Advanced maternal age? Check. Now what?
You know what doesn’t do anything to make me feel better about possibly trying to get pregnant again? The term geriatric pregnancy. Which is to say, pregnancy over the ripe old age of 35.
My first pregnancy qualified. I have to say, it appeared as though baby-making and my advanced age played pretty well together. The first trimester’s tiredness was no problem, as my daily schedule was already built around napping. The pregnancy hormones that loosened my joints meant I could lay off the Ben Gay. And increased urination isn’t that big of a deal when you’re already used to wearing Depends.
Of course, I kid.
In all seriousness, though, my first pregnancy was fairly textbook, and active, too. I conceived quickly. I set the pace during hour-long power walks with non-preggo friends. I did headstands in yoga class into my ninth month. I even managed to make it through the birth drug-free. It was a healthy, spry, if geriatric, pregnancy.
Now that I’m over a year away from the (uncomfortable and painful) experience and (insanely) contemplating doing it again, it’s hard not to wonder: What happens when your pregnancy is even more geriatric? Knocked up—now with crumpled tissue always handy in shirt sleeves! And jazzy drug-store cheaters! If only the possible consequences were that superficial.
There are real worries. An increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities, stillbirth and, well, I’d really rather not keep listing them, OK? Suffice it to say, potential problems exist. My question is: What am I supposed to do with that information? Seems it would be silly to decide against trying, based solely on scary statistics, as the odds are still overwhelmingly for the baby turning out just fine.
Actually worrying, too, feels quite counterproductive. Number One: It could prevent me from getting knocked up. And Number Two: It’s hard enough to stay sane during the hormonal roller-coaster ride of pregnancy without adding “Worry about things I cannot change” to the list. I can abstain from sushi and martinis for nine-plus months, but I cannot recapture the youth of my uterus. No matter how much anxiety I produce, my uterus will continue to remain as geriatric as the rest of me.
If we do go for it, my tactic will be to try and enjoy the process as best I can. Relax. Exercise. Eat well. Take inspiration in mamas of a certain age that have gone before me, such as my grandma (shout-out to Grandma T.!) and the lovely and hilarious Tina Fey, in a family way at 40. If Tina Fey can rock the geriatric pregnancy, so can I, right?
Kidding. Well, kind of.Add a Comment