At the age of 44, my doctor advised me to stop taking it because I had symptoms that suggested that I could be at risk of a thrombosis and, at my age, it was advisable to practice an alternative method of contraception.
Everything that I had read suggested that the chances of conceiving at 44 would be extremely slim, so rather irresponsibly my husband and I stopped using any method of birth control. Two months later when my period was late, I didn't think for one moment that I could be pregnant. I was suffering from severe abdominal cramping and assumed that my period would arrive at any moment.
When I began to feel nauseous and my breasts became very tender, I took a home pregnancy test. Imagine my surprise to discover that I was pregnant - even though it hadn't been planned. My husband, Doug, didn't speak for about half an hour after I told him. He was totally shocked! He soon came round to the idea that he was going to be a midlife dad, but was naturally concerned about the risks involved to both me and the baby.
Our next shock came when we had the first ultrasound scan and we were told that there was not just one baby, but two. That explained why I had been suffering from really severe nausea and vomiting, but I was also told that the sickness was also the sign of a stable pregnancy. We decided that since we had been blessed with two more children, we would love them no matter what and so decided against having an amniocentesis. Although we were told that the risk of miscarriage was very small, we just did not want to take that risk.
By the fifth month of pregnancy, I was so huge that I did not think my abdomen could possibly stretch any further. Yes, I suffered a lot of backache and abdominal "stretching" pains and the more my pregnancy advanced, the more difficult I found it to walk anywhere without having to sit down every few yards!
Other than that, I felt very well after the sickness eased off around 22 weeks. I really enjoyed coming back with some smart comments to the few people who decided to impart their uncalled for and negative comments, most of which were based on limited knowledge of pregnancy after 40.
My last laugh came when I delivered Amy and Josh just ten days prior to my estimated due date. They were both born naturally following an eight hour labour, with minimal intervention from the medical staff. Amy weighed 6lb 8oz and Josh weighed an amazing 7lb 2oz.
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