47 And Pregnant

37 Replies
Confused - June 25

I'm 47 and pregnant for the sixth time (the child was conceived naturally). I have four children from my first marriage, ages 16-22. I miscarried between my first and second child, very early, in the sixth week. I'm entering my sixth week of pregnancy now. When I went to the OB's for my first prenatal visit yesterday (with my current husband), instead of being given an exam, I was flooded with information about how high risk both the baby and I were...to the point that my husband was terrified and so was I. I almost feel pushed to terminate the pregnancy, for fear the baby will be severly handicapped, or I won't carry the baby to term, or I'll have complications during later pregnancy or childbirth. All my previous children were born later than the due date, and my smallest was nearly 9 pounds (I didn't have gestational diabetes). One has PDD (an autism spectrum disorder, and another has colitis). I'm extremely confused as to what to do. I'm supposed to speak with a genetic specialist this week, and then decide what I want to do. This has all happened in less than week, as I found out last week I'm pregnant. I'm very confused and upset and want help. Can anybody offer any advice?

 

Brittany - June 26

I think you should do as many tests as you can to see if the baby is alright then once everything is determined, go from there. This baby is here for a reason and if your ready to handle another then it's your decision. Doctors may be very smart but aren't always right. Good luck!!

 

Ann - June 27

I'm so tired of well meaning doctors taking what should be a happy occasion and making it a time for despair. I had my first child at 38 and was called "advanced maternal age" throughout but ny doctor told me that that term is a relic from the past (over 35 is considered "advanced maternal age in the medical literature). Now doctors are only concerned really if you are over 40, My point is that doctors are always learning new things and ideas are changing in actuality if not in the literature or in common culture. 40 is now what 30 used to be. If you are healthy and had normal pregnancies before, if you look and feel younger than your real age I don't think you have a huge problem. Get tests if you want to butbe ready to deal with the results. Overall, you might consider going to a certified nurse midwife for your primary pre natal visits (they work alongside doctors) becasue a midwife will be less likely to be judgemental or negative, studies show.

 

Kay - June 27

First of all, congratulations. I'm 44 and trying for a baby. The doctors and everyone else act as if I'm crazy, but God knows what He's doing. At any rate, there's a higher risk of m/c as we age, and you may not even have to decide. But it may help to know, that a lot of women in their second marriages want a baby with the new husband, and there's nothing wrong with that. Also, John Edward's wife ( you know the former vice president candidate_) got pregnant on purpose at 48 and 50! You go girl!

 

Confused - June 28

I really appreciate your responses, ladies. Thank you. My husband and I are still quite confused and scared, though. My husband works with a man whose wife has been a dispatcher for fire and rescue for many years. This man is a good friend of my husband's and would never intentionally say anything cruel, but he's been quite straightforward in telling my husband about the risks involved, especially since his wife has taken so many calls dealing with women in my age group (primarily having to do with miscarriages, as well as other pregnancy/birth-related issues). In fact, when my husband first told the guys at the shop I was pregnant, he pulled my husband aside and said not to take what he was going to say wrong, but to be aware that there was a good chance I wouldn't carry to term. My husband is so concerned he's more inclined to want to terminate the pregnancy because of the HUGE concern that either I and/or the baby will die. When we hear about good outcomes, like John Edward's wife, they seem like one in a million. We feel like the odds are grossly stacked against us. I wish I knew what to do. Are there any tests that can be done at six weeks to give an idea of the health of the baby (which might also help determine a greater risk of miscarriage)? I'm in my sixth week, and if we decide to terminate the pregnancy, I don't want to wait much longer than about another week. I think I'd have a harder time dealing with the loss then. Even if nature ended the pregnancy, I'd hate to have it happen any later. I know it sounds awful, but I had a miscarriage in my sixth week during my second pregnancy. It was sad, but I'd have preferred to have it happen then than at six months, you know?

 

Mona - June 28

Dear Confused, Please don't terminate the pregnancy. God gave you this child (gift) for a reason. Just thank him for it and start thinking of a name. God Bless You And Your Family .

 

Beth - June 28

Hi. I hear you and understand your deep confusion. I am 45 and just miscarried a month ago at 20 weeks. I thought after getting through the first trimester that all was "well". I went in for my normal monthly appt and they didn't hear a heartbeat. No reason "why". Just that the umbilical cord didn't appear to be inserted into the baby's tummy any longer. Yet he'd been growing up until one week before my visit. There is no good time to miscarry. But I understand your thinking of better earlier than later. I agree. But, I also think it should be in God's hands. Not yours. Just pray for a healthy baby. Not a boy or girl, just healthy. I think in my case "nature" took care of its own so to speak. Knowing he wasn't healthy, and sparing us all (even the wee one) from a lifetime of suffering. I too heard the horrible "odds". Saying our eggs we have left at this age aren't overachievers, etc etc etc. Again, we know we can get pregnant. You just did! And if we look at the "odds", miscarriage is supposedly 50% at our age. Okay. Those aren't good odds. So to me, that is the major hurdle -- to just try to be strong to get through that. If you are in the lucky 50%, and do carry to term, then I'm told that the odds of Down's is 1 out of 20. That is what, 5%. That means 95% chance of a healthy baby! Then there is the other "genetic chromosone" problems that are not named. There is one out of 12 on that I'm told. So that is 8%. All in all, it appears you have a 13% chance of having something wrong...yet an 87% chance of having all be fine! My husband is game for trying again at my end. I am where you are in terms of wondering what I should do. I just say, like others have, that getting pregnant is hard enough, and you did it. As long as you want this baby, and will love him or her just as you do your others, then go for it. A lot of odds I've heard are "b.s." too...so leave it in the hands of your angels and above. Good luck. And talk to your angels for I truly believe they listen and guide you. Beth

 

Confused - June 29

Beth, I'm really sorry for your loss. That had to have been hard. I've got to admit, though, it adds to the uncertainty I've been feeling...the kind of which I've never experienced before in any other pregnancy. When I was younger, it was so different, although my pregnancies after my miscarriage weren't quite as carefree as my first pregnancy. This, however, makes those pregnancies look like a piece of cake. Anyway, thanks so much for all your responses, ladies. They're so thoughtful and kind! It really means a lot, and helps give strength through such a stressful time. I'll be glad if, and when, I start to feel like my old self again. Right now a lot of familiar things seem foreign.

 

Confused - June 29

Oh, I forgot to mention I spoke with the genetic specialist yesterday. His att_tude was nothing like the people at the clinic. While he did say my age was a concern, he didn't seem so fatalistic as the people at the OB/GYN unit. When I called the OB/GYN after talking with him, I even told them his att_tude was so different - and the woman said the only reason they handled the situation the way they did was because they "took their cues from us". Grant you, were were a bit shocked at my being pregnant (something we learned of a couple days before that visit), and I was upset because I thought the older kids would have a difficult time with it (a couple of them initially did, but seem to have settled in better since). I never want to hurt my kids, so combined with the concern for a healthy baby/pregnancy/delivery, I wasn't beaming from ear to ear about this pregnancy. Even so, the guy my husband works with (the one who talked with him about the possibility I might not carry to term), got really irate because he's heard some stories about that particular OB/GYN unit. In his opinion, they should have never handled the situation the way they did, and should have examined me (something they didn't do). What do you think? Unfortunately, at this point, I think the damage is done and that even if things continued well and turned out well, the emotional storm cloud would loom overhead for a long time. That first visit was SCARY!!!

 

Joanne - June 29

Congradulations! I am 40 and having number 6th child. I never thought I would be pregnant at this age, but I believe that every child is a gift from God and you are truly blessed by this child. My mid-wife also tried to say to me that I am high risk and should have every test there is to have. I have never had any of the test they want you to have during pregnancy and all my children have been born fine and healthy. I have just had the ultrasounds to try and find out what I am having. I have a friend who's mother had her last child at age 47 number 8 and she was born as healthy as could be. I don't care how old you are there is always a risk carring a baby. Every woman is different and you may not have any problems at all. The doctors just have to do their job and warn you of everything possible that could go wrong, they are not God. God is the giver of life and he will see you through this pregnancy. God Bless You and this Child.

 

Deb - July 8

I had my first child at 44 - a beautiful baby girl. I am now 47 and have had two early term miscarriages, one at age 45 and one at age 46 - but I am still hopeful that I could have a successful pregnancy. I too had terrible experiences with doctor visits all three times! Not with the doctor herself who was over 40 and pregnant for the first time, but with the nurse pract_tioners. I'm interested to learn of women in thier 40's who are pregnant. Thanks for sharing!

 

Beth - July 11

I think you should take a deep breath and start reading some "good" books on the subject and I emphasis good. also, you might want to meet with another ob or midwife who might not see 47 years old and pregnant as an "illness." be smart - be informed - an amnio makes sense at this age if you are comfortable with that and then be happy and enjoy. my last child was born when i was 41 - my aunt gave birth at 45 - my friend gave birth at 46 - all fine and happy and healthy. p.s. you need a new set of doctors. all the best. books: henci goer's "a thinking woman's guide to a better birth sheila Kitzinger's "birth your way" pam england's "birthing from within" ina may's "ina may's guide to childbirth"

 

Christie - July 14

Thanks for posting. My husband and I are thinking about having our first baby. I'm 47 and my mother was 45 when she had me. I work with 2 naturopathic doctors and both have given me the thumbs up, and in such a beautiful positive manner. We are sorting out the risks now, but we already have a wonderful positive team in place. I have spent the past 10 years really cleaning up my body - getting metals out of my teeth, detoxing, healing all that needed healing. So we will move forward cautiously but I know the right outcome will appear. I wish clear discernment for you and your husband and whatever healing comes from the decision you make.

 

KK - July 16

Dear Confused. How are you doing? I'm a little worried that you might be letting too many negatives from "well meaning people" slip into your brain, so I want to ask you to do something. Perhaps you and your husband should stop sharing the good news with others until you are really "showing". People - wether drs, nurses, friends & even strangers - can say the stupidist things. The other thing is to get a new doctor/staff if they aren't helping you positively. There is such as thing as "warning you" with fear and warning you with encouragement. A good, caring doctor should do everything they can to ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy, not scare the you know what out of you with all the advanced maternal age c___p. I've read all the other responses, and agree with everyone on the fact that God has blessed you with this pregnancy. I believe that if God has created us to have periods up til a certain time in our lives, that this means God has created us to have the ability to bear children up til menopause. I sincerely hope that you don't terminate this pregnancy on your own because you are scared, confused and upset and all the things others are telling you. This is flat out wrong in my opinion, and it's no wonder you are confused, and upset! I would be too! I am upset just reading about all the negative things you've been told, and that your husband's been told. Please surround yourself with positive people and positive energy. You need this so much at this time. Let it happen naturally if this baby is not meant to be brought into this world. I became pregnant with my first child at 37, had him at 38. My doctor was very compa__sionate about telling me of the risks - but I chose not to let the "advance maternal age" jargon get to me. I became pregnant again recently, and unfortunately just miscarried at 12 weeks, but my doctor is totally suppotive. I am 40 now, but he says - wait a couple of cycles - and then I want you pregnant again immediately! Because you know as you get older, risks increase. He was all for an all natural pregnancy without pushing me to do all the tests unless I want to, because he knows my history, that I'm healthy, etc.... and I cannot tell you how much having a doctor who is encouraging me at my age rather than discouraging me. I hope all the advice has helped you and your husband. Please keep me posted on your progress. You and your husgand deserve this good thing happening to you - don't let others ruin it for you - and trust that God will see you through no matter what the outcome. Take care of yourself.

 

Confused - July 17

Gosh, I can't begin to say thanks enough to each and every one of you and how exceptionally kind and supportive you've all been. Wow!!! If it helps, when I was in my 8th week (I'm now in my 9th), I had an ultrasound and a good fetal heartbeat was detected and everything was right on target. For the FIRST TIME in this pregnancy, my husband and I were encouraged as the doctor was pleased with what she saw...though she said we still need to be guarded. Anyway, that particular visit was worlds apart from my first OB/GYN visit with another clinic. While we were uplifted (thanks to lots of prayers from people, as well as our own), we'd be lying to say that we don't still experience the heebie jeebies from time to time because of that first visit. Oddly enough, when I opened the MSN homepage this morning, there was a picture of a pregnant woman's belly and a link to an article about anxiety in pregnancy. Apparently obstetrics has been handled a lot differently for the past decade than it used to be because of malpractice suits. If this isn't continuing to be an eye-opener, I don't know what is! I'm learning more bizarre things with this pregnancy than I ever did with my others (and I thought I was fairly savvy after having four children).

 

Dawn - July 17

My mother conceived her fifth child naturally at the age of 47, 14 years ago. Despite the risks a__sociated with pregnancy and a woman her age, she gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby girl, without any complications. My little sister is the most intelligent of my siblings and the light of our lives! We're so lucky to have her. Godo luck to you and your family!

 

GG - August 6

Wow! After reading all these posts, I'm happy I've not let myself get too nuts yet. Just found out I'm pregnant at 46 for the first time. I'm going to get a blood test to confirm (although 2 at home tests said I was pregnant), then take it from there. My mom had me when she was 40, nearly 41, and she said I was the easiest to have. I'm praying that all goes that way with me, too. Please hold me (and my baby) in your prayers if you would. I am going to wait until I'm about 4 months along before telling most people -- I know a lot could happen between now and then, so I think it's best to wait. Best of luck to you, confused. Hopefully, your moniker will change to "confident" soon!

 

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