Old eggs & chromosomal abnormality

In 2012 I had an unexpected pregnancy … unexpected in the sense I had years and years and years of unexplained infertility.  Both my husband and I were delighted to discover that I was pregnant.  My pregnancy occurred at 43 and I was considered advanced maternal age (AMA).  If the pregnancy made it to term, I would have been 44 years at the birth.

I didn’t enter this pregnancy with blissful ignorance thinking everything would be all right.  I realized my age — being in my 40s and talked over what we would do if the prenatal diagnosis was poor.  My husband and I had had this talk well before we were married and were on the same page.

At 12 weeks the pregnancy was discovered positive for Trisomy 21 after a blood DNA test and a confirmatory CVS (chorionic villus sampling).  We elected to end this much wanted pregnancy in the first trimester just over 12 weeks. We were devastated because this was a much wanted pregnancy even though it was unplanned and completely unexpected.

I had a total of twenty-one weeks of a pain-free life — 12+ weeks for the pregnancy plus eight weeks after the termination for my period to return — free from the monthly dysmenorrhea pain.  It was the longest time I can remember being free of this pain … at least physically.  My emotions were consumed by grieving our loss.

I came to terms with many things since the time of our loss.  I now understand that even though a woman may be healthy physically, the eggs of a woman over 40 cannot compare biologically to a 20-year-old or even a woman in her early 30s.  My outside looked good, felt healthy but chromosomes of my residual egg reserve were damaged due to the natural process of aging.


More personal stories about TFMR (termination for medical reasons): 1 in 10 blog