This is it… this is the last month that I am trying to get pregnant. And then I am done. I will drink all the wine I want. I will finally lose the baby weight from number one, who was born three years ago. I will drink coffee all day. I will take diet pills, melatonin, and whatever supplements I choose without Googling to find out if it affects your chances of getting pregnant. That is it. I will be done. After this month….
I was happily single for 39 years when I randomly bumped into an old friend at a local bar. Within 6 months, we moved in together and only three months after that, we learned we were pregnant. We got married and gave birth to the most amazing baby girl. I was 40.
Six months later, I was pregnant again. To be honest, I was terrified. The first 6 months of being new parents and newly married were hard. At my 8-week ultrasound, the baby only measured 6 weeks. I ended up having a miscarriage. I don’t think I cried or grieved like you see the woman on TV. It was physically painless, emotionally upsetting, kind of numbing. I thought we would get pregnant again. And so we tried.
I purchased the ovulation sticks in bulk. I purchased the pregnancy tests in bulk. Every month I looked for signs of pregnancy. I read and re-read articles on becoming pregnant over 40. After a year, my husband and I spent $250 to have a fertility doctor tell us we were old and unlikely to have another baby naturally. I instantly wanted my money back and we decided to keep trying naturally.
By summer, I was ready to take a break and decided to go on an extreme diet to lose some of the baby weight I was still carrying. At the end of July, I missed my period and was pregnant again. We were so excited. We felt we had beat the statistics. F*ck that doctor and his stupid science.
At seven weeks pregnant, I started bleeding badly — emergency room bad. My husband and I went to the ultrasound expecting the worst, making plans to have another D&C. To our surprise and delight there was a healthy fetus with a heartbeat! We were so excited and quickly scheduled our next appointment for two weeks later since I was still high risk. At that point, I would be a couple days short of 12 weeks. We went to our next appointment and, unfortunately, there was no heartbeat. Again, I don’t think I cried. I was just heavy with sadness.
It’s a strange thing when you lose a fetus that is only 11 weeks growing inside you. No one really knows anything happened. Your body hasn’t changed. It’s almost like it never happened at all. But everything has changed. It hurts too see a pregnant woman walking down the street. Or little baby brothers and sisters when I drop my daughter off at preschool. And, oh how wonderful my daughter’s teacher is pregnant. And another one of my friends is pregnant. My neighbor is pregnant. All of a sudden everyone is pregnant — even the friend who threw out all of her baby stuff because she was only having one.
I should be happy for them. I guess, in a sense, I am. I also want to have a childlike tantrum that I wanted another baby and I should have had it! But I cannot say anything because it would seem ridiculous since I only had an 11 week fetus. And if I do tell anyone I had a miscarriage, they don’t know what to say. There is nothing they can say. It sucks. And I still feel so heavy and empty…and I gained all the weight I lost on my extreme diet so I really am heavy again.
Since October, when my husband and I got the go-ahead from the doctor to start trying again, we have been trying. I pee on a stick to see when I ovulate. I track my cycle with an app. We have sex every other day during my fertile window. I look for the early signs of pregnancy. I pee on another stick to see if I get an early positive pregnancy test. And I have my period again.
I was really hoping and praying for the magical rainbow baby. I calculate every month when the baby would be due. I wish on every dandelion, shooting star, and yellow light for a healthy second baby. I’ve even asked the magic eight ball online. It said “outlook not good.” Maybe I have to admit that fertility doctor’s science is somewhat valid after all?
Honestly, I am very tired of re-reading “pregnant over 40” articles. Maybe I am ready for more coffee, wine, and extreme diets. I can choose to question science in new ways, that don’t leave me so heartbroken every month. Life will go on with just the three of us… right??
Next thing to Google “amazing only children” and “famous only children.”
After this month.