Ace & Jig Casey dress in Martinique
Birkenstock Birko Flor Arizona sandals | I purchased these secondhand
I’m tired, and slightly overwhelmed with everything I *think* needs to be done in the next month, to get ready for baby. I need a vacation LOL. But my doctor was pretty adamant about my not traveling very far after early June. I miss the beach this year.
Which gets me thinking about “advanced maternal age” and high-risk pregnancies. I started going for weekly doctor’s visits this week and am doing the non-stress test each time until delivery, and every other week sonograms, even though I’m only at 33.5 weeks. This is because I’m having what is considered a “high-risk pregnancy.”
Yes, I know I am considered high-risk because of my previous pregnancy losses (many years ago) but I do also feel like I’m arbitrarily assigned that characterization because I’m 46 years old. I am very healthy with no blood pressure issues, or other risk factors. But yeah, I’m generally too “old” to be having a baby. Tell me about it LOL (just kidding!!).
I’m not necessarily opposed to the label as such, I know there has to be a way for medical practitioners to differentiate patients quickly, but I’m very curious WHAT exactly physiological age has to do with having a high-risk pregnancy. I know that the risk of chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus goes up drastically after 35, but other than that, what, exactly?
I’m not fragile. I don’t think I’m more tired than any other woman who is in her third trimester of pregnancy.
I don’t know, like I said, I’m not THAT upset about it, just confused. And a little tired of being made to feel like I’m so different than any other women who is pregnant, at any age. Being pregnant is challenging physically and mentally (mostly mentally), for every woman. (Honestly, I don’t understand how every man who’s ever known a pregnant woman doesn’t fucking worship ALL women for what we can do or what we are capable of – instead many work hard to take away our power – but that’s a topic for another day 😉
Here’s what I’m wearing today. Hope you’re having a great week!!
12 years ago at 36 years old when I delivered I was considered “advanced maternal age.” And it annoyed me as well.
Every year at my son’s birthday I feel like I should be celebrated as well! (And I’ve made a point of treating my own mother extra nicely on my birthday)
You continue to look great!
When I was pregnant with my daughter at 39, the doctors used the oh-so-charming label of “geriatric pregnancy”. What? I may have been incapacitated by exhaustion, but I most certainly was not – and am not, yet – geriatric. Harrumph.
You look fantastic!
It’s odd, to be categorized by age vs. maternal health, but I have no idea why they do that. Any OB’s/Midwives on here that can answer?
Amen, sister. I became surprise pregnant at 40 and I cringed at “AMA” and “geriatric” references throughout my journey. I too, was a high risk pregnancy, and was on bedrest for 3 months so just remind yourself at this stage, it could always be worse! BUT. I would solidly be behind anyone in the medical/birthing community to immediately cease these antiquated and frankly, insulting terms for women of a certain age bearing kids later in life. Pregnancy is challenging on so many fronts: staying well, staying healthy, keeping the baby healthy, quelling fears, staying sane–all shared experiences regardless of age, geriatric or otherwise. Thank you for vocalizing. Bravo.
As someone who gave birth just last month at age 44: I was skeptical about all the advanced-age attention, too, and asked my doctor directly what the worry was. (FYI they will also strongly suggest you deliver BEFORE week 40, so be ready for serious convos about that as the time approaches. ) Here’s one reason my doctor shared: the data show that our “geriatric” uteruses are not as reliable at producing a placenta that will stay healthy for the whole pregnancy. It often starts to break down early, and there is a risk–small but existent–of stillbirth, partly because the baby doesn’t get all the nutrients it needs toward the end of a “geriatric” pregnancy.
In my case, the placenta and umbilical cord were SUPER healthy, so much so that all the nurses commented on how juicy and nutritious it looked. (I did have a couple of possibly age-related complications during the birth, though they were minor.) However, my cousin who delivered at age 42 nearly bled to death because her placenta did disintegrate early and wasn’t properly expelled at birth. So while I feel pretty lucky in my experience, I wouldn’t feel comfortable pooh-poohing the risk for all post-40 moms. You’ll probably be just fine! as will the baby! but in the end I was glad for my doctor’s attention and candor, annoying as it sometimes was.
That all makes sense, Mary. If more doctors talked about what makes for an “advanced age” pregnancy, I think we’d all feel more educated. I get that medical terminology is different from our day to day lingo (“Unremarkable” is one of those terms that always makes me go, “Hey! I’m remarkable!”)
Grechen, I was 30 when I had my first son, but I have some autoimmune issues that made me high risk, too. It was definitely annoying having to do weekly appointments, ultrasounds, and non-stress tests at my regular OB and also at the maternal-fetal medicine specialist, too. It became like a part-time job. With my second son, I tried for a VBAC, which basically meant I literally had to fight for the right to even try it. I used to do a bunch of blogging and work in the natural birth/VBAC community, and it was really insightful. There’s a lot that’s wonky with the U.S. birth industry, unfortunately. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and make informed decisions, which you’re already doing. Best of all, your sweet baby will be here before you know it. 🙂
Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 says
I struggled with infertility for six years, then gave birth to my twins at almost 37 and a delightful surprise at almost 39.
The placental-integrity concern is real, as is the risk of elevated BP, getational diabetes, and premature birth. We are doing great at 35. 40. 45. But our bodies still think babies should be born at 15-35.
Love the dress!! You’re so close. I relished being “old” and “high risk” because I liked all the appointments. 🙂
I feel your resentment at being looked at with such scrutiny – and you just have to bear it. It is true there are more things to go wrong, but hey, look at all the things that do ok. Also the medical community has CYA syndrome, (cover your a….) and they tend to be hyper-paranoid.
I gave birth at 40, did fine and was micro-managed like a senile granny till the end. Geez. Just ignore them. You are great!
Now I am 65, getting the same crap. I have gray hair and am over 60, so people assume I need help walking, talking, and whatever else there is. I am still strong, run my own farm, ride horses and wrangle cattle and drive BIG tractors.
But that silver hair………on a woman………But at least I am “invisible”. Because of that over 60 look, I can wear anything I want to anything and no one notices. I am so not looked at, ever. I had an emergency and had to go into a store IN MY PJs and not one person saw me. I went to a semi-formal event in my farm clothes, (luggage missing at last minute) not one person cared. Its great!!! So, as a new mom, you will “dissappear” into what society expects: mom wear. Dont do it!!!! Fight the fade!!
I think it’s just fabulous that you are able to live out one of your hopes and dreams that you thought not possible. I feel like the fact that you were able to become pregnant when you never thought possible and had made peace with it means that this was meant to be. I have an aunt who had twins at 50 without any fertility treatments – this was back in 2001. At the time, this was still such an anomaly that when she gave birth there were all these doctors in her area who came to the hospital to study the occurrence. Her boys were perfect and adorable – no issues. I wish you much luck, health, health for your son – and husband – on your journey. Also, I love seeing all your maternity outfits – you look fabulous, healthy, put together, adorable.
Thank you for sharing, and good luck with your pregnancy!