carry my child full-term. But, she was just thoughtless and I won't let it bother me.

I am going to think positively that 2007 will be a great year for all of us!!!! :)

Lois

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2006
Wed, 01-31-2007 - 4:15pm

Hi Lois, I love your attitude.

Emily (Ada's maman since 3/14/04)

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-14-2007
Wed, 01-31-2007 - 4:33pm

Thanks Emily! :-)

My friend actually did know I had miscarried, but she forgot. And yes, I did remind her and she kind of bit her tongue but she didn't apologize. I know she didn't mean to hurt me so I let it go. I've found that women who have never miscarried really don't understand how painful it is emotionally and how attached you get to that little bean you're carrying. And when I lost this last one at 17 weeks, he looked like a baby when he came out. :-( So it was rough. Most of my friends are really sensitive about those things and have said comforting things about how they will always consider me to be a mom, and that just because I've miscarried doesn't lessen that status. But others have this attitude of, "Oh, it wasn't a real baby." I must admit that before I miscarried, I didn't know how rough it was. I wish I didn't still! And I wish none of you knew either!

Every time I hear about someone getting pregnant and not WANTING the baby, it makes me jealous and I do the "it's not fair" thing, too. It really isn't.

When I lost this baby, I seriously blamed myself--that it happened 'cause I was a bad person, that I had some mean thoughts about someone I didn't like, that I was gloating inside about being pregnant and that the baby had been taken away from me to teach me a lesson about humility ... just all these irrational things. It took me a while to let myself off the hook and realize that it happened because these things happen (as we all too well know). I'm glad I allowed myself plenty of time to cry and be angry and feel hopeless and helpless. I didn't want anyone to see me upset, so I held it in for as long as I could. Then I just cried all the time--to my parents, my siblings, my friends, and my poor husband, who cried along with me for our loss. It was actually a good thing, I think. :-)

I made a scrapbook of all the baby's ultrasound photos and wrote it a little love note and then stored all that away. I didn't want to throw any of that out but I also can't look at it right now without getting upset. I just wanted to have a little commeration and memorial for our baby.

Anyhow, sorry for getting off track. Despite my maudlin post, I really am feeling positive and good about getting pregnant this year and giving birth at the end of it (or in early 2008). :-) And relaxing and feeling good about myself has made the baby dancing soooooooooooooooo much more fun for both of us! LOL!!

xxoo
Lois

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2006
Thu, 02-01-2007 - 12:00pm

"Off track"??? Are you kidding? You are so on track.

Emily (Ada's maman since 3/14/04)

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