Keeping Positive While Pregnant Over 35 or 40

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I asked my friend Cynthia Wilson James to write a lovely piece on staying positive while pregnant over 35 or 40. Take Cynthia’s words of wisdom for a spin, there’s much value in her words having already walked those miles. 

There is not an expectant mother alive who hasn’t had some anxiety about her baby’s health. Movies, books, television, the nosy woman in the hair salon tell birth horror stories that increase a pregnant woman’s anxiety.

An expectant mom over 35 is hit with a double dose of anxiety.  She worries about her baby’s health and worries about the role her age will play in her baby’s health.

Here are three guidelines to help you remain positive during your over 35+ pregnancy:

1.  Realize “their” medical history is not “your” medical history.
The first words out of your doctor’s mouth may not be congratulations but may be a list of statistics citing an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, cesarean birth and chromosomal defects for older moms.

The findings in these studies are based on pregnant women over 35 as a group. Unless you were a part of one of these studies, the results do not reflect your individual history.

It’s important for an expectant mom over 35 and 40 to select an obstetrician or midwife

Cynthia Wilson James InSeason Mom

Cynthia Wilson James
InSeason Mom

who respects her right to have her pregnancy viewed individually.

2.  Limit your contact with negative influences.
One thing I love about babies and toddlers is that when they see or hear something they don’t like, they cover their ears or turn their heads away from the thing.  Expectant moms over 35 and 40 must learn to apply this concept, of course, not necessarily the actions. Continue reading

Honoring National Infertility Awareness Week

Here we are in the middle of National Infertility Awareness Week 2012. I’d like to share a funny and inspiring infertility story. For those that belong to the exclusive infertility club, where no one wants membership, our story is no different than any other couple.

Trying Once Again
It’s February 2008. We were trying for our second child and growing weary dealing with male and female factor infertility this time around. We did our best to make one another laugh at the ridiculous and always embarrassing side of being barren.

It was the morning of our Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Bright and early, my husband was at the andrology lab, providing his deposit, where he started to feel like Norm from Cheers.

The Guy’s Etiquette Guide to the Andrology Lab

  1. Do not make eye contact in the reception area.
  2. Speak barely above a grunt to check-in at the front desk.
  3. Refrain from singing or humming the song, “Hav’in My Baby.”
  4. Last, but certainly not least Never, NEVER, N-E-V-E-R open a closed door. Can you believe the rooms did not have locks?

I went in two hours later spinning the nurse practitioner (NP) wheel wondering who would grace me with her presence, ask me to disrobe from the waist down, give me a paper sheet the size of a oversized napkin to “cover” myself and then make me wait in that cold, cold room. A NP enters rattling off my husband’s sperm stats like the box score from a baseball game: count, motility and morphology. She completes the insemination, sets an egg timer, how ironic, for 20 minutes and leaves me with my thoughts. Continue reading

Surviving Infertility: The Dark, the Humorous, the Supportive

Being diagnosed with infertility, whether male or female factor, is a devastating diagnosis. I heard those words not once but twice, 2004 with my husband’s male factor and once again with my diagnosis in 2007.

I knew more than I wanted to know about my husband’s sperm: count, motility and morphology…we commonly referred to it as the wicked trifecta. Certainly takes the romance out of conceiving a baby. Then in 2007, I was diagnosed with Elevated Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). In normal “Joe Bag of Doughnuts Speak,” my diagnosis meant that I was running out of eggs and my egg quality was diminished due to my advanced age of 38. As a result of my old and decrepit eggs walking around with canes, my possibility of miscarriage skyrocketed.

Sitting in my reproductive endocrinologist’s (RE) office and hearing his words made my head spin. In my younger years, I could have majored in passing out and I also came from a long lineage of passer outers. Between my sister and I bets were placed at the beginning of every Mass. Continue reading

Kristin Beltaos on WCCO-TV Comments on

Smartphone App Touts It Can Calculate Women’s Fertility

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — These days, it seems there’s an app for everything, and there is a recent technology that is aimed at couples struggling with infertility.

On the website, British researchers devised an online calculator that detects your odds of conceiving a baby through in-vitro fertilization, or IVF.

Scientists from the Universities of Glasgow and Bristol analyzed more than 144,000 IVF cycles and came up with nine questions for couples, including a woman’s age, IVF history, pregnancy history and years trying to get pregnant. The researchers say your answers predict your IVF success rate, a percentage that can soon be downloaded to your smart phone.

“I have a 14.4 percent chance of conceiving using IVF at the age of 41,” said Kristin Beltaos, a Maple Grove mother of two, who took the online test.

View the full article and the video clip