Are you over 35 and pregnant for the first time? If so, you’ve probably done a fair number of Google searches for “pregnancy over 35” and found a bunch of depressing shit about amniocentesis, Down’s Syndrome, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and blah, blah, blah. Of course, the big wig sites in pregnancy never fail to mention that there are all of these increased risks to those of us who dare to conceive in our upper thirties and forties. All the world loves bad news, I suppose. But I don’t.
So I made this blog.
I’m pregnant for the first time at 39 years old. And no, that’s not a drawing of me up there on the header. I look more like this:
I put off having kids until I was 35 – but I did with good reasons. I didn’t want to fuck it up. For ten years I’ve worked with kids whose parents have royally fucked things up in one way or another. I’m certain that having kids sometimes just isn’t the right thing for people to do. Nor is having them at the wrong time in one’s life.
“There’s never a good time,” my parents have always said. They are mostly right about this, but I think my criteria for timing is strong and I stand by it:
Have your kids when you’re ready to put every single other thing in your life aside to focus on that helpless little flesh nugget that is to be your baby.
Too many people I’ve known don’t get the enormity of putting oneself second. But I’ve long been beholden to no one, and I do get it, and so I waited until I could really, truly put myself second. The problem was I had no idea I would be infertile. And nor do many couples who have problems with infertility.
It took me three and a half years to get pregnant, which I finally did through the amazing technology that is IVF this June – to my astonishment. The poetic, nearly cliche thing is that I had given up. My third try at IVF was going to be my last, at least for a good long while. I couldn’t handle the debilitating depression that overtook me following the previous two failed attempts, and I was sure I was headed for a third. So I came to terms with having a biological-childless future and really re-focused on what I was going to do for the next couple of years when I got that third and final negative pregnancy test.
Of course, that never happened. Because it seems when it comes to this stuff it just never happens the way you’re imagining it will, does it? Instead, I got the call that I was pregnant. And later, I found out I was extremely pregnant. In fact, too pregnant.
I was pregnant with quads. This killed me, and I’ll have a lot to write about that later (done, here). In sum, the quads naturally reduced to twins, and I waited in agony to see if I was going to reduce all the way back to a childless future. But I didn’t. It’s been 6 12 weeks since then, and I am feeling more, “holy shit – I’m really having kids” every day. Trust me, it’s a great feeling.
And it’s a terrifying thought for somebody who’s had a really comfortable lifestyle for a good while now. But my husband and I decided already, hey, we can be comfortable when we’re retired. The kids might be in college by then anyway.
If you’ve found this blog, I hope you find something here that makes you say, “Being pregnant over 35 is awesome.” And I’ll say it right along with you, because so far, morning sickness, caffeine withdrawal and backaches aside, it really, truly is.
Update 10/6/08: Fixed a typo I saw for the first time in 47 reads and decided I wanted to smooth out a few sentences. I can do that, it’s my blog.