Thursday, September 05, 2013

8 is Great!....Advanced Maternal Age

Today marks my half way point! Twenty weeks!  Hard to believe.  Today I thought I would write about being an older pregnant mama :-)  At 42, I am considered past my prime in the baby making area.  Thankfully, after doing a quick search on 'older pregnant moms', I was pleasantly surprised to find some sites that took a balanced approach to this idea of being older.  I know there are a lot of doctors out there that are also changing their views on older moms, for the better. 

One of the biggest concerns about being an older mom is chromosomal abnormalities (CA).  Yes, the rate of babies being born to older moms have a higher chance of having a CA, but what do the numbers mean?  When being told that I had a 1 in 40 chance of having a child with any type of CA, that sounds pretty bad.  But percentage wise that only means a 2.5% chance of a child with a CA.  Just over 2%.  That means I have a 98% chance that my baby will be healthy.  So, yes, the risks have risen from someone who is only 30, but my chances of having a healthy baby are still on my side.

Please don't misunderstand me, I know the risks are real.  But at the same time, I know (personally know) multiple moms who's first children, or a child born while still young that have Down Syndrome.  For them, their 1 in 1,000 chance became 100%.  We are not exempt from the possibility at any age.  My thoughts are that there are risks in pretty much everything we do.  Driving a car?  Risk.  My daughter horse back riding...who is now *jumping* horses!  Gulp!  Risk.  Taking medications or receiving or not receiving vaccinations.  Risk.  And by golly the risk of your child having autism is 1 in 50, but I don't see that stopping people from having a child.  And boys are at more risk than girls.  So just being born is a risk.  The rise in cancer?  We are all at risk.

None of us knows what life will hold.  Only One.  And He is in control, nothing is a surprise.  This doesn't mean I wouldn't be heartbroken if there was anything wrong with my child.  We all, myself included, want the very best for our children.  That includes being healthy.  But living life in fear isn't an option either.  I know for one that my oldest would think life isn't worth living if horses were not involved :-)  We've also had many a fun adventure that took a car drive to get there. 

So CA behind us, the other biggest issues of an older mama is her health.  The risk of diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and high blood pressure rise with age.  But I know that all of those issues can be avoided completely with a healthy diet and exercise.  I read how a mother's blood flow isn't as good as when she is younger, possibly leading to a smaller baby.  But, again, how our bodies work is directly related to how well we've taken care of them (obviously lacking any physical disabilities from birth or accident).

Now, another issue that has been raised, even from someone in my own age when the child will be 18, an adult.  Yes, I will be 60 by the time this babe is old enough to leave the nest.  I think this is a matter of perspective.  Most people think that life should go a certain way (all of us have *A* view).  The idea of being 'free' of children at 40 or 45 so that you can go on to live life as you please is not my view.  Oh, don't get me wrong, there are days where I just want to go grocery shopping with out a little one in tow, or get a meal made without a diaper change needed, BUT I do not want to live my life just for myself, doing as I please.  I personally have always wanted children, lots of them, and I look forward to being a Grandma one day with lots of littles to dote on.  Jeremiah has talked about downsizing once all the kids move out.  I just laugh and say, WHERE would all of our grand kids fit?!  There will be a time where I have more time to read, more time to crochet/sew, more time to get out and do things.  There are days when I am plumb worn out from chasing little boys around, but why would I want to exchange that for more time to 'golf' or 'travel' (I do not golf, Im just using it as an example), or 'make money'?  Life is short, too short, and I want to spend it with my family.  Each and every one of them.  If I die when I am 60, I would only be sad for not being able to see my younger ones through those amazing adult situations (marraige, having a baby of their own, etc.), not because I didn't get a chance to visit the Grand Canyon, or that I didn't have enough free time to knit, etc.

I also read that we older moms will have more aches and pains.  Again, this will depend on how well you've been eating and how great a shape you are in.  Or that we will be more tired, etc.  Seriously, this pregnancy hasn't been any harder than my others.  I did have that bout with my 'heart issue' which I found was just a magnesium deficiency.  My morning sickness was the best this time around, again because of the magnesium.  Had I started a month or two before getting pregnant I truly think I would have had no morning sickness at all.  I actually have more energy this pregnancy than any other pregnancy thus far.  In all of my past pregnancies I've needed to take a nap, but besides the couple of times my mag. was down, I haven't had to nap. 

So, being older isn't necessarily bad, it may just be different.  But most of these older mom issues are avoidable.  The ones that are not, though real, are still not as scary as some would have us believe. 

Any other older pregnant mamas out there? What are your thoughts?


Lucy said...

I know several women who have had children well into their forties. One was 44! that was an oops, her other child was 16 at the time. Older moms face the same fears, exhaustion, and joy that younger moms do. Do what makes you happy, that is all. Enjoy it while it lasts because you never know what tomorrow may bring. I can say this with certainly.

The Southern Peach-Girls said...

Thank you Lucy ;-) And, yes, I am trying to enjoy this pregnancy, as I know that this one could be our last. I just checked out your blog! Wow! Where were you when I was needing lunch ideas :-)? I will have to take notes. Hoping you are all doing well!


fiestymom said...

I am well. I just graduated with Honors in Massage Therapy and working on my Bachelors in Holistic Health. The kids are doing great, happy and healthy. I can't ask for more really. Help yourself to my lunch ideas, I have more! It's hard when your kids don't like pb and j makes you more creative. Babies are great, enjoy! Personally I see little chance of more for me, but I've made peace with that. My focus is being mom and dad to the awesomeness I already have. Peace and Love!

The Southern Peach-Girls said...

Wow! That is amazing! Great job on all fronts :-) Yay, someone else in the family into holistic health. Between Tracy and yourself you might just conquer the world.

And never say never, ya never know what tomorrow holds :-)

Glad to know you are all doing so well! Keep up the awesome work!

Lisa Hellwig said...

I was 44 1/2 when my last was born.... yes, I've done all those calculations too: when he's 20, I'll be 64, etc.... but wouldn't I have been 64 in 20 years anyways, with or without him??? May as well embrace what God sends along. I've never heard of anyone on his death bed regretting having children, only regretting not having had them or not spent their time on earth with family! Go Advanced Maternal Age Mamas!
Praying for you!

The Southern Peach-Girls said...

YES! I will be 60 with or with out this child :-) I would much rather be 60 with the child than without. Very encouraging. Did you have any issues with doctors giving you lectures? Or did you have him at home? Sorry, I can not recall at this moment.

Have a wonderful day,

Lisa Hellwig said...

Had my last at home. Midwife was all encouragement and such a help!
I was being given a hard time with my 4th (when I was only 34!) about having so many....and the toll it would take on my body, etc.... That was the last time I ever saw a Dr.
for a pregnancy... or for anything else, for that matter! And I've been all the healthier for it. Dr.s have their place, but not in text-book pregnancies!
Keep on keeping on! Trust in the Lord... He is faithful.

The Southern Peach-Girls said...

Wow, Lisa, getting a hard time at 34? Oy. I hear you on the doctors!


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