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 family...my 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?