Moms 35 and older who are trying to conceive are sick of hearing these comments.

By Melissa Willets
January 27, 2017

Once upon a time, I was a young mama with a newborn. Then, I blinked, and suddenly I'm the "old mom," dropping my third child off at preschool. Since I'm approaching 38, people are often shocked to learn I may even want more kids, and I hear pretty interesting comments about my "geriatric" status. Some are eye-roll-worthy, others just uniformed, and still more are so funny I nearly spit my (false) teeth out. Kidding.

1. Referring to me as AMA. For the uninitiated, A.K.A. young moms, this insultingly-antiquated acronym stands for advanced maternal age. I mean, really? I'm over 35, not 85! It's not as if I needed a walker to make it into the delivery room last time. Yet in the medical field, AMA is how women are referred to once they're a day older than 34. I guess OTH (over the hill) was already taken.

2. "Are you doing fertility treatments?" I've never had anyone inquire about how I conceived my kids, but I know several older moms who have been, especially if they birthed twins after 35. In some cases these women underwent IVF, but in others, their babies were conceived the old-fashioned way. Because contrary to popular belief, us "elderly" folks can still have sex! Many of us get pregnant, too!

3. Telling me how old I'll be when my child goes to college, gets married, etc. I'm no mathematician, but I am fully aware that when my youngest is old enough to drink alcohol, I'll be almost 60. When she turns 30, I'll be pushing 70. These notions are just as disturbing to me as they are to you, so please stop reminding me!

4. "I wanted to have kids young." Hey, me too! That's why I had my first at 29. But then I had more kids, and I don't want to stop just yet. At least I'll be a really well-rounded mom.

5. [Shudder] "I'm so done having kids." Women my age say this all the time. And the fact that I'm the only mom who is still TTC at 37 makes me feel pretty lonely. I wish I knew more mommy hopefuls in my age bracket, but that doesn't change how my husband and I feel about growing our own family at this stage of our lives.

6. Regurgitating facts about how risky pregnancy can be after 35. It's true that having a baby after 35 does carry more risks for both mom and baby, such as chromosomal abnormalities and gestational diabetes. But there is another side of that coin. A recent study found that women who have babies later in life may actually be smarter. And another study showed women who have kids later in life have a lower risk for developing ovarian cancer. So ha!

7. "Well, Janet Jackson was pregnant at 50." Really? So I'm 37 and that is kind of like having a baby at 50?! While it's true more women than ever are having babies later in life, conceiving at 50 is unusual. Having a baby before 40? Not that weird, folks!

8. Asking if I have enough energy. Motherhood is exhausting no matter how old you are! But yes, there are many mornings I seriously don't want to get out of bed, and by 5 p.m. I'm ready to drop. That's only because I'm trying to do it all, like moms of all ages these days. In the end, the benefit of being an older mom is that even if you are exhausted, you are more sure of yourself and your decisions. Plus, you gain perspective about a lot of things, like that teething doesn't last forever, and that you will lose the baby weight...eventually.

Comments (2)

June 16, 2020
I was married at 32 and immediately tried to get pregnant. When I was unable to conceive I had blood tests for fertility and was told that I had an FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) of 54 and would not be able to have children. Even though the doctors knew that I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis since age 25, no one bothered to check my thyroid levels. my TSH was measured at .001. My Synthroid dosage was lowered. a friend advise me to contact a spiritualist who help with fertility with his medicine, i collected his contact and explain my situation to him he prepared for me a herbal medicine which i took as describe by him. became pregnant very quickly, I had a successful pregnancy. I have my baby august 2017. to get pregnant at age 35 with my 2nd child in september 2019, thank you sir , this is his email contact if you require his help or Facebook at priest.babaka
January 6, 2019
Great article Melissa, I was giggling more than once! I am over that big “4-0” milestone and have 2 young ones, and yes contemplating more... I am interested in other parents’ thoughts (especially Mums) about being “an older Mum” and how other families handle all that. My first came at 36, so I was well into “AMA” status but was quite blissfully not worried. Thanks for your honesty!