Geriatric pregnancy or Advanced maternal age pregnancy is where I am at! Yep, I have reached the age where, according to science and health care professionals, I should be monitored a little bit closely. Basically, sis you are old having a baby, so let us make sure you are okay. The irony behind that statement is that during this pregnancy I am using a walker, talk about feeling geriatric and advanced maternal age...I am THERE!
I know many people feel a bit bothered when they hear that 35 and older is the Advanced Maternal Age, but I just want to encourage you and share some info. While hearing that makes you feel old, here is some quick facts I have researched:
-"As you get older, the number of eggs you have decreases."
-Fecundability, or the probability of achieving a pregnancy in one menstrual cycle, begins to decline significantly in the early 30s, with a more rapid decline a few years later at about 37 years
-At 35 years of age, the risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities is 1 in 204, at 37 years 1 in 130, at 39 1 in 81, and going as high as 1 in 39 at 42 years of maternal age," she says.
-Age can also complicate breastfeeding, says Kathy Leeper, M.D., I.B.C.L.C., medical director of Milkworks, a breastfeeding support center in Lincoln, Neb.
Now, these facts are not to upset you, its background info (I grabbed from a Parents Article, found here) as to why the magical age of 35 is when you enter this category. But I want to share with you what my experience has been until this point and BELIEVE me this is not a one size fits all situation.
My Journey so far has been…
Actually synonymous from my previous two pregnancies, however, some things have got progressively challenging but I don’t think it's attributed to my age, but rather my body. But I am sure the combination of the two could have some correlation.
If you have been following the journey thus far, you would know baby Jinger’s Kidneys are dilated. This could mean one of three things: This could be a sign of Down Syndrome, It an be just be an abnormality that corrects itself after birth or kidney challenges that require medical attention. When I got this news, I automatically began to think about my age. While, I do understand things can happen at ANY AGE, it was one of those automatic thoughts because for so long Down Syndrome risks were attributed to women who were pregnant after 35.
However, here is what I appreciate about being a geriatric pregnancy…
Close attention to your pregnancy is monitored especially during the third trimester and you have the option to have genetic testing done to detect any potential genetic conditions the baby could be at risk of developing. During the third trimester, you will have fetal scans monthly as opposed to the one scan you have per trimester. This is a bonus. Additionally, the doctors are in place to help you along the way and provide you with any answers to questions you may have but I assure you, they will give you the comfort you need.
So, it is not doom and gloom ladies. Our bodies react to pregnancy in different ways, throughout the stages of our lives. While my challenges with my pelvis have progressed, my age is not the total sum of all the parts. There are other variables such as my anatomical make up, pregnancies within close proximity of one another, and hormones.
Do not allow the idea of being a geriatric pregnancy, deter you from TTC (trying to conceive) because I know PLENTY of women who have had babies into their early 40s, and they have been great!
Keep the faith, hang on to hope.