Pregnant at 41

Over two months ago I had missed my period for several days. Knowing how scheduled my monthly periods are, I wondered if I was pregnant. However, the odds seemed stacked against this possibility.

Since the first quarter of 2017, my endometriosis issues began to manifest severe symptoms. Initially, it was the excruciating pain, then eventually, after several ultra sounds, there was a cyst growing in my right ovary, blocking the Fallopian tube. There were also adhesions all over my uterus making my womb a rather hostile place for implantation of any fertilized egg that did escape from my left ovary.

In the past, it would take Edric and I one try almost every single time to conceive. Dealing with these fertilization and reproductive issues was very humbling for me. It allowed me to empathize with the many women who keep hoping to get pregnant but can’t. Although I never had to wait years and years to have a child, I got a glimpse of what the disappointment and sadness must be like whenever my period came.

Although Edric and I were still open to the possibility of having another baby, a year of unsuccessful attempts made me resign to my condition. I thought to find other ways to combat the endometriosis. I let go of the desire to get pregnant, embracing this season of my life as God’s will. After all, He had blessed Edric and I with five kids. Our quiver was full.

To deal with the endometriosis, I visited my OB-Gynecologist, Dr. Regine Capistrano, who recommended that I take medication. I asked her if I could explore other options, and since my condition wasn’t life threatening, she agreed.

So I scheduled an appointment with Life Science, a functional medicine clinic in Bonifacio Global City, and met with Dr. Rolando Aquino Balburias, or Dr. Oyie, as I came to know him. At the time, he was the Senior Medical Consultant at Life Science.

During that meeting, I realized that my problem was essentially hormonal in nature when it came to my reproductive issues. My goal was no longer to get pregnant but to heal my body through lifestyle changes that included diet, exercise, good sleep, and avoiding unnecessary stress.

Life Science performed a series of tests on me that uncovered the foods I was intolerant to, such as wheat, dairy, and eggs (among other things, but those were the most significant). I had to eliminate these, as well as sugar, as much as possible. It was a challenge but I tried my best because I wanted to do whatever it took to avoid the debilitating pain I endured every month.

As a result I dropped to a weight that was similar to what I was in high school! And then I lost even more weight after a weeklong fast. I went down to 112 pounds then stabilized at 115 pounds. For someone who is 5’6″ this was on the low side, but I felt healthy and well. Edric didn’t like how my face had slimmed down, and I nearly lost my curves, but he knew how much I wanted to get better. He hated seeing me in such awful pain every month, for a stretch of three to five days. I could hardly eat, and I stayed bed-ridden for the duration of the time just to sleep the discomfort away.

Besides being mindful about what I ate, based on a diet protocol prescribed for me, I also engaged in regular exercise for strengthening and building muscle, then alternated this with 5 km runs for my cardio.

At night, I was in bed by 10 PM, tracking my sleep with my FitBit to make sure I slept at least 7 hours. But I always aimed for 8. Good sleep was another essential aspect of getting healthy.

Several supplements were prescribed for me, however, my favorite one was Turmeric with pepperine, which helped to deal with inflammation.

In short, I was doing my part to “get better,” or even “get well,” if possible. Yes, I prayed and prayed for God to heal me but I also realized that I had to put in the effort to do what was in my control.

At this point, which would have been March of this year, getting pregnant was really out of my radar. Yes, Edric and I would jokingly say, “We have five kids…so far,” hinting that we were planning for more.” However, I thought it was an impossibility at this point.

Even so, I included getting pregnant as a prayer and fasting item, if that was God’s will. Truthfully, I am ashamed to say that I didn’t really believe it would happen. Last year, several friends of mine had foreseen my pregnancy, but I had laughed at the thought, dismissing their visions as mere dreams rather than prophetic.

Consequently, I gave up taking prenatal vitamins and planned my year with Edric as if there was never going to be any baby…ever. Edric and I booked several trips together and with the kids through the year. We made commitments and signed contracts for marketing deals that assumed the status quo.

When my sister, Carolyn, gave birth to her third daughter, I teared as I came to terms with the end of my child-bearing years. Holding her newborn in my arms felt like something so familiar but distant at the same time. But, I was okay. I had surrendered that to the Lord.

I was looking forward to another season of my life…no more diapers to change (or buy, goodness, those things can get expensive), no more baby things, sleepless nights, or even toddlers to discipline. All my kids were growing up and getting so much easier to parent. It was a nice place to be in.

And then…boom! I missed my period for three days in April. That was significant. Either something was getting worse inside me or I was pregnant. The restlessness was troubling. I just hated not knowing what was going on. So I asked Edric if he could pick up a pregnancy test kit on his way home on day 4 of my missed period. He went the extra mile and got two. A part of him was excited at the possibility. (He’s always wanted a lot of children.)

That evening, I nervously went through the motions of getting the test done. As I held the tester in my hand, I stared in disbelief as two lines appeared on it. Good grief! Was this for real?!

My hands started to shake, and I began to sob. I didn’t have the strength to slide open the door of our bathroom completely, so I stuck out part of my arm to show Edric, peering from behind to say, “I’m pregnant.” Then I broke down, and he came over to hold me, reassuring me that everything was going to be okay.

At first, I couldn’t accept that I was pregnant! I wasn’t prepared to be at all. I had moved on and made plans. The thought of caring for a baby in my forties, and homeschooling into my fifties was suddenly terrifying. How could I have gotten pregnant?! Why was this God’s timing?!

To complicate matters further, I had several friends who were desperately trying to conceive and their attempts were unsuccessful. How could I face them and tell them that I was pregnant with a sixth baby? It seemed unfair, I thought, to celebrate something I wasn’t even expecting or really trying for.

Since we had a Malaysian trip planned for the coming weekend, we decided to wait till afterwards to visit the doctor and get my ultrasound done. The ultrasound confirmed there was a sac and an embryo, and a flickering heart beat. By this stage, I was between eight to nine weeks.

Edric and I announced the news to family and a handful of people only. I wasn’t ready to tell the world, plus I felt like it was premature to be broadcasting the pregnancy. First, I hadn’t fully embraced the reality of it. Second, I was dealing with my fears. Would I miscarry? Would my child be normal and healthy since I was high risk for my age?

In contrast, Edric was ecstatic! We actually fought about whether to announce the pregnancy or not. He didn’t get my reasoning, and felt like I was being irrational. However, he tried to be understanding. “Okay, I will wait for you to be ready,” He reassuringly told me.

A few weeks later we had a trip scheduled to Russia and Central Europe with the kids so my attention was diverted to prepping for that, and taking care of our children during our time away. Since my pregnancy was still in its early stages, walking around felt easy. In fact I enjoyed the exercise.

From time to time I would think about my pregnancy and the next check-up, wondering if there would be a heartbeat to hear during the Doppler test.

It was a day short of 13 weeks when I visited my doctor following our family vacation. After two months of letting the pregnancy finally sink in, seeing my tummy bulge grow, and having meaningful prayer moments with the Lord to ally my fears and surrender the outcome of this pregnancy to him, I was ready for that doctor visit. Naturally, I was hoping to hear a healthy heartbeat, but if God had decided otherwise, I thought, Well, then, life will just proceed as I originally imagined it — homeschooling and raising five kids, serving the Lord alongside Edric, and enjoying time for other pursuits and interests.

When the Doppler picked up my baby’s heartbeat, that’s when I knew it was okay to be more open about my pregnancy. My doctor assured me that everything was fine so far. Since I was progressing beyond the first trimester, I felt greater peace about sharing my journey. Plus, my tummy would be protruding in a more obvious way by four or five months, and I would have to explain that peculiar sight anyway. People would surely start to ask questions.

So this is where I am at. I have wrestled with the anxious thoughts and laid them before the Lord. I continue to pray for my baby and his or her health and well-being, as well as my own strength to get through the nine months and what lies beyond. Several people have already approached me or contacted me to offer x-deals for baby gear, which I am incredibly thankful for because I am starting from zero again. God is already providing for future needs. Edric and the kids are thoroughly excited, which makes me feel more optimistic. I know many family and friends are praying for me, which I appreciate the most because I need it. There’s never been a pregnancy that I have been more insecure and emotionally unsettled about than this one, but God is teaching me to rest in Him, to stop trying control all the details and outcomes of my life.

The very next day after I found out about the pregnancy, he gave me this passage: “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”” (James‬ ‭4:14-15‬)

I know He used these verses to communicate to me that I was not the captain of my life. He was and is the one in charge. I used to think that it was Edric’s will and my will that determined how and when we would get pregnant. Yet, I am convinced now that it is ALWAYS God who decides when to knit a child in a mother’s womb. What may seem like a physical obstacle due to disease or health issues cannot thwart his plans. Whether he gives or withholds, He is sovereign. He teaches us dependence through pain and loss, through withholding our wants. And He teaches us to trust Him when we aren’t in control, when His plans push ours aside.

“…And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” (Psalms‬ ‭139:16‬b)

So how does one get pregnant at 41 when she has Endometriosis and reproductive issues? I may have done my part to be healthy, and of course, Edric and I were having intimacy regularly, but it was ultimately the Lord’s doing. He made the unexpected miracle happen. And now I don’t have to suffer through monthly pain during my periods. In that sense, He also cured my condition, at least for the next two years if I reach full term and breastfeed!

To the women out there who are still trying to conceive, I hope this story gives you hope. Try modifying your diet, exercising, going to bed early and sleeping eight hours a day. Get on supplements that can improve your health. Consider acupuncture (I also tried that.) Try a week of fasting to pray and reset your body. Have sex with your husband regularly (research shows that the quality of a male’s sperm improves with regular sex!) By the way, due to life expectancy rates today, the World Health Organization has redefined youth as ages 66

To the women out there who think six is going to be a lot of kids, you are absolutely right. Please pray for me, for us! Sometimes, I ask myself, “Are we crazy?! What in the world are we getting into?! How are we going to take care of all these children?!”

Well, I am going to default to what I have experienced so far, with the Lord, as a mom…I am going to take it one, grace-filled day at a time…

“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

‭‭(2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬)

39 thoughts on “Pregnant at 41

  1. You’re so much blessed! God knows you and Edric could be great parents not just to 5 but to many. Parents who can not just provide material things to the family but also instill morals and the word of God to the family. God bless you and your family more.

  2. What an inspiration! Thank you for always sharing your story. I am a mother of one child and my first pregnancy is not a walk in the park. I am always anxious whenever my husband asks me to have our second child but your strength and faith in the Lord gives me assurance and hope. Will keep you in my prayers.

  3. God is good!.I had endometriosis when I was young.am now 50..monthly period was depressing then.there were days i was confined at the hospital bec.of pain.my left ovary was removed bec it developed a cyst when i was 26 and single..having a child was 50/50,i thought i would never have any bec.after the surgery,the pain is still there..but God has another plan,I had two kids,girl and boy..while raising my “bunso”,i was diagnosed with endometrial cancer..gone to surgery,chemo,radiation,alternative med.,name it…but really,our God is so so good,the cancer was developed when i already had children who would hold my hands when i was in pain and say,”mom,you look good in that bandana,who needs hair?”..
    Now my eldest is a stewardess and my son,my youngest,is a mutimedia artist..
    Ms.joy, God has blessed you in so many amazing ways..Im impress how you and edric are raising and discipline your kids..you’re an inspiration
    By the way,my kids and i are CCFers..and I follow you on fb and IG.
    God bless you more and I will continously pray for easy pregnancy and safe delivery.

    1. Such a wonderful story, Krizzy. Thanks for sharing that with me! It blessed me to read this today 🙂

  4. Hi Joy! I read a lot of your post but i rarely make a comment😊 but Congratulations! Wow! That is such a big blessing!!!!
    I remember talking to a 1st time Mom when we had our weekly Fabella hospital outreach its her 1st baby at 47 and she was sooo happy too.
    When I was pregnant with my son( 3rd pregnancy year 2000), after a miscarraige (2nd) i had spotting and finally get to my OB (was 2 1/2months) and said that i was also 25% bleeding ( inside) and needed to bed rest (they gave me an injection and that was all they could do) without bathroom prevelidge for 1 month or more. Steve have an ongoing mininstry in Pier Ilaya and Ibaba Batangas City(we live in Batangas City for 4 to 5yrs) , and now a baby take care full time as well. It was humbling to have him place bedpan and clean, bathe etc….It was hard to turn to sides feeling like a gush of blood might come out. But i did read everything that Jesus did, all His miracles. Thanking God for the relationship that I have, forgiving me for all my sins and accepting Him as my Lord and Saviour(that was 1992). Believing and having faith in him. After the end of 9 months the Doctor says that seems like theres no bleeding that have occured. And what a big blessing and a miracle when i gave birth to 8.7lbs baby boy(normal delivery) . And its all God. I could have 2nd miscarriage but God answered prayers and heal me.

  5. Truly you and your family have been a blessing to everybody. I know that the good Lord still wishes to bless you with a baby. You have touched my life too. Now, am pregnant at 39 with my 3rd baby. Though anxious upon seeing two lines on my pregnancy kit, the Lord really reaches me by sending His word thru your article. God bless your heart Miss Joy!

  6. Hi Joy! I had the same thoughts when I found out i was also pregnant at 41. Haha. I gave birth last year btw. I had fears from the pregnancy itself, to the health of my baby down to my very own health knowing it was a high risk pregnancy, not to mention the childbirth. But you know, God is good. Really good. I had a normal and healthy pregnancy. My baby came out healthy. Truly we just have to trust Him. Its His ways over ours. Have a safe and healthy pregnancy! Continue to inspire other women out there!

  7. Hi Ms. Joy. Wow:) Congratulations on your pregnancy:) I only have 3 words on my mind while reading your story-YOU ARE BLESSED:) God bless you.

  8. Because you have been faithful with 5 kids, and so God blessed you with another 1 🙂 Will include you in our prayers 🙂 God bless you and your family Ms Joy! Congratulations!!!!

  9. Congratulations ! Thank you so much for sharing your joy and journey for getting pregnant @ 41! It truly inspired me and give me more hope and learn a lot of things how we can help ourselves to make it happen.
    I am 45 with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and have some health issues. Married for 12 going 13 and still trying to conceive. So blessed with a good and a man of God husband who’s with me. ..Hoping and praying that God will answer our prayers…may His will be done. I’m praying for your healthy pregnancy. God bless your family all the time!

  10. Congratulations Joy! Many women are going through what youve been through and I am glad to know that you are doing wonderful and on the way at 41! You are such an inspiration to many women and families. God bless you.

  11. Congratulations Joy! I can totally relate to your experience as I also got (unexpectedly) pregnant with my sixth child at 41. My husband and I also struggled to conceive our first child so it is quite a blessing that we were given six kids. Enjoy your newest addition to your family, as much as we are enjoying ours (who, by the way, is off to preschool now). God bless!

  12. Wow congratulations! I could totally relate to this, it’s as if I was reliving what happened to me when I suddenly and unexpectedly got pregnant with my second baby. Imagine, after 8 long years of having just one child another one comes along, like going back to zero.We were not even trying to have another child because although we loved our eldest so much, we thought we had a fair share of parenting issues already… hehehe. We both agreed that raising a child is no joke. I remember buying a PT when I passed by Watsons inside a mall on a whim. I did the test inside a restroom cubicle and yeah, my knees buckled when I saw two red lines. I was scared, I told my mom that I am not sure if I can handle this and if I can love this new baby as much as I loved my first. I was 35 years old at that time. Doctors say get pregnant until 35 y.o. for a safer pregnancy, so I was like are you kidding me Lord?! You seriously waited until I turned 35? LOL. ☺️ My mom told me that God will never give me something I cannot handle and to take one day at a time. This truly humbled me, and taught me that I cannot push with my own plans if it is not aligned with His will. My daughter is now two years old and she brightens our life on a daily basis. 😍

  13. Hi ate Joy.. June here from UAE.. youre trully an inspiration. GOD has always been with you at your lowest and highest point of your life.

    We love you and will be praying for your healthy pregnancy po. :* 😇😇

  14. I personally would not want to get pregnant beyond 40 years of age, but that is my personal opinion. I have 2 children (1 girl and 1 boy) and that’s my maximum capacity. There is certainly a high risk and I wouldn’t want my child to be at risk because I choose to get pregnant beyond 40. However, if that is God’s will, then I would accept it.

    God works in mysterious ways and sometimes we don’t understand why. If it’s God’s will for the child to be born, nothing can stop Him from fulfilling His purpose for the child.

    Congratulations!

  15. Congratulations, Joy and Edric!!! I am soooo blessed by your story. Definitely covering you in prayer in this new season. 😘

  16. Congrats po on your 6th pregnancy! What a humbling pregnancy story indeed. Is it possible to share where you had acupuncture?

  17. Congrats Ms. Joy! 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement! I too am currently pregnant, my first pregnancy at the age of 35! God is reminding me to surrender all my fears to Him and to allow Him to work in our life as we embrace this new journey He has in store for me and my husband.

    God bless your family! 🙂

  18. God is so great and faithful! I just had our 3rd baby 2 months ago. Living in US with no family around and working all the time, having more than 2 is out of the norm. I struggled on getting pregnant. From irregular period to PCOS, hormonal imbalances, etc. But I have 3 miracle babies now. All I hope now is to raise these gifts knowing the power and love of Jesus Christ. Your parenting is an inspiration to me.

  19. Soooooo green with envy! I wanted to have 8 kids! But having C-section with my eldest dampened any hope of having more than 3. But guess what? I was blessed with 5 kids … all via C-Section!. Was supposed to have 6, but I miscarried 1. God works in wonders, even the most genius amongst us won’t be able to explain why things happen the way they happen. We just need to trust God. Congrats to you and Edric! We need more families like us … parents who don’t consider their kids as overhead expenses. 😀

  20. I genuinely wonder whether child bearers today know the impact a human life makes on the planet and with all the environmental and social issues of today, does one have a tug of conscience or even a bit of social guilt when building large families? I often think that the choice of how many kids to have today is no longer a family one but a social one. As it affects all of us. Population boom, garbage crisis and all that. And all the space a big family takes in the grand scheme of things. Can you enlighten if this has ever crossed your thoughts?

  21. It feels that God has spoken to me through this entry, Joy. I have a sis who’s been trying to conceive for years while I already have 2 boys. Please pray for my sister too. Praise God for your 6th baby.

    1. Has she tried some alternative ways to get pregnant? Meaning change of diet, lifestyle, even acupuncture?

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