I have a 2 year old and while pregnant with her, was always rather confident and sure that things would turn out fine, even after a threatened miscarriage. However this time around, things have been very different. I felt things were not well, right from the start.
Shortly after discovering I was pregnant three months ago, I became very aware that this time I was '41 and pregnant', instead of '38 and pregnant'. I went online and poured through all the nasty over-40 statistics - 50% chance of miscarrying before 12 weeks (as opposed to 8% for women in their 20's), 1 in 65 chance of Downs Syndrome which rather frightened me.
And on top of that, I had thought I was pregnant at the end of last year - I had all the symptoms, except I never got a positive pregnancy test (although I did bleed rather peculiarly for about a month with brown flakey material towards the end - something the doctors weren't sure about. Maybe I was pregnant, maybe it was a 'coming off the pill' physical thing???)
I kept hoping that my uncertainties about this pregnancy were a result of either my 'odd' experience last year, or the 'harshness' of the over-40 statistics.
Sadly, my premonitions did turn out to have some foundation. When I thought I had just one week to go before passing that 12 week 'watershed', and finally being able to have the 12 week scan and, get really excited about my baby-to-be and announce it to the world that I was having another baby, it dawned on me that my pregnancy symptoms were slowly vanishing.
I was away from home at the time and the local NHS were somewhat dismissive of me. I was beginning to suffer anxiety attacks and so was lucky to find a private scan company who could help me quickly. The scan confirmed what I had felt, revealing that my little one hadn't survived past 9 weeks.
I then miscarried on Wednesday - quite frightening as I believe I lost 80% of my womb within 2 hours, with my 2 year old wondering what on earth mummy was sitting on the loo for so long! The little one slipped out early evening, something I thought I would find unbearable, but strangely I felt quite comforting as I have put little one in a gorgeous little box with a beautiful ribbon and shall bury in the garden under a special tree sometime next week.
My partner had been uncertain about this pregnancy, and had felt that he was 'doing it for me' and that he was getting a bit old to become a Dad again, but he had agreed, so I had felt under pressure to be fantastic, and he seemed to resent any or all signs of pregnancy - it's hard being pregnant when you feel resentment from your partner.
I had felt that if I lost this baby, he wouldn't agree to trying again and that, that would be the end of my family, when I so longed for the two of them to run around the house, giggling and chattering. I love the sound of laughter echoing through a house.
As it turned out, he was surprised at how 'gutted' he was by our loss and drove many miles to join me immediately saying we would try again.
His compassion and goodwill has been the thing that has given me hope and postivity through what is such a very sad time, but I think my 'mindset' for trying again, is so very important, and I have to get things sorted in my head, and really would love to hear the thoughts of other women over 40 who have experience anything similar.
These are the kind of thoughts that have been going through my head:
Firstly, if my chance of miscarrying is 50% and I have just miscarried, then I have a good chance that the next one will be fine?? Someone over 40 wrote - my eggs are past their Best Before Date, so I have to crack a few shells to find a good one. What do you think? Obviously I am not feeling so positive right now.
I suspect I am quite fertile but how many miscarriages can one cope with. It occurred to me that if I eat, drink and rest as though I am pregnant, exercise gently etc, then I don't need to kick myself that I had three glasses of wine at a dinner party or ate pate without realising I was pregnant. Also, then I wouldn't alert the world to the fact I am pregnant, something that seems to bring about more stress in the relationship than good - maybe wait until a heart beat is found at 8 weeks before sharing it with partner. Has anyone done that? If I don't test until two weeks after missed period, then wait two weeks for scan for heartbeat, then my partner and I have just four weeks of angst to bear together?!
I also wonder if it was very healthy thinking about the statistics. Every day passing became painful - I was so anxious from the start. I felt this was my precious last possibility for a second child and concerned my pregnancy symptoms were not that strong. How on earth do you overcome this and forget about it? I would love all thought and advice as realise my partner was picking up on my anxieties and was thinking 'Oh God, here we go again'. I don't want to make his or my life hell, as we wouldn't be 'trying again' for very long!!!
What a long posting! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Many thanks in advance.
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Over 40 ? Miscarrying and trying again
daisy5 · 21/06/2008 16:41
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