One night I was chatting with a friend, who, like me, is in her 40’s and pregnant clique. She is one of six of my friends that I know, and I was constantly in awe of how we shared similar stories and the same heartbreaking experiences throughout our journey.
So, I’m going to address some of my own experiences in the hope that somewhere, somehow, someone is either going to feel less isolated and crazy as an expecting over-40 momma or I’ll help a friend, spouse or family member understand or help that momma.
Let’s start with the REALISATION! After 40 and you get up one day saying “Wow, these perimenopause symptoms are getting worse”. I’m tired, nauseous, and feeling like crap all day!
Nowhere in my brain do I connect the symptoms to that of being pregnant because that’s not really going to fit in with your plans of changing up your diet and getting more active, your plans for the expansion of the business that you already started late, your plans to start sleeping in late on a weekend since your kids all grown enough to help themselves and grab breakfast, your plans to start the new phase of your life, “THE ME PHASE! ” But, somewhere between the denial and the panic your brain registers a pregnancy.
In my case it was something that my husband and I had been discussing as a possibility since I miscarried a year before and although it wasn’t something planned, I grieved much to our surprise.
Soooooo, between crying, panic and hugging the toilet bowl all day, the line rolled off my tongue, “Yea, I think I’m pregnant!” The silence was deafening and stayed that way for almost a week. Then the silence finally broke and the words that followed included, “Are you mad? We can’t do this at this stage? Well God will understand why we had to!
Yea, no shame in saying we fought bitterly. Cat and dog … the time we spent in each other’s presence was less and less and every interaction ended in a war of words. (We were still in month 1)
The second month came and a strange feeling of numbing pain in my left leg started. After a week of limping the slight pain morphed into me getting to the
bathroom one morning and leaning up on the wall crying in pain and unable to lift the leg anymore.
Being the bad-minded red-jep I am, I managed to shower, change, and leave home on route to the hospital saying nothing to anyone at home because I “vex” with everyone – especially Rody. Pressure sky high, blood clot and ambulance NOW to San Fernando General are all the words that registered.
Me: “Rody, come and collect the car – I’m by the hospital and leaving via ambulance NOW…….. ” So, we still vex but now we are quarrelling in whispers because who gets in a car dragging a leg and goes to the hospital without telling anyone? Me!
Messages and calls were made to our immediate families that I have a suspected blood clot and heading to the hospital (no mention to anyone of the baby that I’m carrying because we are still in denial for different reasons).
My staycation at San Fernando General ended and then I started living with compression stockings, morphine, Panadol, elevated legs in between still trying to cook every day and constant pain triggering more nauseated days and nights.
Some days the tears really made an appearance and so did the anxiety and depression. But nobody ever saw those (especially my family) because those would mean that I wasn’t happy, and I was a woman that hadn’t got it all-together ….
Until I got a message from someone one morning asking for pastelles and somehow the conversation led to her saying she was on bed rest at home.