Gaynor, 40, UK and pregnant with baby No 2
Well, I have packed a lot in to my 40 years plus so far, married for the first time at 19, divorced at 22 and remarried at 23!.
My first marriage ended due to domestic violence and my husband's affair, which resulted in a baby boy. My husband still blamed me, as I was unable to have a baby of my own, but my GP just told me to keep trying.
My second marriage lasted 8 years, and I was a step-mum to my husband's two teenage children. Again no children here, due to the fact he had had a vasectomy. This ended mainly due to the fact I don't think I ever really loved him and because of his obsession with telling me what to do, how to behave and what to wear.
By this time I had convinced myself that children was not what I wanted and decided to live out my teenage years, which I had missed, and concentrate on obtaining a career, as my two previous marriages had left me broke.
At 36 I had been going out with my partner Pete, who was an old friend, for a couple of years and he had moved in to my rented house. I then found out I was pregnant, (I had been on the pill but recently had been bitten by a dog and had been on antibiotics), which was a shock, but Pete walked out on me the day after I told him about the baby with the immortal words, 'I love
you but I am not in love with you!'
At 37, I became a single mum to Chloe, who is my little angel, words can not describe how it felt when I held her for the first time. I had a perfect pregnancy, a two-and-a-half hour labour (once I was admitted to hospital) and the perfect child. What a shame she did not have a perfect dad!
When Chloe was 5-months-old, I met Mark after a friend had arranged a blind date at a Boxing Day party. We clicked immediately and I proposed to him 8 weeks later on the 29th February 2000.
We eventually married in March 2002, after struggling to get my 2nd divorce through after hubby #2 had gone AWOL and after dealing with my mum's death from the result of her house fire the previous Christmas. On the 28th November 2002, Mark, Chloe and I moved in to our new house.
All this is now history as I now find myself 14wks pregnant at the age of 40, so I will be 41 when the baby is born. We also took the view ' if it happens it happens' and, well, my growing belly and the ultrasound picture are proof. You can get pregnant after 40!!!!!
They say life begins at 40 and for me it sure is and for the first time ever I am well and truly happy.
Jane, aged 41 Biggin Hill, Kent, UK
Your website is a real asset to women both expecting and hoping to conceive. I first stumbled across your website when I was in real need of reassurance, and it gave me hope to go on in the knowledge that I wasn't alone.
I was forty years old when I realised I was pregnant with my fourth child. I already was the proud parent of 2 girls aged 15 and 8 and my son aged 13. After my youngest daughter (child number 3) was born I spent all my time with her, believing she was the last baby and I enjoyed every moment. After she went to school I went back to my work of selling aircraft parts (of all things!). I worked hard and was finally getting a good salary and respect at work, I felt I had my life "just so". Due to very bad migranes and a family history of heart disease I wasn't on the pill, and to be honest, I never even considered the possibility that I could concieve. My periods had become erratic, and I had been blood tested for early menopause.
Well, last April it happened. I was shocked, but my husband was over-the moon. At first I couldn't imagine how I would cope and I think I was in denial for a long time, despite the initial morning sickness! Despite everything, I knew I wanted the baby more than anything, that this baby was "meant".
The Doctor recommended that I went along for a special screening offered to all mothers over 35 at the Harris Birthright Centre at Kings Hospital in London. I wasn't overly worried, it was just a precaution. When the doctor asked me what I wanted to do when he explained that my risk factor was increased to 1 in 50 for Down Syndrome, I was really shocked. I knew straight away that I didn't want anything that would harm the baby, however small the risk. So I said no to amniocentisis, or anything worse. When my husband said he would stand by anything I wanted, I was relieved and worried at the same time. How would my other children react if he/she had Down Syndrome?. This was when I came across this website. I wrote a little note on the chat page and was rewarded with several wonderful replies. I realised that other people had been through these anxieties and when the children were born, even if they were or weren't affected by Down's, they were not only happy but indeed felt blessed. And that's how I felt - blessed. So I carried on in the hope that whatever happened, this baby was part of my life now. I felt confident that I could give this baby all my love, my time and my belief in the future, whatever that held.
I had many shocks along the way (which I won't go into) when I thought I'd lose the baby. At times I thought I couldn't go on. In fact the baby was like a little light of hope inside me.
Finally, 2 weeks after her due date, my little Lara was born. Healthy, 'normal' and weighing in at 8lb 4oz on 18 January 2003. She was induced, but then all of my children have been late and had to be induced with the help of the drip.
I am really happy and everytime she smiles with her big dark blue eyes, I almost cry myself with happiness. My other children are completely smitten with her and my mother says "she was sent to make us smile".
Sometimes I feel a little old when I see teenage mums pushing prams, but I think its really about how much love you can give rather than how old you are.
I would like to give anyone else in doubt about the wiseness of having a baby in later life, reassurance that you can get through all the stress and worry. Not only will you will find the inner strength that you need, you can rise to the challenge and be well rewarded for it.
Thanks again for your wonderful website.
Lisa Ross, 42, US (added 12 August 2003)
At 42, I had been trying for about a year to get pregnant for a second time with my husband (we have a three-year-old). After consulting a fertility expert and undergoing several tests, fibroids and a possible blocked tube were cited as the main culprits. We were prescribed three months of drug therapy (Depo-Lupron) along with surgery.
By this time we had been trying for a baby for a year and a half. We purchased the Depo-Lupron, but I decided to postpone the drug therapy for one month because I was still wary of surgery. My husband surprised me with a short trip (my first mini-holiday ALONE in years) to a beautiful, tranquil and spiritual destination. I spent most of my time on long
reflective walks contemplating life and talking to the universe.
A few weeks later, at midnight on Father's Day, I took a pregnancy test because my period was late. I couldn't believe my eyes! My husband received the most amazing Father's Day gift ever. I am now 11 weeks pregnant and our doctors are monitoring the baby and the fibroids closely. We have every hope that the pregnancy will progress normally. I will be 43 when the baby is born (due on the day of my beloved Grandma's passing--interestingly, the nurse scheduled the amnio on Grandma's birthday).
My only advice to women trying to conceive is that your doctor's opinion and your test results are only a piece of the puzzle. Baby-making is for the most part a mysterious and spiritual process in which you should always follow your heart.
P.S. If anyone undergoing fertility treatment is interested in an unopened, completely sealed 3.75 mg. dose of Depo-Lupron, please contact me.
Kristi, 41, California, US (added 20 August 2003)
I am the mother of 6 (ages 23, 16, 15, 13, 10, and 4) and the grandmother of 2 and thought I was going crazy for feeling I wanted to have another child with my youngest child's father, aged 40.
My first 5 children were with my former husband. I never thought we would ever divorce but we did. Upon moving in with my boyfriend, we discussed children but never really thought much about it because he was told he would never have any children so we did not worry about using birth control. Imagine our surprise in 1998 when I did become pregnant just a few months after moving in! After our son was born, we said no more. BUT that changed when we almost lost him in July to a freak accident. It made us put things into better perspective and realize what is really important. Up to that point, I had been pushing these feelings of having another child to the back of my mind saying I was too old. Finally though I told my husband about my desires. Amazingly, he did not throw up a resounding NO and his mother is all for it. SO we are now having lots of fun with the prospect of another child someday soon. The age factor no longer makes me nervous.
Good Luck and best wishes to those already pregnant, those who have given birth already and to those of us that are trying!!
If you have a positive experience you would like to share, please e-mail me at jandersen8888 at live dot com.