Cardi B is my girl. I watch Teen Mom, and I still fret over my outfit on the regular like a silly teenager. So, the one word I was surprised to be described as is “geriatric.” But alas, as a 35-year old, that’s how my quest for baby #2 was labeled: a Geriatric Pregnancy. Every time I hear the term I picture a pregnant 80-year-old with white curly hair and a house dress playing cards in a nursing home. That couldn’t be any further from my truth!
In simple terms, a geriatric pregnancy is a woman who becomes pregnant over the age of 35. It seems that the term “advanced maternal age” is starting to become more popular, maybe because too many pregnant and hormonal geriatric women started to take it out on the medical community via karate chops!
A report from the CDC says that more women are having babies later in life than ever. In fact, the number of women waiting until they are between 35 and 39-years-old continues to climb every year.
We tried for almost a full 365 days to give our 3-year-old a sibling. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and tried medications, diets, exercise, acupuncture…you name it. All of these methods had a positive effect on me, but every negative pregnancy test was another crushing disappointment. We were stressed, and our doctors advised us to take a month off and try fresh the following month.
And what do you know, that one month we didn’t “try,” it happened! To my complete shock, we took a test and were over the moon to discover we were, in fact, finally expecting. Everyone had said “when you least expect it,” and boy were they right!
While being pregnant after 35 certainly has its risks such as a higher rate of miscarriage, high blood pressure, and premature birth, it doesn’t feel impossible. It’s been a wonderful experience for me so far. Like so many other areas of my life, I’ve made up my mind to find the silver lining and find the happy moments along the way.
Perks of being pregnant and over 35:
At only 12 weeks pregnant, I’d already had three ultrasounds, which are three chances to see this little miracle baby growing inside of me. I saw the baby at just a few weeks, a tiny little piece of rice, and it was so special. Due to my age, I also had the opportunity to do the genetics tests earlier than I did with my last pregnancy and found out the baby’s gender at just 12 weeks: BOY! The planner in me is thrilled.
As I get older, I’ve noticed that the small stuff doesn’t affect me as much. When I was pregnant with my first, a comment about the size of my belly might have thrown me for a loop, but now it’s like…whatever! Yep, I’m only 12 weeks, and I’m already big– how lucky am I get to carry this baby and become a mom again? Strangers are warned: this geriatric mama doesn’t give AF.
Trying and struggling for as long as we did really did bring us closer. We were able to clearly see exactly what we wanted and support each other as we worked– together– to get there. This has been better for us, our little one, and, soon enough, our new baby, as well.
The studies are mixed, but some researchers believe that women who wait until later in life to have children live longer and have less memory loss. Fingers crossed it’s true!
So, while I would have preferred to experience this pregnancy a few years earlier, the label geriatric hasn’t slowed me down. I still dealt with morning sickness like a champ, and all of the other things that come along with the first trimester. I’m excited to have this chance again, regardless of my age. Who knows, maybe I’ll dress up like one of the Golden Girls for Halloween with my big belly, and bring my version of geriatric pregnancy to life?