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During my normal routine checks, the doctor gave me the most unexpected news about my health. I was pregnant! This cannot be I have taken a permanent measure about this; I am too old for this and completely unprepared. All this ran through my mind as the doctor explained more details which I really never got. The whole nine months flushed through my mind about all the up and downs that one has to go through before delivery. Somehow I found courage in myself in the fact that I had already done it once then it should not be very difficult. First I had to call my husband.

To tell the truth I would wish away the pregnancy but that is not an option anymore. It was very strange because when I missed my period I thought that it was one of many inconsistencies but this time I was wrong. I have to find a doctor who will walk with me all through the pregnancy. Immediately I called the pre- natal specialist once who helped me with my last pregnancy and booked for an appointment. She has been practising for a very long term and I believe she is the best choice for me.

First trimester

During the first appointment the doctor talked to me about my psychological state and how I felt about the pregnancy. Sincerely I had finally accepted my state and my wonderful husband assured me full support. With such situation unfolding my emotional and mind status was okay.

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The doctor performed several tests to confirm the pregnancy and after that she enquired about my last menstrual period. From the response a birth date was set but doctor assured more concrete date to be confirmed by use of the ultra sound. I was booked for an official first prenatal clinic in two weeks days. The date could not be pushed forward because of the doctor's tight schedule and I never preferred being allocated another doctor. At this point the pregnancy was still at its lowest development but as time progressed I started getting nauseated, morning sickness also caught up with me. I also realised that my nipples and breasts were becoming tender progressively.

First prenatal clinic, it was comforting that my husband accompanied me to the clinic. The doctor asked me to fill a medical history form and that of my immediate family. My husband also had to provide details about the same for himself and his family. The doctor was interested to find out whether I had a cat. She explained that cat's faeces contain toxoplasmosis and this is very harmful to the unborn. Luckily I never favoured cats very much.

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A dozen tests were also performed like the pelvic test, Pap smear to check for abnormal cells. There was also a test on sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and gonorrhoea which are easily transmitted to the baby. From the blood the doctors tested for hepatitis, rubella, anaemia, blood group, syphilis, toxoplasmosis and the HIV status. From the urine sample I provided urinary tract infections, proteins and blood sugar were tested, the doctor also advised that they will require urine sample for every visit that I make.

There was a physical exam on my lungs, heart, breasts and the uterus to check if the growth responds to the rate of foetus development. The genetic test was also carried out using the ultra sound and special blood tests were performed to check thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell condition, Tay - Sachs disease and any form of genetic disorder that may be in the family line. Because of my age I received chorionic villus sampling (CVS) which is performed to women over the age of thirty five.

Other tests like multiple marker screening and amniocentesis were to be performed on later stages of the pregnancy. I also received counselling on several issues like the dietary composition, stop smoking and places where people smoke, checking may weight, contact with cat faeces, the type of exercises to do and how to handle symptoms that accompany pregnancy.

By this time I decided it was the right time to let my closest family members and friends know before they found out themselves. It was quite not easy especially with my age and the age difference from the other siblings. I also called my children and informed them of the news which they received better than I accepted and this became easier for me. I realised that when you are okay with what is happening in your life then it is more accepted by friends and family.It also came to my mind that I had to review my health insurance cover to accommodate my baby. This I would be necessary in case of any problems during the way.

Would my age be a factor to consider all the way through? Just like anybody else i visit internet to see blogs from women who were pregnant at my age. Most of what I read is not very encouraging but it is the reality. I lay my hopes that I am at the good side of the statistics from many still births, miscarriages, pre-mature births and even genetic abnormalities. Would the delivery go on safely or complications will occur? Can caesarean delivery be performed in time to save the day in case of complication? Will my age affect the healing of the scar? Consolations are well received from blogging with women who made it successfully and my gynaecologist who is now like a friend.

I am very concerned about my career direction and motherhood. I wonder if I can handle being a mother after a long time and at the same time keep my career at its current form. If I quit my job there will be financial weight on my husband to pay for all the expenses and college fees alone. This will be determined after I get the child and the prevailing situation will guide me on what steps to take. In case I quit my savings can be used for supplementing my needs until I can work again.

Second trimester

Week fourteen of my pregnancy there was tremendous reduction in morning sickness and nausea. The doctors says that the baby is developing well but not yet big enough to cause abdominal discomfort. Several things I have noted during this period are the enlargement of my breasts.

The size change can clearly be seen because I have small breasts. The doctor has explained to me that this is because of hormone progesterone and oestrogen which increase the size of milk producing glands. There is also deposition of fats and improvement in breast tenderness although the nipples remain tender. Doctor has instructed me to use a supportive bra.

There is increase in the size of my belly the foetus is doing fine registering an increase in weight in every month. I have also noted several colour changes on my skin. The nipples, the line that moves down from my novel to the groin, my face and the skin reacts very fast when exposed to sunlight. The doctor has explained these changes have been a result of increased blood circulation around the skin which is normal at this stage.

There are also a lot of stretch marks on the abdomen, thighs, buttocks and breasts. Most are itchy and use of moisturisers is quite effective in reducing the itch, the doctor advised that the marks are unavoidable but intensity is reduced over time. My gums have also registered several bleeds during brushing and from time I experience congestion in the nasal tract and even nosebleeds at time.

This, I have learnt, is due to increased flow of blood to the mucosal tissue especially on the membranes. Softer toothbrushes should be used to reduce bleeding when brushing. There have also been incidents of dizziness especially when I lie or sit for long time then try to get up. This is because the pregnancy hormones lead to dilation of blood vessels reducing the blood pressure.

In case of such incident I lie down or sit for a while to restore or raise the blood pressure, to reduce these cases I take a lot of fluids and take my time when getting up. There are low levels of white vaginal discharge; this is meant to kill any yeast or bacteria potential to causing vaginal tract infections. The doctor advised in case the fluid colour changes, becomes smelly, too much or an itchiness occurs I should consult her; this may be sign of infection.

I have not had any bladder or kidney complications. This may arise from the fact that the hormones affect the rate of blood flow and secondly the uterus is growing creating obstruction from the normal flow of blood which causes the problem. I have also had very common times when I have had to breathe very fast; this has been explained to be the result of high demand of oxygen for the baby in the womb and myself.

Doctor appointments have been going on well, at this stage of my pregnancy I am expected to visit the clinic once a month. Several checks are to be performed within the twelve weeks. Screening for any birth defects was done. This was the most tense moment in the last months of this pregnancy, I was thinking what would happen if there were any cases.

Would they operate my baby before it's born or would they say it cannot be rectified? The doctor however had far much better news, she confirmed that everything was well. We also decided with my husband to know the sex before it is born to enable us prepare. He joked that we were too old for surprises. The doctor finally told us we were going to have a girl. We already got in the name such to fit this little angel and we settled for Monica.

The doctor performed other simple tests like listening to baby's heart beat, checking the size of the foetus. The doctor also measured my sugar levels and the weight, the check on the pelvic are not very important at this stage unless something happens that require it to be examined.

Third trimester

The baby has fully developed and almost cannot see my feet and I am looking forward to delivery. The symptoms I experienced in the second trimester have progressed in to the third one like vaginal discharge, breath shortness, increase in weight and the size of the breasts. I am also experiencing a lot of back pain because the enormous weight of the pregnancy, I have to sit on chairs with back support and avoid standing for long periods. The hurt burn have reduced since the doctor advised me to eat small portions but frequently and avoid carbonated drinks, spices, fried meals and citrus drinks. Sometimes it is very bad and then I consume antacids.

I also have to visit the toilet so many times to pee and I have to be very careful when I laugh because it cause urine leak. The Braxton Hicks contractions are now more common and swelling of the limbs and face this can also create a feeling of numbness. I am real hoping my delivery date is very well prepared for and I am hoping to have a vaginal delivery. I am really hoping after the nine months of I will not have any problem having the baby I have taken care of. I cannot wait to hold my little girl in my arms. The doctors are also very optimistic that it is going to a very successful delivery.

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