Monday, October 21, 2013

advanced maternal age

The big ol' clock hit the witching hour last week. You know the one. It's the fateful year that all women fear because their eggs suddenly wither and risks of various fertility ailments skyrocket.

THIRTY. FIVE.

35.

Thirty five years, livin' on the planet, tra-la-la-la! Troo-loo-loo-loo!

That's my birthday song.

I did lots of cool stuff before I turned 35; that's why I am now an old lady having a baby. Sometimes part of me thinks I should have settled down in my 20s and tried to start a family then, but then I remember what a crazy adventure my 20s were. I am who I am in part because I chose not to settle down. I'll be a better mom because of that. In my 20s I'd have been THE WORST.

I love calling stuff "the worst." Some stuff really is the worst, though. For reals. That show "Dads" is totally The Worst.

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On my birthday, I had a doctor's appointment and a childbirth class. I had dinner at Panera. It was the universe prepping me for the remainder of my lifetime being SO NOT ABOUT ME anymore. Which is cool. Because it'll be about this human I frickin' grew in my uterus. I basically made him, so that still makes me pretty much a walking miracle.

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Pregnancy at 35 has got to be crappier than it would be at 25. It's just a guess. If I had been obnoxiously healthy and in shape before getting pregnant, the whole experience would probably be a little easier. But I have never done things the easy way, and certainly wasn't about to start with this particular project.

I have all the symptoms I would have if I'd simply become elderly and obese overnight (ow, my knees, and whoa, I cannot stop snoring), plus the regular pregnancy stuff like everything being swollen and being exhausted all the time, and having crazy stretch marks and stabbing pains in places where no one should be stabbed. And oh my god the peeing. I thought I peed a lot before but it's at a whole other level now.

There are good things about pregnancy, depending on how you feel about strangers asking you questions about your vagina and stuff. I would gladly skip off into the sunset with a fellow pregnant woman I encounter at Whole Foods so we can discuss all the boring details of our symptoms and impending births. When other strangers get all up in my biz, it's a little different. My most hated question: "What's the name?"

Like, for starters, I don't even know why this question offends me so much. Maybe because I don't know "the name" yet. I sort of hope the child emerges, I look at his face, and say, yes, he looks like a ___ , and hopefully that name will be one of the several on our list and not, like, Sanjay or something. That would be awkward.

People are always saying how good I look, with their surprised faces. I am convinced everyone is blowing loooooottts of smoke up my butt because how I look is rotund and tired. But you can't tell an achey pregnant woman she looks rotund and tired or she will straight up murder your ass.

Anyway, it's not like I care how I look. I now emerge from the bathroom, post-shower, utterly nude. I am unapologetic about it all and sort of amused by my husband's "whoa" reaction. BEHOLD. I AM THE VESSEL OF LIFE. ALL SHALL TREMBLE IN FEAR AT MY FEET.

You know what I don't even care about anymore? I wouldn't have believed it, even though you said I wouldn't -- I don't give a flying fuck about my pubic hair. I can't see it, I can't reach it, and it is going to stay exactly where it is, in all its shaggy glory, until such a time has arrived that I can once again approach the area safely with a razor. I mean. I am the vessel of life and stuff, so that comes with certain disgusting facets.

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Two weeks, two weeks, tra-la-lee, troo-la-lo, baby gonna be here, holy buttsmoke!

That's my c-section song.

My hospital is not as crunchy-granola as I would like. They don't allow for "gentle" cesareans, where the moms get to hold their babies right away. They only allow one person to accompany me to surgery. They don't allow photos of the surgery.

Man, when hospitals get ahold of your birth, it's not your birth any more. It's theirs! This is why people opt for home births and/or natural births. I absolutely get it. You lose all control when you give them an inch.

Who even knows what I'd do, given an actual choice. We find out this week if, for sure, the placenta is still blocking the cervix. Problem is, if the damn thing has moved, I am 100% unprepared for a regular birth. Everyone's been singing the c-section song for this entire pregnancy, and I'm only now mentally prepared for that. If that changes ... I am up a creek.

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Thirty-five, still alive, ain't no jive, wonder why, ain't got no pie ...

At 35 (or rapidly approaching), doctors switch your whole course of treatment during pregnancy because you are now "high risk." So the anatomy scan is at a specialized facility, and they want you to make sure the kid doesn't have any of the most common chromosomal defects and all that jazz.

It's onnnnnlllly toooooo much funnnnnnn to be of advanced ... maternal ... age!

That's my old-lady-having-a-baby song.

Thankfully, most of the women in my childbirth group are old, too! Yay for old ladies! We are mature and financially secure! We read books and stuff! We might be a little too prepared.

Really, ain't no thang to be 35 and having a baby. Age is ... well. What you make of it. Still. To be 35 (or older) and trying to have a baby is not a joke. I don't like to frighten people but just know that all of us old ladies in the childbirth class didn't come by our babies easily. We're talking decades of trying between the lot of us. Surgeries. IVFs. Medications. Miscarriages. Complications. We are so happy, and so, so, so happy all of that is behind us (hopefully).

I appreciate the articles I read by women who rail against doctors for frightening women of "advanced maternal age" about the ticking clocks in their vaginas, because really, you can have a baby. You can do it, and it might even be easy. Women are all so different, so you never know. And then, also, it might not be so easy. Which is ok, because there is help if it's not. But don't have any illusions about it.

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Thirty-five is the new twenty-five, right? Like, if I drink green juice every day and do yoga?

Going to get ... right ... on that.

*yawn*

10 comments:

  1. I read this today and thought of you:

    http://www.mommyish.com/2013/10/21/pubic-hair-during-labor/

    And now you bring up the pubes again!

    :-D

    I laughed throughout this. Soooo funny. I pranced around like the vessel of life too when I was pregnant. I wish I had maintained that sense of not giving a flip about my body. BEHOLD, indeed.

    I had my daughter when I was 39. Wasn't no big thang. My doctors didn't treat me like OMGHIGHRISK and for that, I am thankful.

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  2. MY boy was born when I was almost 38. "OLD" ....I hear ya! :) You'll be a great mama! Old or not....

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    1. Thanks Mindy! Old ladies for the win!

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  3. Dude, I'm as excited for you as I can possibly be for someone I haven't met who is havin' a baby.

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  4. Ugggggh, your writing. I'm in love. You make pubic hair more interesting than I ever thought possible. I want to hear more about these wild 20s, though.

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    1. Oh, I should have added a disclaimer about my 20s being wild for ME but not necessarily other people. Mainly some traveling, fun jobs, meeting lots of cool people, and drinking a lot.

      xo

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  5. Dude, happy belated birthday! A vat of chocolate and potato chips are headed your way. Just kidding. But wouldn't that be amazing? Let's stop for a moment and drool like Homer Simpson.......

    Get used to that parading around naked thing. I can't remember the last time I peed by myself and my daughter regularly enters the bathroom post-shower for one thing or another. This morning at 6:30am, I'm just getting out of the shower when she walks in:
    Her: "Mom, I'm awake."
    Me (toweling off): "Uh...Ok. Could you just go lay down for a few minutes, I'm trying to get dressed."
    Her: "But I have to go potty."
    Me: "Ok, do it quickly then go back to bed."
    Her: "I don't wanna go potty....Why do you have boobs?"
    Me: "Uh...women have boobs to feed their babies."
    Her: "But how does the milk squirt out? Where are the holes?"
    Me: "Are you done yet?"

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    1. LOL about the boobs! I was curious about the milk holes myself, child. I look forward to my kid being like: Mom, why does your body look like a truck ran over it? And I'll be like: Because I carried you for nine months and then someone sliced you out of me with a knife. MARTYR 4 LYFE

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