Newly Pregnant, 42 Years Old and Terrified....

Updated on July 26, 2010
L.Y. asks from Malvern, PA
25 answers

I just found out last night that I am pregnant (naturally) at 42 years old......We lost a baby last year at 18 weeks and found out through testing, that the baby had Down Syndrome. It was a devastating experience and I've been grieving that loss all year. Since the loss, I've wanted to try for another baby....Or so I that I am pregnant again, I am so scared....Am feeling like we made a huge mistake in conceiving again. We have 2 and 1/2 year old twins who are healthy and happy. I've been reading all the horror stories about how dangerous pregnancy at this age can be - both for mom and baby. I'm already so nervous that something is wrong....I just feel sick about it. It's already causing tension between my husband and I....He took a long time to come around to the idea of trying again....I don't think either of us thought it would happen so quickly, but we conceived our first month. I know I should have thought this through a little more carefully, but the time, I really believed this would not affect us again, and we could do this. Now, I'm filled with only negative thoughts and fears. Any words of encouragement or advice? I really need someone's opinion besides those so close to the situation. Thanks!

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answers from Phoenix on

First of all L., CONGRATULATIONS!!! and i am so sorry you went through such loss before this. I had my first child at 42 and my second at 46!!! Both were fine and I know tons of moms who have healthy little ones who conceived in their forties. FIrst things first, STOP reading the negative stuff and the statistics right now. You will make yourself crazy. Thats like reading all the horror stories about childbirth right before you deliver. The stats show that 3.6% of the resulting births to 44 year old moms result in downs. What this means is that over 96% have babies without the chromosomal abnormality. You have been through a severe trauma with the loss you experienced last time, so it is very natural that you would be freaking out and having anxiety and fear. I had three early miscarriages and when I conceived my daughter I had so much anxiety it was awful. I got a lot of help and support. Working with a therapist who specialized in birth/pregnancy and trauma was incredibly helpful to me. Please feel free to private message me and I would be happy to give you more info on what i did to get through. Additionally, I would be glad to lend support and "talk you down" when you get caught up in the fear. Take care of you and read tons of stories about women having healthy babies in their forties. What you feed grows, so please, feed and nurture yourself with happy stories and positive supportive people. Big hugs.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I agree with Wendy..stop reading stories! Haha! When I was pregnant I just couldn't watch all those birthing shows, even though every other pregnant woman I knew did, but it just made my mind race with craziness!

It's scary, but you can do it! Your twins are going to be thrilled. I posted this on someone else's question recently and I truly believe it...atlhough your twins have each other, I believe that the best gift you can give a child is a sibling. You are going to have 3 beautiful, healthy children. There are many women out there who have been in your shoes so stay strong!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I am 25, my youngest brother is 6. My mom got pregnant with him in her 40s, and he is just fine. He's a little monster, and spoiled rotten, but he's happy and healthy. There are always risks, always statistics, always close calls. I am so sorry for your loss, but you are pregnant now and there's nothing you can do to change it. Go out and celebrate, you're going to be a mom again! Worrying is like rocking in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere. Don't put those negative vibes out there. Sometimes worrying too much makes the things we worry about happen to us. It's normal to get cold feet, but just try to focus on your health and on the day that you have your beautiful new baby in your arms for the first time. Everything will work itself out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Wondering what you are afraid of exactly? Your age at pregnancy (I was 39 when I delivered my son--and it was uneventful, healthy and fabulous!), the possibility of a special needs child or your husband's reaction? Try to focus on WHAT it is that is causing the fear.
I had 3 miscarriages before my son and it is VERY scary to be pregnant after that, so I know that is a concern.
When I was 25, if anyone would have told me I would deliver my one and only child at the age of 39 it would have told them to put down the crack pipe! LOL
Fact is, things don't always happen in our own time and according to our own plan. They happen in His time and according to HIS plan. Trust in the fact that God is giving you exactly what you need when you need it. After all, if it was not the right thing, you wouldn't have conceived, right?
Enjoy this exciting phase of your life and enjoy your kids! Being a "mature" mom totally ROCKS! We have so much to give, so much to share and so much to teach our kids! God bless!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

My sister had twins at age 48 through IVF both healthy and normal 3 yr olds now. I fell pregnant unplanned at age 42 had my boy at 43. I too was very nervous at 1st, but embraced it as a gift from god and was meant to be! I too had infertility problems for 5 yrs and 3 miscarriages. My boy is nearly 3 and healthy. I now feel complete with my family.
Stop reading these stories it only upsets you. I know so many positive stories.
Keep believing that good things are mean't to happen!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Hi, L.:
You will do fine. We have all the new medical advances to
help you through it physically.
We do not have the emotional advances. People still have to grieve their
losses one step at a time. Sometimes there are replacement for things that we lose.

My mother lost a son before I was born. When I was born, I believe that she was disappointed that I was a girl and we never bonded.

Think about your feelings that are being transferred to your unborn baby.

Life is painful. We have so many losses. Look at being gifted with another chance to have a baby. You wanted anothe baby. You now have that opportuntiy. See how you can make the best of it.

You have alot of courage. You will be the best Mom ever. Be proud of yourself.

Good luck. D.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Okay, number one, STOP reading stories! There are just as many positive stories...actually WAY MORE positive stories out there than negative, scary ones.

Number two....if you can financially swing it, consider a midwife. You may not want to do a homebirth, but you can have concurrent care by a midwife and an ob/gyn and have a hospital birth or whatever you choose, but you will get unbelievable support from a midwife.

My midwife, and the others I worked with, provided me with AMAZING emotional support during my pregnancy. I had lots of concerns that I felt were addressed by my midwives in an educated and matter of fact way. They were there for me for my hour long prenatal visits, whereas my ob/gyn popped in and out and left me feeling kind of on my own.

I cannot imagine what you are going through, as I have never lost a child, but I really believe in you and your body and you can do this. Women are amazing and the body is amazing. I think you need to find someone to support you on this journey. Your husband may not be the one to do that. I can't tell you how much support I received from my midwives and how much knowledge and wisdom I gained from them.,

I am not one of those flighty. earth mama, let's sing and talk about fairies people either. I am a down to earth, matter of fact kind of mama, but I was so impressed by the women who cared for me and trusted them and learned to trust my body.

I wish you luck on your journey. Please stop reading horror stories. They will do you no good. Consider accupuncture or prenatal massage to help get you balanced and ready for your birth. Most importantly, find someone to be there for you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Congratulations! I understand the loss and the fear. I had 2 babies in my 40s and lost two babies in a row in between the two I had. That was a VERY difficult thing to go through! But I'm SO glad we did, because these two children we have are absolutely wonderful! We have some much older children, too, and then a long break before the last two. I LOVE being an older mom...finally feel like I have the maturity and experience to do it well...and am enjoying every minute!



1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

It's normal that you are having the negative opposite feelings-the same would be true if you couldn't get pregnant, you'd be upset about that. Your fears are amplified by your experiences and hormones.

This pregnancy is a fresh slate. I had two friends last year with healthy babies at 42 and 44. All three of my pregnancies at 35, 37 and 39, showed high risk blood work for down syndrome, but all are healthy. The nurse had me convinced for my second that the baby would have it, but the amnio was normal so I could put that consideration aside. You will feel fine after your amnio. Remember, truly, MOST LIKELY, the baby is absolutely fine. Look forward, not back.

When you find yourself fearing and dwelling on the negative, stop yourself, pray for strength or say positive mantras of thanks for the healthy children you have and move on. A thousand times a day if you have to. What's done is done. I foresee this baby being a great blessing to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My sil who is 48, has a 6 yo, she was 42, my niece is super healthy and cute!

I wish you all the best, I think worry is normal, you have been through a great deal - youre gonna be busy tho lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

First, I am sorry for your loss. I too had a miscarriage and no matter when it happens in the pregnancy, it is devastating.

I think it is important to find peace inside. This will lead to a healthier pregnancy. Share your concerns with your OBGYN. They can monitor you closely. Ask to be considered a high risk pregnancy. I always find that when I have closer monitoring, I am more relaxed with my pregnancies.

My very healthy, very strong willed 10 month old daughter is napping upstairs. I am 42 years old. Healthy babies do and can happen at this age. My own birth mother (I'm adopted) was 40 years old when she had me.

I know it will be tough (I have two other children too) but you need to find family or friends to babysit so you can rest and get mentally and physically prepared for the months ahead.

I wish you the very best.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I am the youngest of 7 kids. My mom had me when she was 41. I am fine. When I got pregnant for the first time I was 35. they did testing and he was fine too. There is a chance, but you cannot worry too much about it. Just make sure you do all your prenatal appointments and take your vitamins.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

My married youngest sis and spouse had their 1st baby toether last summer at 43 after about 5 yrs of marriage. THeir baby was born completely healthy and perfect in every way. It is a 2nd marriage for both; Sis she had serious fertility problems for 20 yrs so they feel very blessed that this pregnancy came without IVF or drugs. SHe did take extra precautions on having all of the special testing done in her pregnancy due to her age. I would do the same if I were facing a pregnancy in my 40s and it will relieve you of some of your worries. You can do this Mom. With prayers and blessings to you and your family.



answers from Philadelphia on

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!! How exciting for you and your family. You can do this!

Second of all, stay off the internet - and I mean that in the kindest way possible! You only find the horror stories and negative information on there. What you don't see or hear about are the 10 positive stories to one negative story (not a fact, just saying). You can do this!

Third of all, you also had your twins while in the "high risk" age, which starts at 34 I was told. You can do this!

Finally, take the time to bask and glow in your pregnancy one more time. What an amazing miracle you and your husband have been blessed with! Keep us posted on your progress. I'm sure a year from now you'll giggle a little when you look back and see how stressed you were, all while holding your precious little babe!



answers from Pittsburgh on

First of all, congratulations! I remember being very scared and depressed at the beginning of my pregnancy-- my dr. said it was probably the hormones. (As it turned out I had bad PPD after the baby came, so keep an eye out for that).

It is scary to get pregnant again after a loss. Try to remind yourself that most pregnancies-- even those in older women-- are normal. My grandmother was 44 when my mom came in 1942. It will be fine. If you are concerned about your relationship with your husband, I would suggest you guys seek counseling now so that things don't get out of hand. One or two sessions may save your marriage. But try to remember that many of the things you are feeling now may get better once you are through your first trimester and the hormones settle down a little.



answers from Reno on

Ok take a deep breath. My sis had several miscarriages and is now 28 weeks with a lovely baby girl and all is well.
I understand the shock of the unexpected. When my husband and I started trying I figured, as I am also an older mom, it'd take a while.. fast forward a week and BINGO. So I get the um wait what feelings. I know 5 different women your age who had very healthy pregnancies. Don't borrow trouble. I am sure things will be just fine for you



answers from Pittsburgh on

Don't focus on the negative thoughts and fears. It will only make you miserable and you can't change anything anyway. Just pray and thank God for this baby.



answers from Philadelphia on

First, so sorry for your loss. I can understand your fears. You just need to take this one day at a time and have faith that everything will turn out just the way it's supposed to. Hopefully with time, you will be able to celebrate your pregnancy!! It's so wonderful that you've conceived and are expecting!!!! I had an "unexpected" blessing and delivered a wonderful baby boy when I was 43. He was born seven years after my fourth child and i can say he is the joy of all of our lives!! I can't imagine our lives without him!!!! I will pray for you that you can accept and celebrate this pregnancy and all the joys and challenges it brings!!!!
Hang in there!!!



answers from Philadelphia on

It can be dangerous but it can also be safe and healthy. I just had a very healthy girl at 41 and before that had 2 miscarriages. Try to think positive and not let yourself get all stressed out. It is probably better to stop reading about all the dangers and just take care of yourself. Sometimes to much info isn't so good. :) Good luck!!!!



answers from Boise on

Take magnesium citrate or malate, 500-700 mg daily, and iodine. Iodine helps increase IQ. I take 'idoral', i find it online.

Magnesium deficiency contributes to miscarriage and pre eclampsia. And a host of possible illness, including lung issues, in children who had deficient mothers. So take your magnesium. Most multi vitamins are too low in it.

The Bible says do not worry. You need to trust that the creator knows what he is doing. Worry cannot add one more moment to your life, but it can take moments away. try to relax. Many women have had babies at your age.
Good luck!



answers from Boca Raton on

You are so, so blessed and I am incredibly envious.

Take it one day at a time - that's all you can do. It IS scary - but look at it this way: you have two other very young children so it won't be a huge change to your lifestyle.

As far as anything going "wrong" - you don't have any control over it so try to not worry about it. Just take your vitamins and work closely with your doctor.

Easier said than done, I know.

Good luck and God bless you all!


answers from Pittsburgh on

Congrats!!! And try to embrace everything about this pregnancy! I agree with the others to avoid the internet and do your best to remain positive. Each time you get scared, try to tell yourself: "I'm a good mama this is a blessing." (or something that will turn your thoughts around).

It took me 6 pregnancies to have my son and it was a terrifying pregnancy (told 4x we would lose him, lost his twin at 11-1/2wks, in the hospital 5 times, he had kidney failure in utero, in the hospital from 26wks-30wks at which time he might have been born with brain damage.) It was sooooo hard to be positive, but I just tried my best. And I watched a TON of America's Funniest Videos :))

Hugs and good luck!!!!



answers from Philadelphia on

It is in god's hands now. That is awesome that you conceived naturally. Just relax and enjoy the possibility of another life. You had the twins at close to 40 years old. You do have a chance that the baby could have a birth defect. It seems like you are pretty healthy if you conceived quickly and naturally at 42 years old. If you stress yourself out that is not good for you or the baby. Look at all of the actresses having babies at an advanced age and they are fine. Eat well,exercise and enjoy. This pregnancy happened for a reason.



answers from Phoenix on

Whatever is meant to be is meant to be. All you can do is eat right and stay healthy. Find an activity that takes your mind off of worrying, like a daily exercise routine to do with your twins, or a special game or puzzle (potty training will soon take up lots of your time..) If something is wrong your body will decide what to do about it. You only need to be yourself. The doctors nowadays make you go thru a shmorgasboard of tests anyway, so relax.



answers from Harrisburg on

If I were you (I'm 38 and we may try to conceive again in the next year or two so I've thought about this) I would get the best medical care. Usually at your age they send you to a high risk place (like maternal fetal medicine) so that they can assess and do all the appropriate testing. I would get all the tests done so that at least you know whether or not the baby is completely healthy. If something is wrong then you can prepare and if the baby is completely healthy you can stop worrying. Just try to relax right now and enjoy being pregnant, eat well and enjoy your time with your twins before there is another child in the mix.

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