Posts Tagged ‘ pregnancy over 35 ’

Adopting a New Daughter Over the Holidays

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Anyone who has ever been touched by adoption must ask themselves during the holidays, “How can I help other children find their forever families?”

This holiday season, I want to give each person reading  the opportunity to answer the call to help orphaned children. And orphan dogs. I think they go best served up together, kids and dogs. Dogs and kids.

One of my favorite international adoption sites offers happy successful adoption stories all year round, but specializes in placing older children, sibling groups and special needs kids who may need extra care from their new families.

Personal adoption stories like theirs touch families everywhere, inspiring people to move forward with forming their family through adoption. Be a part of this initiative and give hope to children everywhere.

While my family is still in the pre-adoption phase, we’ve narrowed the search down to foster-to-adopt programs locally in Los Angeles, and we are beginning the final 24 hours of parental adoption training in early January.

We have tapped an international adoption agency we really like and also trust to potentially adopt a young daughter from India. Unfortunately, we cannot afford that option this year. Santa didn’t exactly stuff my stocking with fivers… and you must plunk down $15,000 just to get the adoption ball rolling with that agency!

I ask you, for just a moment this holiday, send out blessings and good vibrations to a poor kid who needs a dose of Santa right around now. Or a healthy dose of a mom or dad.
I’d like to share our family’s gratitude that we were able to save another rescue dog this blessed season. She was going to be euthanized at the Downey high-kill shelter, Calif.

dog adoption, dog rescueOur new beloved daughter (and doggie sister for my biological Sam) is a new 100-pound Great Dane mix named Bette Davis.

A real Hollywood looker but with an edge — just like her celeb namesake. And yes, she is going to get much bigger!

Have a safe holiday. Merry Christmas and tell me your happy holiday adoption story or tidbit here for 2012. Merry everything!

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How Age Affects Your Adoption Chances

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Since I’m over 40 now, my age not only factors into making it harder to adopt internationally, but makes it more difficult to get pregnant if adoption does not work out. The risks of something going wrong in your pregnancy, including genetic disorders and miscarriage, rise as you age. I get it! After the age of 35, you are considered to be “advanced maternal age” and your pregnancy is categorized “high risk.” Mine was when I gave birth to Sam almost six years ago.

Once you’re 40 +, the major genetic risk is Down’s syndrome, and there are increased risks of gestational diabetes, preclampsia, and cesarean section. What’s more, research shows that your chances of having a low-birth weight baby or premature one (less than 5 1/2 pounds) also increases.

So how does getting older affect your odds of adoption? Quite a bit, actually.

Age greatly affects your ability to adopt, as I am slowly finding out. Some countries will not even allow applications for potential families if both parents are over 40 (which we are).

And some other countries, such as Haiti, will not allow your adoption application if you are over 45 and also have biological children of your own (we have son Sam, 5).

While that dampens my personal take on adoption, there is great news afoot for older parents: In the year 2000, the rate of birth among women 35 to 39 years old was up 30 percent from 1990. In women ages 40 to 45, the increase was 47 percent, and for those ages 45 to 49, the rate of getting pregnant was an astounding 190 percent higher.

So if more women over 40 are getting pregnant, I hope I can extrapolate to say that many more parents will soon be able to go through the international adoption process too! You have to hold onto hope when you’re considering adoption, there are so many things that can go wrong…

Tell me what went right on your adoption journey, especially if you’re 40+.

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Infertility and Adoption, Make the Decision!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

baby shower adoption diariesThere are four of us, you’ve probably heard us cackling at the Los Angeles Museum of Art, sipping wine near the Rodin Statue Garden. All members of the media: two writers, a marketing maven and one hot PR chick. We get together monthly (or so) to gossip and motivate each other to try that new belly dancing class, or debate the need for Four Square.

Going around the table, on our second glass of  Chablis, I tell my tribe about this exciting adoption-blogging gig for Parents.com. As PR chick launches into a social media plan for Tweeting all week long — generous friends — I happen to look across at *Barbara sitting opposite me.

She is sitting over a half-eaten stuffed jalapeno with tears streaking down her pale face.

Barbara has been trying to get pregnant with her husband for six years. She had health complications and by the time doctors cleared up down below, well, she’s nearly 50.

I am the first to notice Barbra’s hand cupping her tears like a goblet, like a precious offering at the dinner table.

“We’re not going to adopt,” she tells us in a rush. While her husband was willing to take fertility tests, shoot her in the ass with sickening hormones every day, and all that waiting waiting waiting, he is finally not open to adoption. He says looking into adoption now, after all the other infertility disappointments, is just too much.

He says the baby longing and the crushing disappointments are too hard on their marriage. “She’s dying,” he says of his wife.

Tonight over tapas, Barbara says in a too-calm tone: “I can’t talk about this anymore. Let’s move the conversation onward.” It sounded like she is blandly discussing a 401K bond. We all look around the table and fight for control; we’ve been getting no baby updates from our friend for years now.

We all finally raise our glasses to toas. To Barbara. To moving on.

But I cannot help myself. I finally say, “Barbara, you would have been the most absolutely, fucking amazing mother.”

She stops crying.

We drink.

Join me next week where we discuss how infertility and adoption intertwine.

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More Father’s Day! Remembering Mommy Tummy

Monday, June 20th, 2011

I have been lucky enough to be pregnant, and mostly what I remember of those tumultuous months is the peeing. Constantly peeing. Besides that, I remember that my hair was hormonally flaxen and luxe. I liked feeling healthy and fit throughout, too.

But the urination was ridiculous!

I craved citrus yellow foods because the lemony smells helped me battle formidable  morning sickness.  I also remember my horror the day I fit into a 34-F maternity bra! No kidding, they skip right over E to F.

At the 5-month mark of my pregnancy, I also got married to my husband, Darrin.  In the grand scheme of things, a little preggo cellulite wasn’t going to kill me on my honeymoon in Kauai.  I actually liked my changing shape, I did feel a little Goddess-like. All the old clichés you don’t want to hear if you cannot become pregnant on your own. So I’ll save them… this post isn’t about self-love during pregnancy. It’s about not wanting to do it again, and turning to adoption for child number two.

So one huge bonus about the adoption diary that is now my life? I really don’t have to worry about losing my six-pack abs this go-around. To discriminate, let’s say that I am sure I can become pregnant again in my forties, but do I want to?

I do not think I should be pregnant again because:

It will be much more difficult.

I have a terrible intuition that something will be wrong with our next baby. With Sam we had a few nail-biting weeks when our genetic testing came back funky, horrible. We had to wait weeks until we were sure those embryos growing up in a Petri dish somewhere would be semi-normal. They were finally pretty normal (92% normal was good enough for us). But I don’t care to chance it all over again, especially now that I am officially over 45.

Question: Would you become pregnant again right now if there was a one in five chance your genetic testing would come back abnormal? I am glad I went for it because Sam is perfect and magnificent… but we do worry about number two.

Happy Father’s Day out there!

Photo Credit: Sam in my belly exactly two days before I gave birth.

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