Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm what?

Aah - I bet you thought...? You know? Well, I'm not.

However, in response to a post on British Mummy Bloggers, I'm telling the tale of when and why I decided to find out the sex of one of my kiddies. Given that my doctors had unscientifically "guessed" (wrongly) the sex of my older two, it could've been to avoid any of that again. My first had such a low heart beat during the mammoth delivery and subsequent c-section, (more typical of a male), that my obstetrician kept telling me it was a boy as she pried it from my wracked body. Not so. My second (a huge boy) was estimated at being "well under eight pounds" at birth and therefore probably a girl. Err, wrong about the sex and the weight.

No, - what prompted the decision to find out the sex of my third was something completely different. See, I sat on the fence for a long time about whether to have a third. We had had a little scare with number two, and the Ball & Chain in particular, didn't feel like tempting the gods again. When I got to about 37, I decided I was too old, (cue hysterical laughter) and besides, why would I want to be running around after a toddler in my 40's? (..and even more hysterical laughter.) In due course, we took certain medical steps to ensure no more off-spring.

Fast forward about 18 months and I was convinced I was dying. At that time, Sharon Osbourne had just been diagnosed with cancer, and when asked how she knew, she just said she felt generally unwell. My symptoms were a bit worrying - I looked terrible, felt terrible and suddenly had an immense loss of energy. Diving into my well-women medical books, I could have had any number of syndromes, or god forbid, soemthing worse. I decided that I should probably get some tests done and made an appointment with my GP.

"I might as well take a pregnancy test before I go in, and get that one off the table", I told the B&C.

Next thing I know I'm staring at the inevitable blue line in the window! The phrase "crumpled to the floor in a heap" comes to mind.

"This can't be happening! I'm too old (41)." Anyway, it was and apaprently I wasn't. Needless to say, it took me a while to get used to the idea. I had plans. I was almost finished writing my book; I had found a great agent; the sky was the limit. And the kids will know what we've been up to. I don't really remember much about the next few days except a panicked visit to my lady doctor for confirmation and sympathy.

Because of my advanced age (!) a lot of genetic testing was required, which meant that they could tell me the sex with 100% accuracy. I realised at some point I would have to face up to the fact that another baby was on the way, so decided to go for it in an attempt to make this baby real. It also helped the older two to get their heads around things. It was actually quite exciting trying to guess what he would look like - the missing link between his parents, or his two siblings, which he is. We discussed names - and rejected Stanley and Seamus with much huffing from the young boy. (Apologies to anyone who chose those names.)

By the time he arrived, he was already a big part of the family and we were breathless with anticipation. Unfortunately the parents had forgotten what it means to have a brand new member of the family thought the night, but that's another story.


  1. "we took certain medical steps to ensure no more off-spring"

    you've started me worrying now. My husband's had a vasectomy but has never been tested for whether the sperms are still able to get out.

    Still your story had a happy outcome!

  2. Well, they do tell you do go back for a reason! Ours was more a question of them losing the sample!

  3. Those *certain steps* are not infallible then!
    Even at thirty I have heard the word *geriatric pregnancy*!
    Bet you are pleased with your little one now! Well worth the inconvenience!

    This was a mighty interesting post.

  4. Good call on taking the pregnancy test. You'd have felt small if you'd gone to the doctor with your list of suspected illnesses, and been sent home with a thin blue line!

  5. I'm all for finding out - like you say, it makes it more real.

  6. Well, that's another contraceptive option biting the dust then...

  7. Well can I say having met #3, that it was a most fortuitous 'accident' and he's a charmer.

  8. A friend of mine just had a healthy baby boy. She is 45!!! Amazing.

  9. Wow 45! Gulp! And yes, Sarah - no regrets there.

  10. Hi -

    Really pleased to meet you, its been lovely reading around your posts - the one about your hubby contemplating early retirement had me in stitches!

    Love Lydia x


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