A birth story – A 42-year old mother’s experience of pregnancy

Being a late mother is something that a lot of people feel is an impossible / difficult situation. I stand here today to tell you that pregnancy after 40 is completely possible. At the age of 43, I have a healthy and happy one-year-old daughter, who is my pride and joy. I was able to get here with the help of excellent support from a team of maternal experts, and the support and love of my near and dear ones. But I digress. Let me start from the beginning, when my husband and I decided to try for a child.

We’ve been happily married for over 17 years now, and a child was something that both of us wanted right from the start. Unfortunately, the two times that we were able to conceive, at age 27 and 33, resulted in miscarriages. These still haunt me to this day, but the sight of my new-born in my arms today, gives me the support and love I need to help push past those memories. At the time, though, the miscarriages scarred me. After the second one, I decided to stop trying, and my husband respected my feelings and never brought it up again.

When I hit my 40’s, though, the sense that I was missing something important in my life kept hitting me. Finally, after a great deal of thought, I decided to share my thoughts with my husband. Understandably, there was a lot of initial resistance from that end. After all, trying to get pregnant at 40 was not a simple matter to talk about. Finally, after almost a year of discussion and objections, he finally relented to go in with me to meet a doctor at Apollo Cradle. That meeting, I can honestly say, changed my life.

Up until the time I went in to meet my doctor, I didn’t harbour any real hope that this was possible. Everything that I’d ever heard about till that time suggested that it was hard to have a child after you were 35; here I wanted to have a child when I was in my early 40’s! The doctor, did not dismiss the possibility like everyone else I knew had. While she did caution me that there was a great deal of difficulty, she confirmed what I had hoped; that it was possible for me to get pregnant, even at this age.

The reality of pregnancy after 40, though, was daunting. My fertility potential was much lower than it had been when I had tried the first time. My earlier miscarriages also meant that I was at a higher risk of something going wrong. After discussing all the circumstances that had led up to my earlier miscarriages and appropriate investigations, the doctor asked us to consider going in for assisted reproduction better than the term fertility fertility treatments, like In Vitro Fertilization. After debating about this for a few weeks, my husband and I decided to take her advice and try again, this time with fertility treatments to support us.

Over the course of a year, the doctors at Apollo Cradle started me on fertility medication, to help stimulate my egg production. In tandem, a number of blood tests and ultrasounds were done, to example my hormone levels and the state of my ovaries. When the doctors were satisfied that I was taking well to the treatment, they took me in for a minor surgical procedure to remove the eggs. My husband, on the day the doctors were performing the procedure, gave a sperm sample, which was then prepared to be combined with my eggs.

The laboratory at the hospital then took the two and stored them in a specifically designed unit to encourage fertilization. A few days later, the fertilized eggs were inserted into my uterus. Both procedures were almost painless, and the doctors were all calm and completely confident about the procedures. After the procedures, the doctors advised me to avoid any vigorous activities. About 10 days after the procedure, the doctors took a blood test, to confirm whether I was pregnant, and wonder of wonders, I was!

The revelation that my child, the child I’d been waiting almost two decades for, was growing inside me was indescribable. The idea that I was pregnant at 42 was something that I could barely believe, and to this day, I see it as a blessing. What followed was a closely monitored pregnancy, which my doctors treated as a high-risk pregnancy case, given that I had age and previous miscarriages against me, as well as the fact that I had used fertility treatments to conceive. However, my pregnancy went smoothly, and my delivery date kept coming closer.

At the start of the 34th week of my pregnancy, I went into premature labour and was rushed to the hospital. However, the doctors had prepped us about the possibility of this in advance, and the labour room and all the experts were already at hand when we reached. The doctors, seeing my premature delivery, immediately prepped for a Caesarean section, and rushed my baby girl to the neonatal care centre immediately after the delivery. After 2 weeks of almost frantic waiting, we were both discharged and allowed to go home.

We have been visiting  Apollo Cradlefor regular check-ups for almost a year now, but the doctors are confident (please see if this statement can be changed to one with a positive note about it) that there are no real signs that either my daughter or I are in any real danger of problems. The fact that I had the confident maternity team from Apollo Cradle by my side, to offer their expertise and experience, as well as the love and support of my husband and family, is why I stand before you today, a proud mother at 43. I urge that you not stop trying, and that you have a strong and confident maternity expert by your side.

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