I Got Pregnant At 41 Years Old Despite My IUD

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“I suffered 4 miscarriages. 5 babies, one pregnancy was twins. I was married and living in Manhattan with my husband at the time. I remember getting pregnant and thinking it meant I would have a baby. I got a call when I was at work during my first pregnancy that my HCG level was low and I would miscarry. The nurse said it so nonchalantly, like it was no big deal. But I sat in my cubicle trying to wrap my head around it – I wouldn’t be having this baby. I was in shock. I called my husband and explained what the nurse had told me. I was so sad. I took the subway home that day broken-hearted.

Woman poses with her then-husband at a baseball game in matching Boston Red Sox hats
Courtesy of Robin D.

After my miscarriage, I went to my OBGYN for a checkup and she acted like it was no big deal. She told me how it happens to almost everyone and not to worry, basically. I remember she was in and out of the room, more concerned what she would order for lunch because she just had her teeth professionally whitened. White bread and Sprite is what I remember from that day. Those wouldn’t stain her teeth. Meanwhile, I had lost my baby and was broken.

I had another miscarriage after that. Things had looked okay. My HCG was low, but the pregnancy was progressing normally. I went in for a routine ultrasound and I remember the sonographer telling me she was going to get the doctor. My doctor (Doctor White Bread and Sprite) came in. She told me there was no heartbeat. I remember screaming. It was awful. Thank goodness for my husband who was there for me. We had to go to the hospital for tests because I needed a D&C the next day to remove the child that had passed inside of me. He called my family and close friends to tell them what happened. He held my hand and was there for me. I couldn’t believe it was happening again.

Woman smiles with her husband while they're dressed up for a formal event
Courtesy of Robin D.

The next pregnancy – same thing in terms of HCG levels. Once again, the pregnancy looked as if it was progressing well. I had a test called a CVS, like an early amnio. I watched a needle enter my stomach and go right near the baby. About a week later, I was told everything looked great on the CVS. No genetic abnormalities were detected and I was having a boy. I knew this way earlier than I normally would at that time in a pregnancy. We started telling people. We started thinking of names. A little over a week later, I was at my doctor’s office once again not thinking anything could go wrong. I mean the CVS said all was okay! My ultrasound experience pretty much mirrored the time before. No heartbeat, cue screaming. Probably louder this time. Dr. Tooth Whitening actually felt badly this time. You could see it. I think she even got a little emotional. Hospital for more tests, more rounds of phone calls, disbelief, D&C the next day.

Throughout all of this, I was angry. I felt like everyone in my life was insensitive except maybe 3 people. People didn’t know what to say, I am able to realize now. But then I was just angry. A girl at work told me she fell down the stairs while pregnant and her baby was fine. She told me mine was just not meant to be. People asked me if I wasn’t ready yet to be a mother (they didn’t know about my miscarriages). All of my friends were having babies. No problems. My marriage started to have issues. My husband was supportive, but it was stressful. We did rounds of hormones and shots to strengthen pregnancies. We didn’t have any spontaneous sex because we didn’t want to get pregnant at the ‘wrong time.’ People continued to have babies. I did not. I started doing things out of character for me. Hanging out until 3 a.m. in the Village. I got 4 tattoos within a month’s period. I was jealous of my friends with babies who made pregnancy look so easy.

The next time I got pregnant, I was living in Brooklyn and I went to specialists who came highly recommended from everyone at work. ‘If anyone can make sure you have a baby, it’s them,’ everyone said. I’d go early before work for tests and procedures. I got pregnant. With twins. One twin was considerably smaller than the other and ‘dissolved.’ But there was one baby left. I miscarried that baby, too. I had another D&C; this baby had some genetic issue, which caused the miscarriage. It happens, I was told. We saw genetic counselors. I went to therapy. One therapist told me my issue was I hated my babies for the losses. When I told my husband about this, he called the therapist and told him how awful that was to say to me. I didn’t hate my babies at all. I wanted them more than anything.

My supervisors at work were not supportive. After the first miscarriage, my supervisor was fine. After my second one, a different supervisor who happened to be a social worker told me I should be at work, as I wasn’t in the hospital. I was in disbelief. Another supervisor didn’t believe I was going to appointments and was pretty insensitive. Oh – and I worked in healthcare. With women. Who had children! My marriage continued to suffer. My husband and I weren’t intimate. Ever. I continued to go out a lot, which was completely out of character for me. My anxiety was off the charts. My husband and I drifted apart and eventually separated. He wanted to get back together. I wanted to hang out with a guy I met and do new and exciting things. I still talked to my husband a lot. He told me to basically do my thing and he would be there, so I did.

Then one day I realized I missed him. But he told me he started seeing someone a couple days earlier and he really liked her and wanted to see how things would go with her. I was crushed. Eventually, I moved to Florida with the guy I was seeing. Why not? I assumed I’d return to NY at some point. I didn’t. I wanted my husband back. He wanted to be with someone else. Eventually we divorced. In Florida, things didn’t work out with the guy from NY and I met a new person, someone at work. We started dating, and within a few months I got pregnant. I went to a new doctor right away. I was scared I’d lose the baby.

Woman pregnant with her first daughter holds her belly and smiles outside of the hospital
Courtesy of Robin D.

I was basically waiting to miscarry. He sent me to specialists. I was put on blood thinners and gave myself shots in the stomach daily. I still thought I would miscarry. But the pregnancy kept going and eventually I had a baby girl! I wasn’t married to her father and there was a lot of stress in the relationship. He was overly jealous and when he drank, he threatened to kill himself and acted emotionally abusive. The pregnancy was stressful. I didn’t want to have a baby alone. So, I stayed.

Woman holds her newborn baby while she naps in the hospital after birth
Courtesy of Robin D.

One day, when my daughter was about one, she was in her pack-n-play and he was yelling. I looked at my baby girl and realized I didn’t want her growing up thinking this was normal. We broke up. He didn’t pay child support. He didn’t help with the baby. She was almost 2 when I moved out. I needed to find a job. And daycare. I hardly had any money. It was because of help from grandmother and my cousin that I made it. My mom wouldn’t give me money because she was remodeling her kitchen.

Woman smiles for a photo with her cherished grandmother at a formal event
Courtesy of Robin D.

I met a new guy before my daughter turned 2. He seemed like a good guy. Divorced, 2 kids around my daughter’s age. Eventually, we moved in together. It wasn’t easy. We argued a lot. He had a bad gambling problem. I still wasn’t getting child support. I had planned to move out. But then one day I wasn’t feeling well. I felt pregnant. But how could I be? I had an IUD. But guess what? I was pregnant. I thought maybe it would work out with my boyfriend as I was pregnant. But it didn’t. He was gambling like crazy.

I thought about an abortion. But one day, I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw a post from a childhood neighbor. She had a friend who, with her wife, were looking to adopt. I kept thinking about her post. I emailed them one night and we talked about placing my baby for adoption with them. I got help from them and the adoption agency to move to my own place. They helped me with doctors’ bills and other bills so I could live and support me and my daughter. I decided placing the baby for adoption was what I wanted to do. I really liked this couple, as it seemed their thoughts for the baby really matched mine, and we knew someone wonderful in common.

People didn’t know how to respond to me talking about adoption. They judged me. Someone at work said even though I hated the father of the baby, I shouldn’t hate the baby. I didn’t hate the father. I didn’t hate my baby. I just couldn’t afford 2 babies, especially when I wasn’t with the father. Daycare was expensive. My daughter was only 3, and at the time her dad didn’t see her except for maybe an hour here or there at the mall every 6 months. I was making maybe $38,000 at the time and would have had to pay almost $500 a week for 2 kids in daycare. I also liked the idea of helping a couple who couldn’t have a baby. I knew exactly what it felt like to want a baby more than anything and not be able to have one.

I had a normal pregnancy with this baby, too. At 41! After removal of the IUD and risk of miscarriage, there were no issues. The 2 mothers were at the hospital when he was born. They kept the baby with them because I didn’t want to bond with him too much. My son lives in Chicago. He will be 7 in November. I was seeing him twice a year until Covid hit. I’ll hopefully see him again this summer. We FaceTime and he is an amazing little boy being raised by two great women.

Woman bottle feeds her newborn son before placing him for adoption
Courtesy of Robin D.
Woman holds her napping son all swaddled up in a blanket
Courtesy of Robin D.

His parents told me I would be like family when we were discussing the adoption. They are lovely people and always nice to me. But it’s not like I’m family. They adore him though and are amazing to him. He is funny and smart and so happy. My daughter is 10 and amazing. She is so smart and full of personality. I can’t say enough about how wonderful she is.

Little girl sassily poses for a photo in all pink floral outfit
Courtesy of Robin D.

I’ve now been living with a man for almost a year now. We dated for a year before we moved in together. We will get engaged soon. He is amazing. He is calm and smart and funny. We grew up in the same town, and I actually knew him growing up. Our mothers were friends. He is a few years older but I knew his sister, who is my age, from camp. He reached out to me on Facebook 2 years ago and I’m so glad he did. I told him about my past relationships and about the adoption soon after we started dating. He didn’t judge me. He was and still is supportive. My tubes are tied and I won’t be having any more children. I feel sad at times that my current boyfriend and I won’t have children together. He has a 12-year-old daughter and is an amazing father. He is also an amazing role model and father figure to my daughter.

Couple take selfie while snuggling up at home on the couch
Courtesy of Robin D.

Not many people know about the adoption. My family does, but they don’t always acknowledge it or understand. Some people judge. But I can’t make everyone happy. I’ve learned that through the years. My goal is to be happy and to have a happy life with my soon-to-be fiancé and my daughter and his daughter. I wish I met him earlier. But we wouldn’t be who we are today if I did. My life is calm now. I’m way more calm. I still get anxious, but not anything like I used to be. I have a good life. It’s not perfect, but it’s good.”

Woman wearing bright red lipstick takes a selfie of her and her 10-year-old daughter
Courtesy of Robin D.

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Robin D. Submit your own story here.

Read more stories like this here:

‘My boyfriend went into a depression over his ex’s miscarriage. Then, our pregnancy test came back positive. We were terrified.’: Couple in tears after ‘guardian angel’ emerges on rainbow baby ultrasound

‘My friends joked, ‘What if you’re actually pregnant?’ We laughed. At 19, my body was creating a life without my knowledge.’: Young woman details unexpected pregnancy, loss

‘You need to place our child for adoption.’ How could he ask me to do that? I was totally alone.’: Birth mom becomes part of son’s adoptive family, ‘The moments we share are priceless’

‘Why do they love her when I’m here?’ For 6 years, I wanted to hate her. But I loved them.’: Adoptive mom shares relationship with kids’ birth mom, ‘Love can accomplish great things’

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