Any support and encouragement welcome!

TTC in our fabulous forties!

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Any support and encouragement welcome!

Postby FGW » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:03 am

Hi there,
I'm new to this group - I just started reaching out for support. I'm not sure if this is the right group to post to, so feel free to redirect me if it's not. I'm near the end of my 2WW and 41.5 yrs, so I guess I fit in regardless. :)
I'll try to make this brief - I was lucky enough to get pregnant by surprise on my first cycle off of BC back in April. I had a missed miscarriage at what I thought was 10.5 weeks (heart stopped around 8 weeks). I had a D&C the following week. My BF and I were devastated, and decided to try again after my first normal cycle. He's 40.5 yrs.

I feel a little crappy sharing some of this knowing that so many of you have been trying for months and even years - I'm on my 3rd cycle following my first normal period, which took 7 weeks after the D&C.

I truly knew zilch about the difficulties for women TTC over 40 . . . until I made the mistake of reading everything I could on the Internet in the last month. I also made the mistake of going to see one of the doctors at my OB's office who I thought would offer support - I have been having ovulation pain and breast soreness and huge emotional highs and lows - all of which I never experienced before I got pregnant. He literally said "if you're over 40, I won't waste your time or mine - go get IVF now before it's too late". I think I mostly blanked out for the next 10 mins (the max time he'd spend with me). Then spent the rest of yesterday and this morning crying. I am now officially scared out of my mind that I will never conceive again. I guess that's how scaremongering works - and why the number of women over 40 now exceeds the number of girls under 18 having terminations - they (we) don't think we can conceive, so many stop using BC.

All that to basically ask for any stories of encouragement, or any thoughts on the real data about women over 40 TTC - I did read a couple of encouraging articles that I'll post when I track them down again . . . one data point was that the average age of a woman having her last child in the 20's was 42. The other was that women over 40 TTC naturally have not been studied - at all. All data on 40+ is from IVF results - which appear pretty dismal.

So - a few questions - how long do you think I should wait before asking for fertility help? Would I likely have more luck just continuing to try naturally? Any words of encouragement on the possibility of conceiving naturally again (I was told that every 6 mths that goes by after 40 is a significant decline in fertility) - is that true? Anything you can share to get me out of this mental rut would be helpful.

And push me off to another forum if I'm in the wrong place. :)
Peace & Love to all of you.
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Re: Any support and encouragement welcome!

Postby BeeCee33 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:11 pm

Hi FGW! First of all, so sorry for your mc. It doesn't matter how long you have been trying, it is never easy to lose a baby. I am just poking around the boards this week because I'm itching to get started trying for #2, but my doc can't get me in to remove my mirena until November 10. So I don't really "belong" in this forum, but I read your post and just felt like I should and could offer some encouragement.

One of the biggest things I learned while trying for our first baby was that no one, not even a doctor, can predict how things will go for you. There are a lot of wonderful doctors out there, but there are a lot of crappy ones who will write you off based on things like age. So my first suggestion would be to search for a doctor that will give you their time and caring, honest opinion. You're going to need it now, and especially if you get pregnant!

That being said, statistically you do fall into the category of older maternal age and there is often reduced fertility and/or certain conditions that go along with that. For that reason, I believe they say to contact your doctor or a specialist if you have not conceived with in 6 months, just because time is of the essence (for younger women, they suggest 12 months).

Now, onto the good stuff. One of the moms in my baby group on facebook (babies born in July of 2015) is 41 and conceived naturally. I'm not sure how long it took her, but we all know each other really well by now and I don't remember her ever mentioning a long TTC process.

My sister in law is also 41 and has an 8 month old son. She had so many health problems, including hashimotos and thyroid cancer. She waited a decade to be given the all clear to begin trying for a baby. She was so scared that it would take forever. She actually got pregnant their first cycle trying! I was a bit peeved about that lol. I had given her my leftover wondfo opks and hpts and honestly I was kind of excited to symptom spot with her and then BAM, she never used any of it lol.

Anyway, since you did conceive back in April, that's a great sign that everything with you and your BF is in working order. While there is always the possibility that your mc was a result of something not working correctly with your body, it's more likely a problem in development of the baby. So for now, I would assume everything is functioning as it should be!

I stalked these boards forever when I was first TTC, but didn't want to comment since everyone seemed to know so much more than I did. I spent all of my time reading reading reading and I totally freaked myself out. I had no idea that so many things could go wrong! I had no idea how common miscarriages were. I had never considered all the possible reasons someone could have trouble conceiving and it gave me terrible anxiety. It only took us 3 cycles to get pregnant, but those first two, I was positive that I was going to be one of those women that tries for many heartbreaking months or years without success. Looking back, I feel so foolish for thinking that, and I'm sure many of those women who have been struggling for years would agree with me there- it was dumb to be so worried without any evidence that that worry was warranted!

I find that in my life, TTC included, everything feels better once I've made a plan. Maybe set a date in the future and agree to set up a meeting with a specialist if you haven't conceived by then. Tell yourself that you are setting those worries about conceiving aside until that time and do your best to actually do it, which is of course way easier said than done.

Lastly, make some buddies here. I am still really good friends with two of the girls I met here. We talk every day and we all have 1 year olds now. This site was so great for making friends with people who were going through all the same things I was, even if their specific circumstances were a bit different. I honestly don't know what I would have done without it!

I hope you aren't here too long and that you see that glorious BFP soon. :)
Me (Becca): 31 DH:36

BFP Feb 20, 2017 :angel: mc @ 5 weeks

BFP June 2, 2017 :angel: mc @ 5 weeks

Henry James born 7/27/15
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Re: Any support and encouragement welcome!

Postby MK1973 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:11 pm

FGW: I am new as well, but have been reading the site for four weeks. It was my dh who suggested I join in the conversation. :D .
BeeCee: I knew little about these processes. I have learned a lot from just reading here. I love the companionship I find woven through these hope filled threads.
Babydust to all!
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Re: Any support and encouragement welcome!

Postby FGW » Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:26 am

BeeCee33 - First of all, your son is adorable! Holy smokes. Second - your response was so articulate and well thought out that I wanted to take a little time to respond.

I know you're right about finding the right doctor. For now, I think I will likely consult my RE first, then look for another OBGYN - sounds like they're great for pregnancy, not so great for fertility. I really got the feeling he was hesitant to even broach the conversation - but that was likely because of his previous statements about my age. He just kept circling a dollar sign on a pad - in Colorado, we have no Fertility Insurance coverage and IVF starts around $25-$40k per cycle.

I agree about planning a Plan B date and working towards that - and giving the anxiety and stress up to that commitment. We just have to figure out what that Plan B will "be" . . . and I feel like a consultation, while out of pocket and expensive, will help guide us in the right direction.

It's just that I've read so many other stories in these 40+ forums of women trying naturally for months or years, and finally being successful - sometimes after repeated rounds of IVF.

Thanks for taking so much time to respond to me - I'm hoping to find some friends on this journey so it quickly stops feeling like such a lonely place to be - and discouraging.

Do you know if there's a Forum for 40+ where people share their locations, meet-ups, things of that nature?

Thanks again,

FGW
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Re: Any support and encouragement welcome!

Postby BeeCee33 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:38 pm

Thank you! We love our little dude!

Good plan on meeting with the RE first. For me, it doesn't so much matter what the plan is, but simply that there is a plan. That was hard for me when we were trying at first because my husband was so laid back about it all that I felt like I was left worrying alone. So I made a plan. That was the month I tracked everything religiously, and what do you know, I got pregnant. I honestly don't know if the tracking is what did it, or if it was just that things happened to work, but I was much more relaxed feeling like I was doing something about it. I know tracking like that creates more stress for a lot of people, you just have to figure out what's best for you.

Another thought on what you read here... I have a theory that there is a large percentage of women (like my sister in law) that never show up on boards like this, because they get pregnant quickly, or they just are more laid back about the whole process so they don't end up searching the internet for hours reading everyone else's stories. It seems like those who have trouble are more likely to seek out answers and companionship. For that reason, I believe the ratio of people here who have trouble conceiving is not reflective of the population as a whole. That is what I told myself when I was in full (in hindsight, ridiculous) panic mode when AF arrived the month before I actually got pregnant. Sometimes things don't work out, but often they are not as dire as I imagine them. :)

After searching around a lot of forums, this is the one I ultimately joined 2 years ago. I haven't been back until this week, so I can't say that things are exactly the same as when I was here last time, but this is my favorite place. I found a lot of the bigger sites had a lot more judgement and women who used the anonymity of a screen name to leave rude, opinionated, or blunt replies to others. Everyone I have ever encountered here has been uplifting and encouraging. The few times I have seen rude comments, someone always replies in defense of the original poster and shuts it down.

All of that to say, I'm not that familiar with any other sites or meet ups, but if someone asked me in real life where they should go to get in contact with people, I'd send them here! Sometimes the more specific sections (like this one for over 40) are pretty quiet, but I bet if you post in the general pregnancy section, you'll come to find others who are in a similar situation. Even if their story isn't the same as yours, you will probably find some buddies that think a lot like you do and those people are priceless!
Me (Becca): 31 DH:36

BFP Feb 20, 2017 :angel: mc @ 5 weeks

BFP June 2, 2017 :angel: mc @ 5 weeks

Henry James born 7/27/15
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Re: Any support and encouragement welcome!

Postby FGW » Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:02 am

Thanks, BeeCee33!

I'm having a similar challenge with my BF - he is convinced everything will happen naturally, never goes to the doctor, and has a hard time discussing the situation. He's a "if you believe in it enough, it will happen" kind of person - which I guess I am too . . . supplemented with some real biology and science!

I made my own plan 2 months ago - and started driving him crazy. Rightly so, as I was obsessing about LH surges, estrogen surges, every ache and pain, then boxes started arriving from Amazon every day - Ubiquinol, Royal Jelly, more Vitamin D, Fertile CM, more prenatals, OPKs, HPTs. He was kind about it, but gently reminded me periodically that I was being obsessive which was probably adding to my stress - which is right. I was chilling out until I saw that doctor last week - I took a day off just to be home and be sad - and look for support.

I think my next plan is (1) Go back to the RE w or without BF just to get more direction on next steps. I feel like I need to be tested for everything - btw - do you know what "everything" is? I'm not sure what to ask for or to just doublecheck that I am getting the right tests ordered by my RE. (2) Discuss that plan with my BF (3) Go for Plan B in 2 more cycles - December (whether that be IUI, other treatments - but not IVF - not ready for that yet.

How long did you try for Henry James?
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Re: Any support and encouragement welcome!

Postby BeeCee33 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:36 am

I got pregnant my 3rd cycle with Henry (see, all that worry for nothing in my case!) And that was during a month when I got obsessive, got into an argument with DH about it, and thought we were out. It's really hard when you feel like you care more about it than he does. But from reading here, I have discovered that is VERY typical and we needed that argument for me to finally say I felt alone in this process and for him to say he didn't want to have sex if he had to be told to. I was able to explain to him that there is a very small window that has to be hit and even then there is only a 15-20% chance of it working that cycle. He honestly had no idea about that- he knew what they taught in high school sex ed classes... you have sex and you get pregnant! After that, we decided I would tell him when I got a positive OPK and I left it up to him to initiate if he was in the mood. I'm still amazes it all worked out that cycle, because after that conversation, I wasn't really "in the mood." While I do think I was obsessing, it was also really important that he knew why. And after we talked about the science, he really made an effort to initiate so it wasn't all on me. In fact, I'm pretty sure the one that did it was when we both got home late, I put a frozen dinner in the microwave and he said, "Let's go make a baby real quick!"

As far as tests go, I don't have a lot of experience with that, since I did end up getting pregnant pretty quickly. That would be another great question for the general pregnancy board, as many people in there have gone through a lot of tests. I know a friend of mine had some blood tests, they followed her cycle for a couple of months testing for hormone levels at different parts of the cycle, and then she had ad HSG and her husband had a sperm analysis done. I think that's all pretty typical of early tests. There are a lot of relatively minor things that can be preventing a pregnancy from sticking and sometimes it's as simple as correcting a hormone imbalance. Sometimes it's a lot more complicated, but it's a process to get to those big expensive treatments and there are a lot of things they can try first. Your RE probably has a order they test things to rule out the more simple problems first before moving on to the more intrusive tests.
Me (Becca): 31 DH:36

BFP Feb 20, 2017 :angel: mc @ 5 weeks

BFP June 2, 2017 :angel: mc @ 5 weeks

Henry James born 7/27/15
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Re: Any support and encouragement welcome!

Postby FGW » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:54 am

Hi BeeCee33,

My name is Faye, by the way. :)

I read your post yesterday - but had a terrible day and struggled with responding. I had really bad cramps (another new experience for me post D&C, and just a sad reminder of the last time I felt that level of cramping).

I want to write more later - heading to work. But woke up to both AF and a moving message from my friend who's been through a couple of miscarriages, but successfully conceived two daughters through IVF a few years ago. It made me cry, of course, but was reassuring in that so many women out there feel the same way I do:

http://www.scarymommy.com/miscarriage-1 ... _source=FB

Write later! :)

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Re: Any support and encouragement welcome!

Postby BeeCee33 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:46 pm

I'm Becca. :)

Sorry about AF. It's unfair that not only does it show up when unwanted, but brings a whole lot of hormones that make you feel extra bummed out, even in the best of circumstances.

I've read a lot of posts this week similar to that one you linked to. Even though I feel like one of my strengths as a person is my ability to empathize with others, the truth is I can't fully understand the grief that comes with miscarriage. I can only imagine. Even just imagining hurts, so all I can say is that I am so sorry you have had to go through it. That sounds kind of empty or cliche, and almost incomplete, because going 'through' something implies that you made it to the other side, so now you can move on, and that's not always a realistic way of looking at things. There are things in life that change you, stick to you, and weave their way into your very being and I think it's fair to say this is one of those things. It will always be there, and it's ok to not be ok, whether it's a week later, or 10 years later, whenever it happens to pop up.

For now, go take a bath, eat some chocolate, cry. (Bonus points if you do them all at the same time!) In a few days, you'll likely be feeling a little better emotionally and will have a new month, a clean slate stretched out before you, and you can jump back into the craziness.

Hugs, mama. <3
Me (Becca): 31 DH:36

BFP Feb 20, 2017 :angel: mc @ 5 weeks

BFP June 2, 2017 :angel: mc @ 5 weeks

Henry James born 7/27/15
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Re: Any support and encouragement welcome!

Postby FGW » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:32 pm

Hi Becca! That's my best friend's name :) . . .

Yes - MC is awful, in every way. For me, I did really poorly the first month, got better for the following 2, and this past month have gone downhill - the feelings and sadness seem to be getting more intense as the days go by. I spoke to a friend last night who had a MC 2 years ago (healthy baby now) - and she said, "well, that's because you're trying again, and each cycle is feeling like a failure to you - and it doesn't help that your PMS symptoms mimic exactly what you felt during your early pregnancy." She's right - I was like, "oh! duh!".

I went back on an anti-depressant that I had stopped when I found out I was pregnant, and I'm not sure if it's just not working (it's been 8 weeks) or I'm just going to grieve no matter what medication I take. I try to read and meditate, but my mind always wanders back to the loss and fear of never conceiving again. The hardest part has been the arguing between me and my BF . . . he's a former marine (not that this fact is the issue, but I think it contributes) - and we deal with grief very differently. He believes just getting up, getting on with your day, going outside, going running, any activity - will make me feel better. My relief comes briefly when I'm able to read and get lost at moments in the content. With activities, my mind gets bored and I think constantly. As a result, he's become very frustrated with me recently . . . I say a lot of "you don't understand" - and he says a lot of "I do understand because I'm watching you suffer and it's my experience too." But he doesn't have the physical reminders that come every month. I'm sure a lot of couples struggle through coping with grief - I'm just overwhelmed with what an impact it's having on top of everything else I'm feeling. And I wouldn't be surprised if that's contributing significantly to our inability to conceive this time. f**k that "age" s**t. :)

FYI - the other forum I really like is the UK based babycentre.com - the ladies are VERY responsive, mature, and supportive. You should check it out if you feel like you need more support as you move through your journey - though from your story, I'm certain you won't need to be here long. :)

Hugs,
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