In May 2000, at the age of 36, I discovered I was pregnant. I wasn’t too sure how I felt about being pregnant at first but grew to love the idea within a week. I’d had an idea for a couple of days that I may have been pregnant, because I’d been a bit nauseated in the mornings and my breasts were ultra tender to the touch. I remember saying to my best friend that something didn’t feel right and that I was terrified of losing the baby. She asked me what I meant when I said something didn’t feel right, but I just couldn’t explain to her what I meant. I seemed to have quite a lot of morning sickness, which is unusual for me, and my stomach seemed to grow so huge so quickly. None of this seemed right to me, because I hadn’t experienced these symptoms in my earlier pregnancies.

I was 11 weeks pregnant when I started to bleed. I rang the hospital and was told to rest with my feet up because the bleeding usually stopped and because there was nothing that could be done anyway. The next day I was still bleeding, but it had gotten heavier, so I went to the hospital. They checked me out and said I should be fine, not to worry, go home and rest. The day after that I’d had enough and went to my local GP. He gave me a referral to see an OB/GYN, who in turn sent me for an ultrasound. That afternoon I was booked into the hospital for a D&C the next morning. I had no real idea what was going on, only that my baby didn’t have a heartbeat and that a bunch of “grape-like things” had been found. I was absolutely devastated. Funny how you don’t realize how much you want something until it’s taken away from you.

On the morning of July 19th, 2000, I had my d&c. I was told afterward that I had had a partial molar pregnancy and would be required to have blood tests weekly until my hcg levels had returned to “normal.” Luckily for me this happened within about 7 weeks. My doctor said I was free to try again anytime I wanted. I still had no real idea of what had happened to me so I turned to the Internet, where I found the information that my GP and OB/GYN wouldn’t, or maybe couldn’t, tell me. I decided to wait for the 12 months that American women are advised to wait before trying to conceive. I needed time to consider the risks of having a child at my age and wanted to make sure I was having another child for all the right reasons, not just because I wanted a replacement for the one I had lost.

In August 2001, at age 37, I discovered I was pregnant. I was cautiously optimistic and quietly ecstatic. I had ultrasounds and blood work done straight away and everything looked normal. I now (as of February 2002) have just under 8 weeks until I give birth. I had another ultrasound 2 weeks ago and everything still looks fine so (fingers crossed) all is well.

I have 4 other children, a daughter born in 1982 and 3 sons born in 1984, 1986, and 1988. The child born in 1988 was one of twins, but I miscarried one of the twins about 8 weeks into the pregnancy. In 1983 I had a child diagnosed with anencephaly, which is a condition in which the brain doesn’t form or grow properly. This was diagnosed through routine ultrasound at 16 weeks. I had to have the pregnancy terminated, but by the time everything had been arranged I was 20 weeks along and had to actually go through labor and give birth naturally. The child was a boy. In 1994 I miscarried at 9 weeks, but there was no apparent reason for the miscarriage.

I became pregnant again in late 2001 and was due in April 2002. At 37 weeks into the pregnancy I went to my OB/GYN for a check up. The baby had been head down for quite a while but was now laying transverse. At 38 weeks she was head down, at 39 weeks breech, at 40 weeks transverse, and at 41 weeks head down. We decided to induce while she was in the right position. On Thursday, April 25th, 2002, at 8am, I had my waters broken. Mild contractions followed immediately, but things didn’t start getting serious until about lunchtime. I hopped into the bath at 2pm and this eased the pressure of the contractions. My sister was beside me for the whole labor and she was great. At 5:15pm I told the midwife I wanted to push and asked if she wanted me to get out of the bath, but she told me I could stay where I was. At 5:55pm Arizona Faith made her way into the world. She was 7 lb, 5 oz and 20 inches long. She was born underwater, as the midwife said she was quite happy to do the delivery in the bath as long as I was comfortable with it.

When I had my mp I was devastated, as I’m sure all of you were. With all of the blood work and everything else that goes along with it, you begin to wonder if you’ll ever have a baby. I wrote this because I want you all to know that there is life after mp.