I never anticipated I would be 40 years old and pregnant. But here I am.
Throughout my 20’s and early 30’s, I joked I couldn’t find my biological clock if I tried. Some women clearly hear their clock ticking but I was fairly certain mine was still wrapped in its original packaging, hidden away in a closet.
I was the consummate “Auntie.”I didn’t want kids; I loved everyone else’s and that was enough for me. Especially when I could hand them back over to their parents at the end of the day.
When my younger brother had his first son four years ago, all that changed. Oh boy – the overwhelming emotional whoosh I felt when holding H. made me cry. My biological clock rolled out of the closet and landed squarely at my feet. In that moment, everything changed. I wanted one of my own.
Of course, it’s not that easy, is it? Mother Nature keeps her own schedule and makes her own rules. Taking into account my “advanced maternal age” and moderate but ongoing health issues, getting pregnant was a challenge. I relied on apps, charts and every online forum I could find. I studied book after book all to better understand fertility and ovulation. Some nights I just howled at the moon, hoping for something good to happen. Yet every month: heartbreak.
Every woman trying to conceive (TTC) knows the acronym TWW. Two Week Wait. The unbelievably agonizing period of time between ovulation and menstruation one spends wishing and hoping that fertilization will happen and the little nugget will implant. I had no idea how long two weeks can seem until the months started to endlessly roll by, throwing negative pregnancy tests in their wake.
All the while, I dealt with an ongoing rotation of various medical tests and procedures to measure ovulation, egg reserve, hormones, etc. Ultimately, I learned my diagnosis was not good; my chances of getting pregnant even with fertility treatments were very, very low. I was devastated. I waited too long. My body betrayed me – or maybe I had betrayed it.
In November of 2014, we decided to try one last-ditch treatment option. The day I was scheduled to start a new round of blood tests at the fertility center, I felt… different. Instead of heading direct to my appointment at the blood lab, I instead drove to a local pharmacy and bought a 2-pack of pregnancy tests. In my head I thought to myself, This is ridiculous. I’m just going to be crushed when the test is negative. Again.
But that day the test was positive. IT WAS POSITIVE. I was pregnant. A spontaneous birth, as my doctor called it – which had nothing to do with spontaneity, really. But luck. Mostly luck. And a roll of the dice in a particular month.
I never thought it could happen – but here I am. 40 years old, 24 weeks pregnant and absolutely euphoric. I secretly suspect it was those many months of moon-howling.