Re-introduction to Motherhood by Lisa Kelly
It started with the smell of chlorine. The whole house smelled like a swimming pool. A couple of days later it was lilacs. Then vanilla. Who covered everything in vanilla?? Then came the itching. Oh, how my legs itched! I thought it was an allergy to the new soap I had purchased. Then a dizziness that would come and go. Sometimes I would wake up in the night thinking the bed was moving. I took my bundle of concerns and dumped them on my fiancé’. “I think I have a brain tumor.” He laughed and told me I was just pregnant. Oh hello, genius!! I just had a period and at 44 I’m a wee bit too old for that. In fact, I had just talked to my doctor about having a hysterectomy because of fibroids. Pregnant? Good grief!
He kept insisting this was the problem so I bought a three pack of pregnancy tests. Wow! They actually say the words “PREGNANT” or “NOT PREGNANT” on them now. Nineteen years ago the only choice was to count lines. You could forget it if one line was really faint. That happened with my first child and I had to go buy another one a week later to be certain. This time I could not go wrong with a three pack of tests that would say “NOT PREGNANT”. There would be no doubt that I had a brain tumor. I was quite sure of this.
Test one: PREGNANT. Surely that’s a typo. Test two: PREGNANT. What?? Quick google search on the accuracy of these dumb things. Oh-oh. False positives almost never happen. Test three: PREGNANT. So much for the world travel I had planned!
The reason I want to write for Motherhood Later is because the stuff I found on the internet about being pregnant at 44 was absolutely terrifying. I digested so much negativity. Downs Syndrome. Trisomy 13. 18. 19. The numbers just kept racking up. Maternal mortality. By the time I got in to see a high risk OB, I was a complete nervous wreck. She agreed that yes, the risks were notably higher but she could send me for testing if I thought I would want the option to terminate a non-viable fetus. I read up on the test options and the myriad of risks associated with them. The internet is not the place to become educated on such important matters unless you want to scare yourself to death. I did opt to have Chorionic villus sampling (CVS), a story in its own right which I will tell you later. The good news is that I’m now in week 22 of a perfectly normal pregnancy thus far. If all continues to go well, my 19 year old son will have a baby sister in September. I’m excited to share my story with other anxious moms and hope you will continue along this journey with me.