An Older Woman’s Pregnancy Experience

I was very shocked to discover at the age of 40 that I was pregnant. I was told repeatedly that it was not something that I would ever experience without assistance and I had accepted that fact and moved on. Subsequently, when I was feeling off color over Christmas in 2010 I did not give it a lot of thought and put it down to minor gastro flu or some such thing.

There was no full blown vomitting or morning sickness, just a feeling of low-grade nausea that couldn’t be attributed to anything. I don’t really know why I decided to do a preganancy test on January 2 – maybe deep down I already knew but sure enough, 5 minutes later I was looking at 2 blue lines.

The feeling of shock was profound. I immediately told my husband and mother and the shock was quickly followed by fear. We have all heard the horror stories of older women who could not carry their child to term, or how due to age the risks of deformities and birth defects were higher, Down’s Syndrome being one such issue in particular. And what did I know about children at the age of 40? I was supposed to be considering convertibles and holidays in Las Vegas, not cribs and diapers.

The pregnancy itself had its ups and downs. We decided not to have the amniocentesis test but the surrounding tests pointed towards our child being healthy and normal. Pre-eclampsia developed later in the term leaving me very bored and bed-ridden for 10 weeks. It also led to being induced 3 weeks before due date due to sky-rocketing blood pressure and a headache that would not quit. Labor was 24 hours long and ended in an emergency cesarian when the baby got stuck in the birth canal. However, the result was a very beautiful, happy and healthy little girl who is now in the 95th percentile for children of her age in regards to weight and height. She is a blessing we are grateful for every day.