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Archive for May, 2021

I got pregnant when I was 42 years old, and I quickly discovered there were two camps when it came to pregnancy over 40: Those that wanted to know how I got pregnant over 40, because they are trying to get pregnant, and those who wanted to know how I got pregnant over 40 so it will never, ever happen to them.

I’ll ruin the surprise for you. It was a surprise. I was completely and utterly, totally NOT trying to have another baby.

I’d always wanted three kids. Three seemed perfect. So my husband, Ned/Thor/Gunnar, aka NTG, and I had baby number one three years into our marriage. A few years later, after a big move and when Max was two, I had to convince NTG it was time for another. (This is not limited to children. I have to convince NTG of most things. He is the opposite of me, The Doer. He’s the Non-Doer.)

We had Andy, and right after, Max received his Autism diagnosis. As you can imagine, our lives changed drastically, raising a child that was on the spectrum, and then raising one that wasn’t.

It was a lot. And NTG didn’t want a third. And the more I watched Max and Andy, the more I thought we’d lucked out. I honestly was afraid if we had another, we would have another child on the spectrum, and that was scary. At the same time, I thought it would be nice for Andy to have another sibling (one that didn’t bully him) and then when he was an adult, there would be someone else to lean on.

I always had a feeling I would have a “surprise.” On top of that, my gut also told me I would have twins. I mean, most women that ever consider becoming mothers also consider what it would be like to have twins. But I just had … something more than a feeling. But after we had Andy, I left it up to fate. Well, as much as I could. I was on birth control.

As women, we all have a “scary” age. A mental line we draw and think, “No, I wouldn’t want to be pregnant then.” That age, for me, was 40, and it came and went with no shock, no twins. Nothing.

It surprised me that parts of that really hurt. I looked up at the Universe and thought, “Well. That’s that.” But I didn’t feel complete, and it seemed everywhere I turned there was some lovely mom I knew in town, or followed on Instagram, who was YAY! PREGNANT! NUMBER THREE! (And not just pregnant with a third, but with a girl.) I was taunted.

On the flipside, it still felt like: If it was meant to happen, it would have happened, right? So I accepted it. I threw myself into work. Into therapies for Max and play dates for Andy. I started really moving out of the labyrinth of motherhood and doing unheard of things like being social, and joining the church council and taking my mother on a beach trip for her 70th birthday.

Awesome, right? In the midst of all of that, the low-dose birth control I was on stopped being effective, so I took a break from it and had The Talk with NTG about our future birth control plans. He wasn’t fond of his options, but my options were far more complicated. And my lovely, husband, the Non-Doer, sat on his option and did the thing Non-Doers do best. Nothing.

Now, I was a good little cycle tracker. I used OTC birth control. But NTG, or me, or both of us are historically very, very fertile. (Up until that point, all three of our pregnancies had happened very quickly.) A few more months go by, and I kept bringing up to my Non-Doer that he wasn’t doing the thing he needed to be doing.

My beloved Walter.

And then, my cat died. (That’s another post). That grief is actually something I still carry with me, because that whole process was interrupted by a little pregnancy test that upended our whole lives. After several solid days of crying, it dawned on me that my period hadn’t started. I actually said to my husband, out loud, “I’ve heard of grief affecting a woman’s cycle, but it’s never happened to me before.”

Ha.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Honestly, I don’t remember why I took a pregnancy test, but it was a week after my period should have begun. I had some in the house, because this was not the first time since I dropped the pill that I had taken one. And each one of those times, instead of being ready to welcome a surprise, I held my breath. Each time the negative result was an exhale.

When this test turned positive, it took a nanosecond. (I now know this is hormones. Lots and lots of extra hormones.)

My first thought was, “My mother is going to kill me.” Honestly, I felt very much like I was a wayward teenager than a 42-year-old married woman. How could this be? How could I do it again? What about my job? Ned/Thor/Gunnar is going to freak out?

But he didn’t freak out. Instead he took the test and said, “Okay. Well, why not us?”

So I called the midwives and made an appointment for the following week. The first would be an ultrasound, and what an ultrasound it would turn out to be.

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