I receive lots of emails from women all over the world who are trying to get pregnant over 40. I even get notes from men on occasion. I wanted to write this post because I see a common theme in a fair number of the letters I receive: fear. In many cases, I get detailed notes from women describing their lab work figures, ovulation dates, husband’s sperm count numbers, etc. I also get detailed notes about cultural issues, family issues, challenges with physicians, descriptions of unsupportive family members and almost any other situation you can imagine. Most of the time, women tell me that they really don’t have anyone to talk to about their situation of trying to get pregnant over 40. I understand because I didn’t have anyone to talk to either when I was trying to conceive. I can’t give medical advice so I don’t; however, I almost always encourage women who haven’t seen a specialist, to find a good Reproductive Endocrinologist immediately. I was shocked the first time someone wrote back saying she was going to wait. Then, it happened again and again. Almost everyone who writes is very eager to get pregnant and fears that they may have missed their chance. What I am starting to realize is that fear is paralyzing many women who want to have a baby over 40.
Fear is not a bad thing unless you allow it to keep you from your dreams. Fear exists almost all the time to varying degrees. It’s scary to try new things, risk yourself, risk failure. There is a chance that you won’t be able to conceive over 40. There is also a chance that you will get hit by a bus today. Nothing is guaranteed. I was afraid that I would never be able to have a child of my own, especially when I looked at the date and I was 43 years old. I was even more afraid after I lost my first baby to miscarriage at age 44. It’s a very difficult thing to face the real possibility that you might never be able to bear your own child. For me it was an even more overwhelmingly difficult thing to contemplate being on my deathbed regretting that I never tried everything I could to have a child of my own.
Women over 40 get pregnant every day. In fact, more and more women over 40 are getting pregnant every year. Medical science is amazing and offers options women have never had available before. Some are very expensive but many are not. You won’t know until you learn about your specific situation and find out what your options are. (Sidenote: I hear lots of figures detailing how expensive IUI is – that was not the case for me and I urge you to get facts before you think a procedure is going to be too expensive.)
If you learn that can’t have your own baby, there are still options: surrogacy and adoption are two of those options.
I am writing these words with love because I know how hard it is. I am also writing these words with urgency and little bit of a kick in the pants for those of you who truly want to have a baby over 40 but are afraid to try. Move forward. Seek professional medical assistance. Seek supportive friends and family. Do everything you can and leave no stone unturned. Have no regrets. Look fear in the eye and move past it.
As always, I am sending love and baby blessings.