Today’s guest post comes from a reader who would prefer to remain anonymous. Her heartfelt email asked for ‘help with how to deal with a loss later on life, where you haven’t got time on your side.’ Your guidance, thoughts and advice are as always so valuable to our readers so please do comment below.
I wasn’t sure whether to contact you or not as I know I am not your target reader, i.e. 25-35 mums to be / new mums etc. but as a long time follower of Charlotte in her early RMW days, followed by RMS and finally RMF, I wondered whether it was worth getting in touch as I have enjoyed each website for various reasons, and I wonder if there are other readers out there like me and I would like their advice.
I have just turned 43 and recently suffered a missed miscarriage. This would be my 5th pregnancy, 2 of which have resulted in gorgeous children who are now 2 and 6. I had my first child at the age of 36 (very easily, fell pregnant within a month) and my second at age 40 (took 2 years with a miscarriage in between). I had always thought that I only wanted 2 children but after having my son in 2015, there was a little niggle in the back of my mind about having a third but with my age it was something I pushed to the back of mind.
Crazily after trying for 2 years to have my son, I fell pregnant with my last baby completely out of the blue, it wasn’t something we planned and to be honest it was a complete fluke, a moment of passion whilst both children were out of the house which resulted in my last pregnancy. At my age, naively I really didn’t think anything would happen despite no contraception (yes 40+ year olds can be as clueless as teenagers it would seem!) but low and behold 2 weeks later there was the little blue line showing that I was pregnant.
To say we were shocked was an understatement, and we both struggled with the implications. I had relatively easy pregnancies (aside from the awful allergies I suffered during both pregnancies) but I had terrible labours and births (both induced resulting in emergency deliveries) so we were extremely worried about going through it again and with my age came the extra worry of chromosomal abnormalities, implications to safety during birth and how an extra baby would factor in with our existing family.
After several weeks of deliberating, we both came round to the idea that we would really love to have another baby. If I’m honest there was never any doubt that I wouldn’t have this baby, but I was so worried about the negative implications for me (not to be a drama queen but I did worry about dying as I suffered badly during both births, especially my first), our existing children, the baby itself, so I really couldn’t see past all the negatives until my GP said to me ‘I really think you really want this baby but you are so focused on what could go wrong (because of my age) that you can’t see any of the positives’. I sobbed the whole way through my consultation with her.
To cut a long story short, I decided that a 3rd baby was what I wanted so booked myself in to see the GP again, booked a midwife appointment etc. Unfortunately whilst I was visiting my aunt in Harrogate I stated bleeding. I just knew there and then that something wasn’t right so when I got home I rang my local hospital and booked myself in to the local early pregnancy unit for a scan. It was there then that they told me that there was no heartbeat, I should have been around 12 weeks but the baby had stoped growing at around 7/8 weeks. I was completely devastated as was my husband. It was a strange feeling as we hadn’t planned this, hadn’t been trying but now I feel so devastated to no longer be pregnant. I know a miscarriage is terrible at any stage and age but when you are “past your fertility prime” I feel it is so much harder as you really don’t have the luxury of time, it really feels like this is the end of the road and that is something that I am really struggling to come to terms with. I guess that’s why I’ve got in touch, I’ve googled ‘older mum blogs’ and there is nothing out there, I’d love to know how older mum’s have got to terms with the end of their child bearing years when they have been trying for more, whether they have continued to try after miscarriage etc. Do you keep trying or do you just resign yourself to the fact that this is it and you can’t have any more babies. Or if they have got pregnant at a later stage in life how do they feel about being an older mum? My doctor was so positive and said that the increase in older mums in the past decade is staggering but it is still a worry. Do I give up or do I give myself another 6 months to try for another baby? Plus another worry is the thought that I would be one of the oldest mum at the school gates, i.e 48!! Unfortunately I have a circle of friends who are younger than me and just trying for their 2nd babies, a couple are pregnant and due around what would have been my due date and I am finding this very hard to deal with, I am obviously happy for them but at the same time so jealous. I know that I am so lucky to have my two beautiful children but I really feel robbed of having another baby, however selfish that might come across.