Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I'm 42...and having a baby.

About 13 weeks ago we learned we were having another baby.
Our third, 
in almost as many years.

I'd wanted another child,
and my husband graciously agreed.
We decided, though, that if a baby wasn't conceived by the time I was 42,
we would be done and content with the two little ones we'd be given.
Don't ask me why 42. It was just when we decided to stop.

And here is the part of the story you may not care about,
and my husband won't want me to share...still, it means so much to me.

My birthday is in May,
and in the natural wave of cycles, 
the last time we'd be able to conceive before my 42nd birthday,
was in April.
In April, when my husband would be in Bolivia.
Which meant that when there wasn't a baby in March,
we were done.

Sometimes the natural ebb and flow of life catches us off guard.
It snows in June.
December is unseasonably warm.
A baby is conceived when you didn't think it possible.

And in the last hour, 
before the 'deadline,'
He who knew the impossible,
does the incredible.

And Sarah laughed.


At 18 weeks,
I had a sonogram.
We were excited because we knew we'd learn our baby's gender.
We also knew we'd hear whether the baby was developing the way it should.

Up until this point,
at every OB appointment I'd been to,
I'd been reminded of my age.
In Oregon, the paperwork said I was: elderly.
Both doctors I saw
and all the lab techs
asked me at that first appointment,
whether I'd be doing genetic testing.

No, we wouldn't be.

And again, it was reiterated, that I was advanced maternal age.

Now, I don't have anything against genetic testing. 
We did it with our second baby.
And with this child, with overwhelming certainty,
we decided against it.
After all, results of a test wouldn't change anything for us. 
We'd carry this baby to term and raise it. No matter what.

And at our second OB appointment, the doctor asked again...
said that it would give us peace of mind to do the testing.
I said: I have peace.

So, I signed a waiver stating that I didn't want any genetic testing.

At the next appointment,
my doctor asked for a sonogram
to check the baby's development.

Which brings me to yesterday.

Late afternoon,
sitting in a stuffy over stuffed waiting room...waiting.
After an hour of hearing other people's names being called,
 I needed to use the restroom
and told the lady at the counter.
She said: ok....and the genetic counselor is almost ready to call you.

I replied, with a quick blink of unbelieving eyes: ok.
I had no idea I'd be seeing a genetic counselor.
I'd refused genetic testing...why did I need a counselor?
I'd already been told by quite a few too many medical specialists, 
that I am old to be having a baby.

A young woman,
she was nice
and smiled a lot
when explaining what they'd be looking for in the sonogram.
She asked me to sign,
a waiver stating that I didn't want any genetic testing.
I asked if we'd learn the gender...
and then realized that she had made a mistake and I was further along than she'd thought...
and everything she'd just said was no longer valid.
Instead, they'd be measuring the baby's development,
and yes,
we'd learn the gender.

that nice smiling young lady,
pulled out a chart,
and with one finger
traced the numbers down the page,
landing at 42
and told me the chances of giving birth to a down syndrome baby,
and then the chances of giving birth to a baby with some other chromosomal abnormality.

Her head was bowed,
looking at this chart of numbers...
ages and percentages and statistics
that whittled the miracle of our baby 
of this conception
of life
down to a value that we did not hold.
And my eyes filled and my lip trembled.
And I swallowed hard against tears,
while the nice smiling young lady
finished her speech.

We left her office and I felt slammed against the wall,
my heart and hope and yes, peace, nailed there in the shape of a dream I'd dreamed all my life.


I know most people would not choose to have a baby at 42.
The risks are too high
of not having a perfectly healthy baby.
This is understandable.

And this is what I know is true.
Jesus reveals Himself  in the weak and vulnerable and small and needy.
I look at the children I have birthed and say: Christ, what do you have for me in their tiny lives?
We ask the same in anticipation of the birth of this child: How will You reveal Yourself to us in its tiny life?

We believe in an upside down Kingdom.
Here, it's not the rich or the beautiful or the strong or the smart or the perfect or the healthy that hold places of power.
Instead, they hold the same importance and influence as the forgotten, the poor, the downtrodden, the small, the sick, the desperate.

I also know that there was a time,
not very long ago,
when I was single and only dreamed of a family.
It is a thing of beauty what God has done.

Even at 42.
Even no matter what.

And so, like Sarah of old, I laugh.
With gratitude and joy and hope.
I erupt with gladness.
Because He has made me glad.

And, by the way,
We're having a boy.


  1. Thank you for sharing you heart like this! You are an inspiration to me and to many others. (I was just thinking of you this morning, before reading this).

  2. Thank you for sharing so beautifully! I find it so frustrating that the miracle of life is oft reduced to a pile of statistics. So grateful to know the Giver of Life and that He isn't constrained by those numbers! Praying a wonderful pregnancy, smooth delivery and precious little fella to add to your family!