Some of you have guessed it. Others have wondered. And still others thought maybe I was enjoying my job as a food editor too much.
But the truth is…
I’m (finally) pregnant!
It’s been a long time coming — and honestly, I couldn’t hide it anymore, figuratively or literally. I officially can’t fit my jeans and the only thing I want for dinner is a Slurpee.
We haven’t shared the news with many people, mostly because we’ve had at least two miscarriages last year and we felt like everyone who was so excited for us suffered the loss, too.
I’m into my fifth month, with a delivery date sometime around the holidays. I know at 41 and having miscarried in the past, I’m not out of the woods yet. And, as we’ve heard from many couples, you can lose your baby at any stage of pregnancy. So we’re cautiously optimistic — but more optimistic every day.
Let me tell you, getting pregnant was NOT easy.
It involved way more than just a bottle of wine and a back rub.
We had tried for a couple of years, first on our own and then with the help of over-the-counter ovulation kits, online message boards, ovulation tracking apps on my iPhone and fertility specialists. I’ve had long conversations with other women — you’d be surprised how many! — who have struggled with infertility. Some never got pregnant, even with costly IVF (in vitro fertilization). Some are young, not even 30, and having trouble getting pregnant naturally. Some have had too many miscarriages to want to try again.
And then there were the ones who got pregnant after years of trying, the ones who kept with IVF and got pregnant, the ones who saw this as an opportunity to change their diet and lifestyle, the ones who decided to adopt, even the ones who never got pregnant but accepted it and have fulfilling lives without children.
All this gave me hope, that even if my husband and I never got pregnant, it would be OK. We have each other, three dogs, a great family and circle of friends, our health and the ability to live in a place where we can surf before work and hike whenever we want. It’s not a bad life, really.
To be honest, though, I knew getting pregnant in my late 30s would be challenging. But I didn’t know just how challenging.
You spend most your young adult life trying not to get pregnant, thinking it’s so easy. The reality is human reproduction isn’t that efficient, even when you’re young. There’s only one week in your cycle during which your odds are favorable — and who’s tracking that at 25?
Enter the 40s and your chances of getting pregnant — with or without help — are greatly diminished.
And that’s the truth. Even though people would say to me, with all the right intentions, “Oh, you’re still young, you still look good,” I’m reproductively old. I have fewer eggs and the quality of those eggs aren’t getting any better.
I knew all this — and yet, despite everything I had read and heard, I thought getting pregnant wouldn’t take two years, dozens of blood tests and urine samples, and multiple visits to the hospital.
We tried everything.
I downloaded two ovulation trackers on my iPhone — Period Tracker Lite and Glow (both free) — and carefully tracked every indicator of ovulation, from the length of my period to the stickiness of my cervical mucus. (Yes, I did that, too.)
I saw fertility specialists. I attended an IVF seminar. I read books and articles online. I took Clomid to stimulate my ovaries for a few menstrual cycles. I took prenatal vitamins and baby aspirin. We tried a couple of rounds of IUI (intrauterine insemination) that’s colloquially called the “turkey baster method.” I even spent $300 to see a qi gong master who unlocked the negative energy that was hindering me from carrying a baby.
And still, nothing.
We got pregnant, but I couldn’t maintain the pregnancy.
Still, I didn’t give up hope. Not yet.
At some point, I knew I would have to stop trying. The process of just trying to get pregnant can take over your life. If you’re not waiting for an LH surge indicating your ovulation, you’re waiting for a positive (or negative) pregnancy test. All this waiting — particularly for an impatient Aries like me — is sheer agony. I couldn’t do this for much longer.
Luckily for me, I have a very patient and understanding husband who kept me calm throughout the entire process. He knew I was trying, he knew this was difficult, he knew I was riding an emotional roller coaster and we couldn’t do this forever.
Then, in April, on our trip to New Zealand, we found out we were pregnant.
We were happy, of course, but like any couple who’s suffered miscarriages, we were very cautious about that enthusiasm. I’ve miscarried just three days after finding out I was pregnant. So anything could happen.
I was 41. That meant 90 percent of my eggs were chromosomally abnormal, the leading cause of miscarriages within the first trimester. My uterine lining was thinning and the blood supply to it decreasing — thanks to age — making it more difficult for any egg to implant. I had a 5 to 8 percent chance of getting pregnant and a 50 percent of losing the embryo. These were not good odds.
And yet, every week, I was still pregnant. That gave me hope.
Then, at Week 6, I got an ultrasound and saw the little blob on the screen. “You’re definitely pregnant,” the nurse told me, beaming. I was still skeptical.
But weeks went on, and soon we heard a heartbeat, I started throwing up constantly, I hated the smell of smoked meat and fried chicken, and we saw something on the ultrasound that looked more like a human baby than a squid.
And it began to really sink in: I’m pregnant. I’m actually, really pregnant.
For now. I’m forever the realist. But I’m enjoying every painful twinge, every visit to the bathroom, every Slurpee I can get my hands on.
Thanks for sharing this journey with me. Promise, you’ll hear more soon.
Thanks to everyone who wrote, posted and shared their experiences about miscarriage with me, both publicly on the blog or social media or privately through emails and texts. It’s been so touching and inspiring.
Congrats to you both! Keeping my fingers and toes crossed and sending positive vibes your way <3
Congratulations!! I was hopeful that this was the reason you’ve been feeling under the weather. So happy for you!
Wonderful news! Best wishes to you and your family.
Cat, when I saw you on Hanauma Ridge Trail a couple of weeks ago (your ratter pack wanted to jump my dog!), I instantly thought about your journey to get pregnant and hoped you were doing fine, so this is fabulous news! Take good care of yourself, be selfish with your time and energy, and thank you for sharing. I had a miscarriage in between having my 2 healthy girls and it was a tough experience, so I know a tiny bit about the disappointment and loss. So happy for you…take good care of yourself! Melinda
So very happy for you both!
HALLELUJAH!!! I’m soo happy for you Cat!!! You & Kai are gonna have a beeyoutiful baby!!!! CONGRATULATUONS!!????
CAT: Hopefully, you have cut back on hiking…based on your comments, I think more bed rest is warranted. I know of a couple of people who were in similar situations and finally resorted to bed rest to ensure safe delivery.
Cat, I am so happy for you and your husband. I know the anguish you have gone through and how each day, each hour and each second that little blob,(we called ours Enid) stays in there is another day of happiness. Congratulations!
Congratulations to you both!!! I too was hoping that you were expecting with certain small clues here and there. Take extra special care of yourself and enjoy this new adventure.
WOOO HOOO! So excited for you! 🙂
Congratulations! I kind of suspected but didn’t want to ask. Maybe it’s the mommy instinct. So happy for you and your husband!
so happy for you and your furrambly
Just wow….congratulations to you both, fantastic news xxxx
Yeah…you will be an awesome Mom…plenty rest..eat good…congratulations!
SO happy for you!
I can completely relate to your journey…
Waited to have kids until I was 35. Lost 2 early (pre 12 week) before finally getting pregnant with my first son… he was born with a condition that we never found out what it was… he passed away at 8 months old.
Got pregnant again 3 months after his passing and I am happy to say that my son is a happy and healthy teenager today at 13 years old.
Lost 1 more after that at 12 weeks then had one final experience where I was pregnant with a girl and at the 20 week checkup, there was no heartbeat. At that point it was decided that since the baby didn’t automatically abort, I had to give birth to it. I checked into the hospital and they spent a week trying to induce me so the baby would come out… she didn’t want to come out. That experience was the final traumatic experience that sent us to Japan to adopt out daughter 6 months after being discharged from the hospital.
So it is VERY true that child birth is NOT an easy thing (for everyone) and I will be thinking about you and sending positive thoughts your way everyday because I know how hard it is for you!
Please keep us posted on your progress!
Sending much love and aloha to you and your ohana!
Congratulations!! I’m so happy for you! You give me hope. I’m 40 and ttc for about a year now. I’ve had 3 miscarriages, 3 failed IUI’s and 1 round of IVF. My frozen embryo transfer is next Tuesday. Hoping and praying for my miracle baby. Thank you for sharing your journey. Take care.
Congrats. I remember Jason, my husband, sending me your blog about trying last year around the time I was really struggling with the reality that we weren’t one of the “lucky ones” who got pregnant right away. I’m so happy for you. I hope things continue to go smoothly for you. And I hope you remember that the bazillion opinions everyone has are theirs and not yours and that you find the peace you need to get through every nausea, emotional, tiring, amazing day. I’m coming up on 9 months pregnant and there’s not a day I don’t feel so incredibly lucky to have this little baby in my opu. Sending you peace and love.
Shut Up! I had noooo idea! I guess the nuns were right, you start holding hands, next thing you know you’re preggers! Congratulations.
Awwww….so happy for yo . I remain hopeful after my 5th miscarriage a few days before Mother’s Da . 5 miscarriages in the past 17 months. Enjoy!!
ʻē hoomaikai ana! ???????????????????????? loved this write! Thank you for sharing…. Remember, Sara was a 100 years old before she had Isaac 🙂
Congratulations! Hope everything goes smooth and easy for you two. Guess we may see a move towards healthy meals now? lol
Cat I’m so happy for you & Kai! Sending you good wishes for a happy & healthy little one ❤️
I finally got pregnant at 41 after my third miscarriage. I recommend sitting on a velvet cushion as much as possible until the big day. It is a relief to get past the first trimester. The added bonus of having daughters when I was 41 and 43? Just as they were getting their periods, I was losing mine. Win! Now that first kid is leaving for college in a month. TIME FLEW BY SO QUICKLY!
Congratulations!!!!!!! Happy, happy, happy for you and Kai!
Congratulations. Like Annodah Dave mentioned please be careful. My wife was pregnant with my son in her late 30s after a miscarriage. He was born with an enlarged heart but is strong as ever. Have faith
Keep praying and we will keep praying for you, Kai and your child.
I’m about to start my first IUI and nervous and scared and anxious all at the same time! Being 40 I know my chances have slimmed down and yes I always thought it was sooooooo easy to get pregnant…unless you’re pregnantly challenged! Thank you for your story, congrats and I am feeling cautiously hopeful that it can happen to me too! Best of luck to you and your baby!
Just a blog lurker here, but Congrats and prayers for a healthy baby.
Cat, I am truly so very happy for you and really appreciative that you are sharing your story with your internet family. I am sending happy and positive vibes to you and your family. 🙂
Cat, like you, I have a baby bump. Unlike you, I’ve had too many big breakfasts. And slurpees. My baby likes it in there and doesn’t want to be born. Sometimes I can hear the happy gurgling and cooing.
Cat, so happy for you and your husband. Take care and spend as much time together as possible. I have three children and wish I spent more alone time with each other.
Congratulations, children are truly a blessing and you will not remember what your life was like before kids.
I am so happy for you ! I had my third son at 41 and it was a great pregnancy and birth. Congratulations xxx
I came across your blog on Instagram and just wanted to say congratulations! I have a friend who was told she and her husband couldn’t have kids and now they have three. My wife and I are one and done due to medical reasons. So we feel very blessed.
I hope you have a great pregnancy. ????