Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Big Fat Positives
BFP afer 41 cycles at the age of 43!
So, I've been silently stalking this site for some time, looking for inspiration and to help keep my hopes up, and I told myself if I ever was blessed with another BFP, I'd share MY story too, in hopes it will help someone else in similar circumstances:
When our DD was about 18 mos old, I found out at the age of 40, I had a BFP and I was SO excited! DH at the time was NOT. :-( My first sono appt did not go the way it went with DD and I learned a new term that would devastate me: "blighted ovum." So of course I googled it when I got home from the Dr's office and it didn't sound good at all. The image on the screen at that appointment was a ring with nothing inside of it. The poor tech suggested perhaps I just wasn't as far along as I thought I was, and that the baby was just too small to detect and excused herself to go have a word with my Dr. When she returned he came with her, and after he tried to find a fetal pole without success, they asked me to get dressed and meet him back in his office. He said the same thing the tech said, that perhaps I just wasn't as far along as I though I was and had ovulated later, or, sometimes, especially with women of my "advanced maternal age," these things just happen, and a chromosomal abnormality occurs. He advised I go home and relax and come back in 2 wks for another look-see, but did mention the possibility of said blighted ovum. I had all the classic symptoms, so I KNEW I was preggo before I even POAS: fatigue, sensitivity to smell, and just didn't feel like AF was on the way. About 6 DPO, I developed a metallic taste in my mouth, which was a symptom I never had with DD, and read it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, so tried to remain optimistic. A few days before my appt, I began to bleed a little and had a really uncomfortable cramp in my lower abdomen, but the bleeding was what really scared me and I knew something was terribly wrong, so I returned to the OB's office as a walk-in. He wasn't there so another Dr saw me and said the baby had stopped growing, and my uterus was beginning to feel soft. My heart sank and I cried uncontrollably. I tried so hard to be tough about it because I knew I wasn't the 1st and wouldn't be the last to go through this gut-wrenching ordeal, but at my age, I felt like it was possibly my last chance to conceive and it wasn't viable. DNC followed, and after a month of the emotional roller coaster ride, I was determined to just eat healthier, as I was already working out 5 days/wk, so decided maybe I needed to take it a little easier on that too? I was really thinking following the DNC, it'd be about 3 -6 mos and I'd have another BFP...nope...so after a year, I went to see a Fertility specialist and they checked my day 21 hormone levels and said they thought I was on like day 23 or 24 and to try testing again the following month. So I did, and the levels were "borderline." After riding the fence on taking Vitex, I decided to go for it and see what happened? Pre-AF spotting ceased, so I really liked that benefit of the Vitex, but still no BFP. Had another day 21 test, and my levels looked better though! Another year passed, and I chalked it up to stress in my personal life. During that time, I decided church was missing from my life, despite having been praying since my loss, for another chance. So I re-established my faith and focused more on that, appreciating my amazing little DD, and just figured if I focused more on getting my pre-DD figure back and eating healthier, then maybe along the way, I'd get my BFP, since I wasn't as obsessed over achieving it as I initially was. I really felt the proverbial "clock" ticking LOUDLY, as I knew I was no spring chicken, even though I was getting back into the shape I had been in 8 yrs before! I made an account on Fertility Friend and started journaling everything, and that helped, emotionally. Several times I thought "THIS is my month!" but AF would turn out to just be 3 days late....witch! lol Finally, we resigned ourselves into adoption (which is still not off the table...) Some mos, she'd arrive on CD 24, and others CD 31, but for the most part, I was averaging her arrival on CD27, and figured, well, despite my age, if AF is still arriving monthly, I can't be COMPLETELY out? So I went back to the Drs to make sure my tubes weren't blocked and to check the condition of my uterus - tubes were fine, but I had "mild" endometriosis. NOT a comfortable test to submit to and DH never worked up the gumption to have himself checked out, insisting if it's meant to be, it'll be....meanwhile, new friends and old friends were going on to have all these beautiful babies, and as much as I love my friends and wanted to be happy for them, it just made me feel like everyone ELSE was going to have as many beautiful, healthy babies as they wanted, some having extra "surprise" BFPs they hadn't planned on, while I was having to face the facts of my age and how it affects our biology. We ADORE our DD, but she too has been watching all her friends go on to have siblings and started to ask when SHE was going to get to become a big sister? Not easy to explain to a 3-4 yr old....ultimately, we told her it's up to God and to just pray for it. So she did! Still no BFP...well, we're getting ready to move and start a whole new chapter in life, and I started feeling really dizzy and more tired than usual, but chalked it up to seasonal allergies (congested nose, sinus headaches, mild pressure in my ears) causing the dizzy spells, and I've read progesterone levels around the time of AF can cause some dizziness too. So even though that's never personally been a pre-AF symptom for me, I figured it was just a new one this time. Well, AF didn't arrive the day she was due. I wondered about the dizzy spells and lack of insistence for chocolate, lol, but thought, "Nah...how many times have you been down this road, getting all excited, only to have AF show up late?" And after so many BFN's from POAS, I decided I'd rather wait to see if she showed up late than to stare at another BFN. So, I waited 3 days, and nothing. I felt different, and DH told me at 2 days late, I was BFP. He hated seeing what I went through with the MMC and was scared of me getting another BFP in case it turned out the same way, and didn't want to see me go through it again, but he too started to wish that one had turned out with happier results, so his compromise was not to actively try, just not to do anything to prevent it from happening. We had BOTH been working out together, eating healthier, and then in the past few mos, HE started praying for a BFP for us as well. So, at 2 days late, I had very faint, brown spotting after emptying my bladder and figured, "see, this is just like all the other mos..." But at 3 days late, we stopped at the $ Tree on our way home from errands and picked up 2 tests - I knew bloody well I wouldn't be able to wait for FMU to test, so once we got home, I tested...was so nervous about being disappointed once again, my hands were shaking! So when that 2nd pink line began to emerge, I was like "OMGoodness, REALLY?????!!!??" When I told him, he smiled and said, "See, what'd I tell you? I was already celebrating yesterday when I told you that you were! :-D" So now I'm about 5wks, and my 1st Dr's appt to confirm isn't until 3 days from now, so it's hard to just be "cautiously optimistic," when we've waited for what has seemed like SO long. I haven't had "real" am sickness this early in, but certain smells I've normally enjoyed have elicited a gag reflex from me already, 1 causing me to dry heave. I didn't have that with my DD until I was about 8 or 9 wks along and that was the extent of my morning sickness with her. So, I definitely want my progesterone levels monitored this first trimester with this one, and hoping and praying we'll get to see not only a sticky bean whenever we have the 1st sono appt, but I'll be 6 wks a day before our Wedding Anniversary, and can't think of a better gift than to see and hear that beautiful little beating heart! So, even though we're very early in with this one, we certainly didn't think it was going to happen. Not that we completely gave up hope, but were just bracing for the reality of the statistics of parents our age.
So, ladies, especially you "advanced maternal mums" out there, don't give up hope! Pray, don't go on fad diets and workout plans, resign yourself to making it a lifestyle change and stick with it! And while I'm not out of the woods yet with this one, just don't let any Drs, Family, or friends try to convince you that your eggs are "circling the drain," and give up hope, just because it's taking so much longer than you had hoped it would. If it can happen for us, it can happen for you!