Woman welcomes surprise baby at 45 after confusing pregnancy with perimenopause
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Four years after waving goodbye to her eldest child and becoming an empty nester, a mum was left stunned at finding out she was pregnant when she thought she was experiencing perimenopause.
Vikki Jenkins, now 46, admitted she was delighted when her periods stopped towards the end of 2021, and I'm sure many women can relate.
She was experiencing hot flashes, mood swings, and an irregular menstrual cycle, and as she was in her mid-40s she jumped to the conclusion that her body was making the natural transition to menopause.
It's not uncommon for women to go through perimenopause in their 40s, but Vikki soon learned that was pretty much the opposite of what she was experiencing.
In reality, she was pregnant with her second child, with her husband Matt about to experience fatherhood for the first time at the age of 50.
Recalling the moment she found out, Vikki said: "Having a baby was never part of our plan together, so Rory was a total surprise. I thought I was starting perimenopause because I was having hot flushes, and mood swings and my periods stopped.
"After going through some really crazy emotions, one day when I was on my way to work I stopped at a shop and I decided I should take a test but I never in a million years thought that it would be positive."
Vikki still struggled to believe the truth even after the test came up positive, and 'immediately ran to the store to buy four more tests'.
When they all came back positive too, she went home to tell Matt.
"As I was home early from work and needed to tell him something, he asked if I was leaving him," Vikki recalled. "I told him the news and he told me he'd had a gut feeling I was pregnant for the past two weeks."
Vikki was around 11 weeks pregnant when she discovered she was expecting, but she had a tough first trimester as she suffered with panic attacks, paranoia, insomnia and anxiety.
Thankfully it was all 'smooth sailing' after that, with Vikki saying: "On 27 May 2022 we welcomed our baby girl after a fast and furious natural birth.
"She was born with down syndrome, but luckily she doesn't have any of the health problems that commonly come alongside this. She is very healthy and is progressing amazingly."
The mum admitted the arrival of their baby, named Rory, has been 'adjustment' for her and Matt, who were sure they didn't want children.
However, she insisted Rory is the 'best baby ever'.
"She is the best thing that has ever happened to us and we couldn't imagine our life any other way. When we are away from her, if she is staying at her grandparents' house, we miss her so much," Vikki said.
Meanwhile, Matt has been completely blown away by his daughter's arrival as he admitted he never understood how much love he could feel for a child.
"Rory has changed everything," he said.
"When Vikki told me she was pregnant, I was excited right away even though it wasn't planned and I had never expected to have kids of my own because I have nieces and nephews that I have watched grow up. Having Rory has totally changed my perspective on life."