“How The Heck Did This Even Happen?” And Other Questions About This Baby

AUTHOR: | POSTED: June 16, 2014 | COMMENTS: 5 Comments
CATEGORIES: pregnancy, Pregnant at 45,

Carolyn Savage

I’ve spent much of the last 13 weeks pondering my current state of pregnant at 45.  At first I was shocked and honestly, I think my constant state of “holy crap” has only just recently started to wear off.  Telling people helped a little.  Finding out our baby  is healthy helped even more.  Slam dunking my first trimester free of complications was the icing on the cake.  As a result, Sean and I have moved from the surrealness  of the pregnancy to planning mode.  We’ve got some arrangements to make.

Seeing as how all of you only recently found out about our surprise, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about how this baby boy came to be.  They aren’t the usual questions but given our history of infertility, miscarriage and that whole episode of “pregnant w/somebody’s else’s child” I understand.  At first I was answering individual messages and emails but in the interest of efficiency I think it’s fair to simply lay out the details for one and all.  After all, this whole episode has come as a shock to everyone who knows us.

So…here you go!

Was This Pregnancy Planned?

Simply, no.  The idea that at the age of 45 my reproductive system suddenly corrected itself is baffling to us.  To be quite frank, in the course of our 21 year marriage Sean and I have never used any kind of birth control.  In addition, we were diagnosed with unexplained infertility.   Meaning, of the six fertility specialists we worked with, not one of them could figure out why we couldn’t get pregnant.  I have great eggs, my fallopian tubes are open and I always responded beautifully to fertility meds.  And, of course, Sean’s swimmers are stellar.  We were an infertility puzzle and this spontaneous pregnancy at my advanced maternal age had further perplexed  us and our physicians.

So, just to clarify I am carrying this baby and there were no fertility treatments involved.  This was an old fashioned conception…much to the horror of my teenage sons.

But You Said You Couldn’t Carry Any More Pregnancies After Logan.  What gives?

True.  After my pregnancy with Logan in 2009 we were advised not to seek any further ART (assisted reproductive technology) treatments.  In layman’s terms,  I was advised not to get pregnant again using IVF.  Because using IVF was the only way we’d been able to conceive (since 1996) that meant no more pregnancies for me.   There were multiple reasons for this advice the most significant of which had to do with my history of HELLP Syndrome (a rare and dangerous form of preeclampsia).  The risks of HELLP returning increase as a women ages.  I was forty when I delivered Logan and we knew we needed to give my uterus some time to heal after my c-section in 2009 so by the time we would get around to transfering our remaining embryos I would have been upwards of 42.  Therefore,we decided to work with Jennifer, our gestational carrier, and thank God we did.  I am absolutely certain a twin pregnancy would not have ended well if I had been the one pregnant.

Is This Pregnancy Dangerous for You?

It’s not going to be a walk in the park…that’s for sure.  My perinatologist is hopeful, however.  I think we are all hanging our hats on the fact that this was a spontaneous pregnancy and the only other time I’ve conceived this way my pregnancy was text book.  I think another aspect giving us hope is the fact that my HELLP didn’t reoccur with Logan.  To be specific, I had HELLP with Ryan and it was full blown scary.  I had it again with MK but it wasn’t as bad.  So, the fact that I didn’t have it with Logan is reason for cautious optimism.  Needless to say, I have a great team of physicans looking after me.  This pregnancy and my health will be monitored very closely.

How Did You Find Out?

I was a little slow on the uptake for this one.  I hadn’t been feeling well for a few days and was sitting at my computer one afternoon when I realized I was late.  I quickly googled “menopause” wondering if I’d suddenly started it.  Just so you know, there’s no such thing as “sudden onset of menopause”.  After about five minutes of searching I impulsively ran up the stairs remembering I’d seen an old EPT stick floating around the bottom of a drawer.  I found it, did my business and waited.  A line popped up immediately.  One line.   In that moment I mentally scolded myself for even thinking I could be pregnant.  I’m infertile.  It’s always…ALWAYS… only one line.  But then I realized I was holding the stick upside down and the line that had popped up so quickly was actually in the “results” window.  Just then the second line in the “control” window was peeking through.

I was dumbfounded.

After a string of profanity that would’ve made a sailor blush, I confirmed the pregnancy with a few more “sticks”.

How Did You Tell Sean?

Did I mention it was April Fool’s Day?  I figured almost anyone I told would think I was joking.  In fact, it actually occurred to me that maybe EPT was trying to punk me.  Of course, that would have required one hell of a conspiracy.

Anyways, I waited until after dinner to show Sean the sticks.  He was speechless.  When he finally regained his composure he muttered something about thinking maybe we should’ve been “using something”.  Of course, neither of us ever gave contraception any serious consideration.  After a 20 year drought we both incorrectly assumed there was not a snow ball’s chance I could simply conceive.  Live and learn.

How’s It Going So Far?

So far so good.  This is the first pregnancy since Drew’s that I haven’t had an episode of bleeding during the first trimester.  I’ve been pretty sick but I think (knocking on wood) it’s subsiding.  In addition, the baby is measuring right on and our chromosomal testing came back negative.  This baby boy is chromosomally typical.  Praise the Lord.

What’s Your Due Date?

I’m officially due November 28th, however it will be a c-section so I’ll deliver one week earlier on the 21st…God willing.  Honestly, given my history of premature deliveries I’d be thrilled to make it into November and avoid any NICU time.  Praying…praying…praying.


So…there you have it.  The down and dirty about how we’ve gotten to this point.  It’s definitely another crazy chapter in the saga of our lives, but if I was to order up an unexpected medical diagnosis at my age…well… I can’t think of a better one!

We are really, really lucky!





5 Comments on “ “How The Heck Did This Even Happen?” And Other Questions About This Baby ”

  • Lori Lavender Luz | June 16th, 2014 10:54 am

    I’m so very happy for all of you!

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  • lynda crossman | June 16th, 2014 10:56 am

    thanks for all the answers…I figured at this point you have it under control. honestly I am on your team…my husband and I took the slow way to parenting unfortunately…but my last child… now 8 is such a blessing…I have grown children and an 8 yr old. 🙂 good luck!! just remember to take care of you!! hugs

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  • Lori Ray | June 16th, 2014 4:21 pm

    Congratulations, again and many prayers going up for health, happiness and blessings for you and your family!

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  • Teri | June 17th, 2014 7:46 am

    Here’s my question: Has Mary Kate accepted the fact that she’s going to have a baby brother or is she still mad? 🙂

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  • Carolyn Savage | June 17th, 2014 8:32 am

    Teri…Hah. Yes. But I think she’s still a little bitter.

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