I found out that I was pregnant with my second daughter 3 days after my 35th birthday. Apparently, if I had found out a few days earlier, everything would have been fine. However, thirty-five is the magic cut off for normal pregnancies. And the fact that my husband was 3 years older was of even greater concern. The Doctor said “You’ve got old eggs and old sperm… it’s always a concern. Do you realize that you will be ready to retire when this child starts college?” REALLY?????? Needless to say, I cried all the way home.
Absolutely NO consideration was given to the fact that I was in great physical shape. I was considered high risk just because of my age. The kit gloves were coming out. I was running, and doing aerobics every day, but I was still a concern to my Doctors. He ordered additional tests because of my “condition”. After having an abnormal result from and AFP test, he ordered an amniocentesis. I was concerned, but also wanted to know what we might be up against. So, we decided to go forward with this test and headed off to the hospital.
When I arrived and signed in, I noticed the words “Advanced Maternalage” noted on the chart. So… I asked … “What is Advanced Maternalage?” The nurse gave me a very condescending look. You know the kind… looking down her nose, with the implied “you’re a total idiot” look and said… “It says ‘Advanced Maternal AGE’, it means that you are past the normal child bearing years. “ OMG… here I come for this test, scared to death that something might be wrong with my baby and I find out that not only am I OLD, I am apparently also STUPID! Thank you Nurse Betty for your concern and your candor!
Well, I suck it up and go through with it. They stick this huge needle in my belly while they are doing an amazing sonogram. And, I do not flinch. Braveheart would have been proud! But, during this test, we figured out that baby has positive blood, and since I have Negative, I have to have the Rhogam shot to protect our precious baby. They take me to another room and brought back Nurse Betty . “NOOOOOOOO!!! Not Nurse Betty! Please!!! Apparently, Nurse Betty has decided that I am a total idiot since I questioned her handwriting, so she decided to take it out on me. She tells me to pull down my pants, and then she rears back and totally STABS me in the butt. When I gasp… she says “ Oh suck it up, you big baby!” The redneck in me wanted to punch her, but I was totally caught off guard, and the southern lady prevailed! I can’t believe that in one 45 minute visit, I find out that I am OLD, STUPID and apparently a Wheenie! All I can say is ‘Praise God that the Diapers and Depends are on the same aisle in the grocery store.’ Since I was going to join the geriatric ward after delivering this baby, making it down 2 aisles might be an issue!
Throughout the entire pregnancy, I could not believe the way people treated me. The same Doctor that told me to suck it up when I was 27 and pregnant, told me to take it easy during this pregnancy. Even my aerobics instructor announced in front of the entire class that I needed to be careful because it would not be good for ‘my uterus to overheat’. And from that point on, if I stopped to let a contraction pass, people would come up and pat me on the back and ask me if my uterus was overheating. Believe me, it was only funny the first 100 times.
Needless to say, I made it through just fine, natural childbirth and all. But, now that I’m starting menopause, I am wondering why this isn’t call Advanced Maternal Age? Too bad it’s not - I could say that I had already been there, done that and bought the T-shirt!