A few years ago (August of 2016) I thought I was dying. I felt so horrible and literally thought I had some form of cancer that was making me tired and sick. I went to the doctor for my annual check up and told him I thought I had something seriously wrong with me. He asked when my last cycle was and I told him and said it was due any minute. He decided to do some blood work to rule out infection and then a couple days later, his nurse called and told me I was pregnant. How could I be pregnant after an Essure procedure at 40 years old?
I was in shock and disbelief. I said, “that’s not possible. I can’t be pregnant. I’m fixed.” The nurse said, “well your HCG is elevated and the doctor wants you to come in for an ultrasound on Monday to see if this is a tubal pregnancy since you had the Essure procedure.” It turns out that pregnancy symptoms are very similar to what I think dying feels like. The nurse said, “You aren’t dying Juliana. You are creating a new life!”
It was Friday, and I cried as I told my husband I was pregnant. He laughed and said, “you’re kidding, right?” I assured him this is not something I would joke about and we processed the shock together. We called immediate friends and family so we could all share in this shock together. I took an at home pregnancy test )and we just stared at two bright pink lines in disbelief.
The following Monday we had an ultrasound to confirm the baby was in my uterus. I sure enough was pregnant after an Essure procedure at 40 years old. I was in shock for months.
After our third daughter was born in 2007, Michael and I decided our family was complete. Having never had surgery (besides a tonsillectomy when I was 16 years old), I didn’t want to be admitted to the hospital and have a surgical tubal ligation. Dr. Hong, my OBGYN, who has now passed away, told me about a new (at the time) in-office surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy called Essure. The procedure had minimal downtime (a few days) and I was only given a Valium before to relax me. Metal coils were placed in both fallopian tubes and the goal was for them to scar over and any block eggs from being fertilized and dropped into the uterus.
We had three healthy daughters in 2009 who were 7 years old, 5 years old and 2 years old. That seemed like enough responsibility for us at the time. My husband and I own our own business (he is a bankruptcy attorney at Crawley Law Firm, PA) and anyone who is self-employed knows the financial ups and downs that go along with this career choice. He sets his own schedule and doesn’t have a boss, but we have also taken a lot of risks and there are no guarantees of pay. The business owner is always paid last.
I went to the doctor a couple of times the first trimester and had several elective ultrasounds. The first doctor’s visit was at 4 weeks and 4 days and we found a gestational sac in my uterus and ruled out a tubal pregnancy. On our 15th wedding anniversary, September 1, 2017, we went to an elective ultrasound at Sneak A Peek to see the baby for a few minutes during what the owner calls a reassurance scan. We saw the baby’s heartbeat for the first time and then it all became more real. I was really making my fourth and 100% unexpected child at 40 years old.
I started with nausea and vomiting around 6 1/2 weeks pregnant and it is finally started to ease up at 11 1/2 weeks, but did not end until 19 weeks. At 9 weeks I had my first OB/GYN appointment and the blood work we did all came back normal. We opted to get additional blood work called Panorama to look for chromosomal abnormalities. We did not plan to terminate the pregnancy, but we wanted to be as informed as possible. I got a call from the nurse a week and a half later (at 10 1/2 weeks pregnant) that the test came back all low risk and there is no need for additional testing!! She also confirmed that we were having a BOY!
I took my daughters to see our baby boy for the first time live at Sneak a Peak in Jonesboro at 11 weeks and they loved it! He did not disappoint! After we woke him up, he wiggled around and stretched and was just adorable. His heart rate was 175 and he looked perfect to me; he was relaxing in there. Ha!
Growing up, 40 sounded really old. My 14, 12 and 9 year old daughters (at the time) also told me that it’s an advanced age. At their ages, I thought the same thing. I vividly remember when my mom turned 40. I decorated my grandparents house with black balloons and “Over the Hill” signs. In hindsight, that was cruel. Sorry mom! But, I was 10 years old and she did seem “old”.
But now that it’s me, I don’t feel old. I do however feel more mature and wiser. I feel like my purpose in life is to love others where they are and to be kind to everyone. I felt physically stronger at 40 years old than I was at 30 years old, healthier, and more active too. I take my Juice Plus+ every day which ensures we receive 30 different fruits and vegetables in our body daily. This allows us both to thrive on nutrients we may not otherwise get on a daily basis. I worked out regularly and made sure I stayed active with the girls.
The anatomy scan at 21 weeks showed a strong heart, we saw him urinate, swallow and hiccup. It turns out that being pregnant after an Essure procedure at 40 years old is not so terrible after-all. This little miracle was born on April 21, 2017 and Michael Edward Crawley, III (Trey) has forever changed the course of our lives. We love him immeasurably!