-by Bia Plake-
It is a warm summer day in Brooklyn NY. I am at the park babysitting a little girl. A mom comes up to me and asks me the question that I always get when I was babysitting:” What is your daughter’s name?” One more time I smile and say: ” She is not my daughter. I’m just taking care of her.”
Then she asks me if I have kids. I tell her that I would love to, but I was already 36 years old and I thought it was already too late for me to have a baby. (I didn’t even have a boyfriend at the time.) She points at her 3 year old daughter and tells me she had her baby at age 45.
“WOW!” I say. “That is amazing!”
My eyes light up and I get very excited to hear her story. She wasn’t planning on having a baby but it was the best thing that ever happened to her.
I always knew that I wanted to have a baby. I wanted to care for and love a little one, be part of a life that would grow inside of me (or not, I could’ve adopted a child as well).
But the new found perspective that I could have my own my child really gave me HOPE. Some years later… I was turning 40, I meet Bill in LA (he is actually my brother’s best friend) and we started dating.
After two years of dating back and forth, we decided that I would move to LA, get married and go for a baby. Would I be able to get pregnant? I didn’t know, but I needed to give myself a fair chance.
While planning our wedding, we also started trying to conceive our baby.
I was on a mission… (imagine The Mission song playing now…lol).
First thing every morning I would pee in a little container to check if I was fertile.
But despite our best efforts I did not get pregnant.
Time seemed to go even faster. Six months went by and it was getting close to our wedding day.
About 2 weeks before the wedding I decided to stop trying, (I am sure Bill really appreciated that time off!)
The day before my wedding I got my period earlier than usual.
Darn it! I wanted so badly to carry my baby on the day of my wedding.
I thought to myself “I will make an appointment with my OBG and see how she could help me improve my chances of becoming pregnant”.
In the next month, my appointment with my doctor went something like this:
Me: – “Doctor, I have been trying for 6 months to get pregnant with no success”
Doc: – “When was your last period?”
Me:-” I know exactly because it was the day before my wedding, April 1st.” Then I added,” My period hasn’t been regular because of the wedding stress.” (BTW, I broke into a rash and got streptococcus 10 days before the wedding.)
Doc- “Let’s do a pregnancy test.”
Me- “Fine, but I don’t think I am pregnant.”
(The doctor comes back)
Doc- “I already fixed you. YOU ARE PREGNANT!.”
Me- “WHAT!!! Stop kidding with me, doctor! That is NOT funny!”
Doc- “I am not kidding, your test came out positive. Let’s do an ultrasound.”
Just like that, I saw a little sac inside of me and IT WAS MY BABY!!!
Here I am 42 years old with a baby growing inside of me. It took me a while to grasp the idea. As my belly grew, I would gradually experience the miracle of life.
A friend introduced me to Baby Center. It is a website that helps you track the progress of your baby in your belly and the health of the mother. All for free. It is Great!
I loved to think that she was the size of a cucumber or a papaya… They make those comparisons so that you can get an idea of the size of the baby.
They also track your baby’s milestones after she is born.
I was beside myself with happiness, but then came all the things that I had to go through.
First, my blood test read that I was positive for Rubella. Oh, NO! But apparently, after lots of tears wasted I was told that it is a good thing, that I wouldn’t catch the disease because I had the virus already.
Then was the amniocenteses. The test wasn’t so bad. The thought of having a needle stuck in my belly was dreadful. But believe me, it is NOT too bad. The doctor started talking to me and by the end, I didn’t even know that was already done.
Then came the genetic consultation. It was scary when they told me the chances of my baby having a problem.
But I’m a “the-cup-is-half-full” type person, so I always imagine the best outcome. At that point there was nothing that I could do about it, and worrying wouldn’t help at all.
Besides my age, to make matters worse, my husband Bill was already 54 years old, which added to the genetic risk factor.
Despite all the odds, I had a fantastic pregnancy and a super healthy baby. I have to say, that was the time that I felt the most beautiful in my whole life. I couldn’t stop staring at my belly in the mirror.
Julia was born 2 weeks before I turned 43. She was born at 7.11 pounds and 21 inches long. A healthy and strong baby. My best birthday present ever!
She is now a smart, pretty, compassionate 8 year-old.
The best thing that ever happened in my life. I can’t imagine not having her.
Believe in the power of your wishes and they can come true. It’s never too late to experience the profound joy of motherhood.