By Jimmy Tomlin
The High Point Enterprise, N.C.
About three months ago, Sallie Brown had a whopper of a fish dream.
“I dreamed that I caught a big ol’ fish,” the 56-year-old High Point woman recalls. “Well, usually when you dream about fish, I heard that means somebody’s pregnant, so I was calling all around to my girlfriends trying to find out who it was. Nobody was pregnant.”
Brown’s 64-year-old husband, Charles, stifles a laugh at this point, and Sallie continues.
“Well,” she says, pausing for effect, “come to find out, it was me. And when my girlfriends found out it was me, they all just had a ball laughing at me.”
A 56-year-old woman — and a grandmother, no less — discovering she’s pregnant is shocking enough, but there’s more to the story.
Sallie didn’t mention catching two fish in her dream, but her doctor says she may be carrying twins.
“He says I’m too huge — I’m growing too fast — for it to be just one baby,” Sallie explains. “And we have two sets of twins in the family already, on my side of the family, so there’s a history of twins.”
While Sallie’s pregnancy at 56 isn’t unprecedented, it’s certainly rare.
“This is a total aberration,” says fertility specialist Dr. Jeff Deaton of Premier Fertility Center in High Point. Deaton is not Sallie’s doctor, but agreed to offer the Enterprise some perspective on her pregnancy.
“As a fertility doctor, I don’t want women in their 40s waiting till they’re 50 and beyond to try to get pregnant,” Deaton says.
“Most women lose all fertility by age 44 or 45. That obviously doesn’t mean there’s a zero-percent chance (of getting pregnant at such an advanced age), but this is highly, highly, highly unusual.”