Surprise Pregnancy at 44!!!! - Phoenixville,PA

Updated on December 16, 2011
L.K. asks from Phoenixville, PA
23 answers

Boy do I need some advice, reassurance, thoughts, etc.

I just found out earlier this week I'm pregnant with #3. My daughter is 20 and in college! My son is 4.5 and is Autistic! Obviously I'm freaking out with emotion and worry.

Have any of you had the CVS genetic testing? I'm seriously considering that this time around since it is more definitive than the amnio.

Thanks Ladies!

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So What Happened?

The baby did not make it. I had a D&E today. Thank you all for your advice.

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answers from Atlanta on

I had an amnio, but my sisters in law had the CVS. The one thing I was pissed at my doctors about was that they were more into amnio than CVS, and I would have liked to have results much sooner -which CVS will give you. CVS has become more and more common, but it's still a really good idea to see a specialist who does them all the time. I know several others who have had CVS, and there have been no problems, and everyone I know who has done it saw a specialist.Most practices either have an in-house doctor who does most of their amnios and CVS or they will refer you.

There are some GREAT reasons to have at least one of them done regardless of if you would terminate or not! There are several abnormalities -including spina bifida -that can be greatly helped or completely repaired IN UTERO if they catch them from a CVS or amnio. No, they can't do anything if there's a genetic issue, but saying not to test if you wouldn't terminate is no longer good practice.

I was 36 and 38 with my pregnancies and the testing brought a fabulous sense of relief! My sisters in law and several friends have all had perfectly healthy babies at 42,43 and 44. My own grandmother had my mother at age 43! So, everything is probably just fine -but if it worries you, have the test and have a CVS so you can know sooner than later.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

So sorry and sending you a hug, dear.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

I'm not sure whether to offer congrats or condolences LOL I'm 44 (almost 45) and if I found out I was pregnant again ... I'd seriously consider shooting myself (and suing the doctor who did my tubal ligation) LOL

Sit down with hubby in a week or so when the shock has worn off a little and look at all your options. When you both come to a decision then go with it and enjoy whatever comes from that decision :)

For me I'd be at the doctors office the next day and that would be the end of that. I also have a child on the spectrum and I had him at 31, I don't think I could (or would) risk another special needs child (and the risk of it being worse than what I deal with already) .... thanks but no.

Good luck with everything and pick which one applies best :) (congrats or condolences LOL)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Congrats! I was unable to conceive baby number three so we finally adopted. My older kids were 14 and 17. I just want to say I LOVE being an older, more experienced Mom this time around. I'm enjoying and treasuring every moment!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

My best friend (43 1/2) just delivered (as in, this past Thursday) a perfect beautiful baby girl. Her first baby, and also a surprise. Mom and baby are doing fantastic!


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

The CVS is not more definitive than the amniocentesis. The CVS can be done earlier in pregnancy but amnio is still the gold standard for screening. I was 39 when I got pregnant. I just went with the amnio since I wanted the additional certainty as I would not have continued the pregnancy if there were any anomalies detected. My hospital had a team of genetic counselors who were able to provide all the info (specificity, sensitivity, predictive value) for all the available tests.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on


I know quite a few women who had "surprise" babies later in life. It did come as quite a shock. They thought the missed periods were a symptom of menopause.
They went on to have very healthy children and say they wouldn't change a thing.

That said, talk things over with your OB/GYN.
And remember, that worrying isn't good for your baby. It's natural and normal to be worried, but excessive worry doesn't help anything.

I'm sending happy and healthy thoughts your way!
Best wishes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Yes I had the CVS done at 12 weeks with baby #2 and it was a great decision for me. I tested (blood test results) with a high probability of my baby having Down Syndrome. Personally I wanted to know if the baby had Down or any other chromosomal abnormalities so I could start preparing for life with a special needs child. 3 days after my CVS test (paying for FISH results will bring your results quickly - my insurance covered the cost of FISH), I found out that my baby had the normal amount of chromosomes and that I was having a girl. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

First of all, Congratulations!!
I had my fifth baby, a son, at 43. I was not planning to have any more children and my husband and I were really freaked out too when we first found out. i have to say that eight years later........he's the best thing that has happened to us all!! I have a 21 year old son who absolutely adores his little brother.oh and 18 and 16 year old sisters and 14 year old brother.......and the feelings are mutual. Life throws a lot of challeges at us and I know you are up for it!!! I wish you all the best. (forgot to say, i did not have any testing)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Congratulations to you and your family!! From the sounds of the ages, this is going to be a wonderful addition to all!!

Just want to add that I was almost 42 with my last baby. I opted out of all the testing when I learned the risk of miscarriage from CVS or Amniocentesis is HIGHER than the chances of the baby having something wrong.

This is such a personal choice, and I hope you and husband choose what's best for you.

All the best!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am 40 and pregnant. They did not do an amnio. They can tell most things through ultra sound and blood. I am very high risk and go to the perinatologist every 3 weeks. Baby is growing normal and I had the best numbers on my genetic tests you can get.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on


I would speak with your doctor and possibly a genetic counselor. I don't believe there is any test more definitive than an amnio. The others are only available earlier in your pregnancy, they are not more accurate.

I would ask about the blood test that can now be done at 10 weeks to check for Downs and spina bifida. My stepdaughter (age 26) is planning to have that done as soon as she reaches 10 weeks. I had my daughter 9 years ago at age 41 and that test was not available. I only did one test, the amnio.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't have any advice, I just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Conrats. My best friend had her perfect daughter at 42, and my dad's mom was also 42. He's a genius who went through Harvard law school on full scholarship, had a long career as a lawyer and recently retired as the Director of International Law for the Pentagon. He still consults. So. Chances are, all is well. Oops babies for older moms have been happening through the centuries. One Aunt three generations ago in my family tree had a baby at 46 (three years after husband died :-0) If you NEED the testing to make a decision on keeping your baby or not, then by all means get it. Otherwise, if you're keeping your baby no matter what, just visualize a healthy pregnancy and let it be. I waived all those worrisome tests for my 3rd at 39 since the first two pregnancies (over 35) showed irregular results left and right and scared me to death with stress before having healthy babies. Amnio is the most conclusive. But since it's done later, it's a pain in the butt, and a risk for miscarriage. But still the most accurate. All the other tests are just there to scare you when they come out irregular, imo. My nurse had me totally CONVINCED my highly abnormal blood work showed my second pregnancy pretty much DEFINITELY had Down's Syndrome. The amnio showed otherwise after weeks of fretting.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on


Congrats! I know you are freaked out right now, but everything will be ok. I haven't done the testing. If you will terminate or if it gives you reassurance to have the testing, then I would do it. But if you won't terminate or do anything different about the pregnancy-- I wouldn't worry yourself for nothing. My experience with genetic testing wasn't positive and caused more anxiety and worry than to just trust that everything was as it should be and not to worry about anything like that. Take care and good luck with your decision.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Because this might be considered a "high risk" pregnancy, they might want to do a lot of ultrasounds. I would recommend doing some research on ultrasounds before agreeing to them. Many people believe that ultrasounds (and dopplers) can cause brain damage (because the sound waves can heat up the fetal tissue). Food for thought: The Amish don't do ultrasounds - and the Amish don't get autism. (Or so I've read anyway.)

Good luck with everything!!



answers from Philadelphia on

Dear L.,
Congratulations! I had an oops! baby at age 47, 6 years ago. We were in shock, I think I'm still a little in shock! If Zachary were any more normal, I certainly couldn't keep up! Life is what it is. I don't think anyone is entirely equipped for what it brings. Even though it is hard, I truly don't know what else I would rather be doing. When I think of couples with so many fertility problems, I feel very blessed. Good luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on


Your OB should refer you to a genetic counselor - ask for the referral if she doesn't bring it up.

In general, CVS and amnio are equally good at looking at the babies genetics to rule out genetic problems. The additional benefit of CVS is that it is done earlier in pregnancy, so that you have more time to think about any unexpected results (and you know you can relax a little sooner if everything is ok). The downside of CVS is that it's newer, and so it can be harder to find a really experienced doctor to do it (in Philly, it shouldn't be a problem, but you may not be able to go to the hospital closest to you).

When done by an experienced doctor, both CVS and amnio are very safe - but they are not 100% safe. Both carry a small risk of inducing a miscarriage - the risk is lower when the doctor has more experience, so please don't be shy about asking how many CVS or amnios (whichever you choose) the hospital, and the specific doctor that you will get has done. A genetic counselor will be able to tell you your risk of having a baby with a genetic problem versus the miscarriage risk of the procedure. And they will also help you interpret all the test you have, whether it's genetic testing (amnio or CVS), blood tests, or ultrasounds.

As you probably know, since autism isn't genetic, no prenatal test will be able to tell you if your next baby will have autism. But they can inform you about Down's syndrome and other chromosomal problems.

All that aside - try to be happy! The MOST likely outcome is that you are pregnant with a perfectly healthy baby!

Good luck to you!



answers from Allentown on

I never had it done, and now being over 40 I a still pretty sure I would not do it. I had my first child at 34 and my second at 37. My first was diagnosed with Autism and eventually Aspergers. I would still have another if I were to marry. And I would likely forgo any testing. The test will not tell anything about the chances of Autism, but it will tell you if there are other genetic abnormalities. Ask yourself if you need to know and if knowing will change anything and make your decision from there. No decision is wrong, only what is right for you and your family. Good luck!


answers from Albany on

Yay, congratulations, what wonderful news!

But why test for something yourself now? Something you have no control over anyway? You want MORE to worry about? You'll drive yourself crazy!

Your Doc/midwife will point you in the right direction. Have you called her yet?

Keep us posted, and know this, I for one, am SOOOO envious!




answers from San Francisco on

Assuming the baby's fine, congratulations!



answers from Des Moines on

Reminds me of my Mom's cousin-- she thought she was going through "the change of life"-- her life changed alright!

I was only 34 -- my doctor encouraged the genetic testing, but since I knew I could handle ANYTHING except losing another baby I passed on it....



answers from Honolulu on

With both my pregnancies, I had the Amnio.
It was fine.
I would do it again if I had to.
I had had it because I was past 35, with my pregnancies.
It is the most conclusive test.

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