I am pregnant now with my third child. We have a son and a daughter already and feel quite blessed to have them so this pregnancy, another daughter, is the icing on the cake. It feels like we might almost be too lucky. I guess that’s because we really do appreciate this baby tremendously. I am 42 (43 next month) and we had two losses last year.
Our story is that we started “late” (and what does that really mean?!) but yes, maternally speaking, I was “old” when I had our son at age 37. I have never felt old and I got pregnant quite easily each time and had strong healthy pregnancies with no complications. I know that isn’t the case with every woman so its not something I take for granted.
When my son was 9 months old, we were pregnant again (by choice!) with his sister. I thought since I was 39 that she would be the last for us and so we pushed to make that happen. I also liked the idea of the two of them being buddies and growing up as each other’s playmate. I am 18 months younger than my brother and I liked that experience growing up. Then when our daughter was a year or so, we began dreaming of having just one more child; had this vision of three kids being somehow a perfect number for us.
We waited until she was two to try and immediately got pregnant. We were thrilled. Then after having seen the baby and heard the heartbeat, inexplicably, found at a routine visit at week 9, the baby had passed away. We were just crushed. My heart always went out to moms after a loss but nothing can really explain how much that hurts until it happens to you.
The very next cycle, I got pregnant again. I had a sense of foreboding because it was sooner than I had wanted to try again. I wanted my body to heal. We again saw the baby a few times and heard the heartbeat and then again, at week 9, the baby had passed. We did find out that this loss was due to a trisomy that isn’t compatible with life. That gave me comfort because it was beyond my control and nothing I did wrong. That recovery was a bit rougher…took time and lots of tears as I waited for my confused hormone levels to settle. I was scared to even think of trying again.
Now, flash forward to this year and finding out I was pregnant once more. Of course this happened after we had resigned ourselves to being happy with our family as it is. I had given away baby gear and maternity clothes by the bagful. I took this new information of a life inside me very cautiously and treated my pregnancy as a condition I merely took care of. I guarded my heart against heartbreak by not allowing myself to connect to the little baby inside my belly. This baby kept growing and surviving; sticking in there like a tenacious little bean. At ten weeks, I took the newer blood draw test Maternit21 which tests for chromosomal defects and also reveals gender. I found out a few weeks later that this baby was fine and was a girl we dubbed “Baby Peachy” bc she was then the size of a peach or so a baby website told me.
The kids came with us for a quad screening test and got to see her via ultrasound. They exclaimed, ” There’s Peachy!” and then being typical 3 and 4 1/2 year olds, wanted to hold her and asked why she was in a dark tunnel (what it looked like to them). We saw her most recently at week 21 for an anatomy scan with a specialist and I teared up hearing that Peachy had a perfect spine, heart, etc. Now at week 25, I can regularly feel her kicking and moving about and others can too! The kids regularly share “whispers” with her and tell her she is loved. The reality that she will be here with us very soon is setting in and we cannot wait!
Just when I thought I couldn’t love more than I already do, the heart surprises and somehow grows even bigger and fuller.
Viviene Zehr Benjamin, mother of 2, and currently pregnant! You can follow her on instagram.
**PAM thanks viewer and friend Viv for sharing her story. This blog is 1 woman’s story and journey, it is not an attempt to give advice. We encourage all readers to consult with medical professionals, their partners, and to use common sense before making any decisions regarding their lives, family, pregnancies, health, etc.