Is Hope Ever a Negative?

I get a lot of email from readers of this blog, thanking me for the hope they’ve found in my story of getting pregnant naturally with my first child and giving birth to a healthy baby girl at 46. And I’m moved by and grateful for these messages.

But here’s a question that I can’t stop asking myself when I read messages like this: Is it possible that the hope my story provides could be a negative?

I remember hope feeling like a double-edged sword when I was trying, and failing, month after month to get pregnant. (Until, of course, I beat the odds and did.) I know getting pregnant naturally at 45 and giving birth to a healthy first child at 46 is not the norm, and sometimes I worry I’m giving people the false impression that it happens easily, or can happen for everyone.

In the end, I always come back to the thought that it’s important for people to be reminded that, although it’s relatively rare, it does sometimes happen, and with all the negatives out there that women in their 40s hear all the time, it’s important also to hear some positive stories, too, as long as they are honest.

So that’s I’m trying to do with the posts on this blog about my pregnancy.

Am I right? I go back and forth. Why is hope important to you? In what way is it helpful? Is it hurtful in any ways? I’d love to hear what you think.

And if you’ve decided that the mix of hope and infertility is no longer a positive one for you, here are some resources that might feel supportive, from the great organization Resolve.

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15 thoughts on “Is Hope Ever a Negative?

  1. I don’t believe it’s negative. I think women do need to know it’s possible to get pregnant and have healthy babies in their mid 40’s. There are so many opinions about women waitng and having babies in their 40’s, so I think you are inspiring hope…yoy are not suggesting anything negative, but simply giving hope to someone else who maybe trying to get pregnant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your input, Emily. It’s an interesting comparison you make. One difference, though, may be that deciding not to move forward for an oncology patient might have more risks than being willing to move forward. But for some women struggling with trying to have a baby at a later age, moving forward with more treatments or just more cycles of trying, year after year, can prolong pain and drain vital emotional (and frequently financial) resources.

      Such a hard issue!

      Anyway, thanks again for weighing in, and sending you all the best!

      Tracy

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a really tough question, as I tried to conceive my first child also over the age of 40. I held your story in my heart and mind for a long time, and still do. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with a child, which is truly heart and soul breaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle, I so appreciate and value this comment, and your generosity and honesty in posting it. It gets to the very heart of what I struggle with about hope and the quest to have a baby at a later age. Please know that I am also holding your story, and your heartbreak, in my heart and mind.

      With deep thanks,

      Tracy

      Like

  3. Thank you Tracy.
    Hope, (along with reading your book, and other similar stories) gave me a reason to get up in the morning, put one foot in front of the other, keep trying month after month, or just a night of sleep without crying. As the time passes, my hope for a child get quieter and quieter. My hope now is for peace. I do not think hope is negative, it just may change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle, I love the way you’ve worded this. And your reply is just so lovely. Thank you for your kind words about my book, too. You are a total sweetheart.

      With all my very best wishes, and in gratitude for your kindness,

      Tracy

      Like

  4. My story is similar to yours, in that I met my soulmate when I was 40 (he was only 31). I already had children from a previous marriage, and he did not. He talked about wanting a child of his own, even while we were still just friends, and when we started dating I began to research on the internet about my odds of having a child in my 40s. The research was very grim, to the point where we didn’t even use contraceptives because I assumed that ship had sailed. I loved him so much that I ended the relationship more than once so he could find a younger partner who could give him a child. We were never able to stay apart for long, and he accepted the fact that he would not become a father. And then after a few years, I was late, and the first pregnancy test was a strong positive! I carried our son Josh at the age of 43 with no complications and delivered a perfectly healthy baby. We were ecstatic, and so thankful. When Josh was 6 months old, I was late again, and sure enough – another strong positive! I delivered Benjamin at 45, a perfectly healthy 9lb+ baby, with no complications. Both babies were conceived naturally and “by accident” (meaning I wasn’t even timing sex to try and conceive).

    So here’s why I am “pro-hope” – I almost missed out on the incredible life I have now, by believing that I had no hope of conceiving a child based on my research. Hope often guides us into something wonderful. Lack of hope fueled my decision to end my relationship with my life partner, and almost cost me all the joy I have experienced in the past 5 years with him. Unfortunately, I know that not everyone will be happily holding a baby as part of their story, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try? I could have been much more optimistic and spared myself unnecessary worry and grief with a balance of positive information. Everyone’s story will be different. False hope isn’t helpful, but it isn’t false hope to get the message out that older women are having babies and starting families, when most of the information out there seems so hopeless.

    Thank you Tracy, I enjoy reading all of your blogs!

    Rachel

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel! I appreciate your thoughtful, kind, and generous response, and your willingness to share some of your story. And huge congratulations on your two little ones! All my best,

      Tracy

      Like

  5. Hi I’m 46 and trying for a baby with my wonderful partner, I do have three grown up children, my partner has one grown up child and we would so love a baby of our own. I had the marina coil removed in January this year and I haven’t had a period yet which I am worrying about as I keep thinking my body won’t get back to normal to be able to conceive, I have done pregnancy tests but all negative, my partner is brilliant as I know he would really love us to get pregnant but like he says if it happens it wonderful but if not then we shall just carry on on with the wonderful life we have. Reading your blogs really does give me hope that we can do this and get pregnant at the age of 46. Does my body need to have a period to be able to have a baby or can I get pregnant anyway after coil removal, hope this all makes sense and I’m not rambling, thanks so much
    Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lisa. Thanks for leaving your post and sharing some of your thoughts on this topic. Appreciate it! I don’t know the answer to your question about conception after getting the marina coil removed but before your period comes back, although I’m guessing your doctor will know. I also had a non-hormonal/copper IUD removed before I got pregnant, but that was almost a year before we even started trying and my period had come back by then, so I’m not sure if it’s relevant to your situation. In any case, please know that I’ll be keeping everything crossed for you and your sweetie.

      All my best wishes,

      Tracy

      Like

  6. When I was trying to get pregnant I scoured the internet for success stories like yours. I always found it gave me hope. We ended up conceiving through Ivf FINALLY when I was 45. I think it’s great that you bring a ray of hope to those looking. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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