Getting pregnant at 40 is supposed to make me lucky. Well, that is at least what people say. But what they don’t understand is that, while getting pregnant wasn’t the hard part, dealing with unexpected health issues with the baby adds so much more to the story.
When I turned 28, I panicked. I panicked about being on the verge of being too old to have kids. So Chuck and I started “trying” to get pregnant. After two years and zero results, we took to charting my cycle. Turns out, my work travel and his late night shift work had put us on a path for disaster and we didn’t even realize it. After charting for a couple of months we hit the bullseye and I was pregnant. And it nearly killed us.
The late nights and no sleep and friends whose lives just continued on without us put us both on a path for depression. It was hard. Really hard. I got medicated and it helped pull me through, which helped pull him through and together we were able to enjoy parenthood. Ava was such an easy kid. Always happy. Always smiling. And almost ten years later, she is even better. But for ten years, we swore she was enough. We were done.
Until we weren’t.
When I turned 38, I panicked. I panicked about being on the verge of being too old to have kids. This time, the concern was valid. The odds of me getting pregnant at that point were dramatically low. It was frightening. So, we “tried” for two years and hoped for the best, but when nothing was happening, we went back to charting. Turns out, while we were older, we were equally as stupid ten years later. More shift work, more work travel, topped with exhaustion from day to day life had us missing the target every month for two years. Two whole years.
When I turned 40 in August, 2015, I decided it was time to get serious. But it needed to wait until after our trip to Paris and after Ava’s third grade year started. I started charting during the summer and in October, we got pregnant.
For two days.
The pink lines were there one day and gone the next. Poof.
It made both of us really sad to loose that baby. That tiny blip on our radar left an indelible mark. But we thought, “Hey, maybe Sean isn’t too old?” If it worked even for two days, maybe the odds were in our favor. And they were.
The very next month we charted and it worked. And it stuck. Eight weeks later we saw the little gummy bear’s heartbeat on an ultrasound. Two weeks after that our genetic tests came back confirming no genetic issues and the gender – a boy. A freaking boy! Chuck and I were ecstatic.
And then we weren’t.
You see, for all of those who said we were “lucky” and we “beat the odds” with the sheer fact that we were pregnant at all, didn’t realize that there was so much more to the story.
At 20 weeks, our little dude was diagnosed with a Multi-cystic Dysplastic Kidney. The diagnosis was devastating. Ava had a kidney issue in utero, too, but not of this magnitude. We’ve seen specialists at Texas Children’s and have had countless ultrasounds and it isn’t getting better. The odds of it getting better are much slimmer than me getting pregnant in the first place. And from what the experts say, his prognosis ranges from the other kidney picking up the slack and everything being fine, to needing the bad one removed, to him developing hypertension or other issues, dialysis for life and other bad things happening. And all we can do is wait and see.
It is devastating.
You see, when you are supposed to be “lucky” and “blessed” and “thankful” it is really hard when the celebration is clouded by reality.
But we will pull through this together. While he is ginormous already, he is perfectly healthy otherwise, which is always good news. So at this point, we are doing our best to celebrate this little dude and getting to see his cute little face at the frequent ultrasounds offsets the kidney scans.
He is terribly cute.
And we can’t wait to meet him, no matter what happens.