This post from Flibbert got me thinking about a similar circumstance in my own life: I'm old, over the hill, out to pasture, almost bucket-kicking, seen better days, looks whatever for her age.
It's true--the diagnosis is clear: I have Advanced Maternal Age.
I don't know how it happened--it just snuck up on me. One day, I was a regular woman, a mom with a couple of kids, doing alright, getting good grades, future's so bright . . . y'know.
And then I got pregnant. I was 36, about to turn 37. That's when I got the horrible news about my affliction.
It began during my first appointment at the obstetrician's. And how old are you? Really? Doc pokes his head out the door, catches the nurse's eye, and, pointing at me, says "This one's got Advanced Maternal Age. You know what to do!" And then the entire nursing staff scrambled to print out extra forms and test descriptions and practically handed me an ear trumpet.
You know something? You're really not supposed to overly stress or worry a pregnant woman, which I realize is an impossible task, since at this point I am likely to worry about the risk to the baby if I contract so much as a hangnail. So I think all this form-waving and lecturing by the doc and nurses is not only probably unnecessary, but puts them in danger of bodily harm from me.
When I called a specialist to schedule an early ultrasound--recommended for those in My Condition, researched and desired by me apart from the issue of my advancing years--the perky 14 year old on the other end of the phone said, "And the reason for your visit? Is it Advanced Maternal Age?" Um, yes. "Well, you don't need to sound so depressed about it!" I wanted to reach through the phone and squeeze some wrinkles into her face.
One doc--not my regular doc--tried to offer some comfort in the form of "Hey! You're just a young whippersnapper!" No, seriously. I could have smacked him for thinking that I knew what the word whippersnapper meant, since nobody without Advanced Maternal Age has probably ever heard the term.
Yes, I'm old and I'm gestating. I know this and do not need to be reminded of this fact each and every time I go to the doctor. I do not need random grocery store ladies commenting on it, or knowing looks from my neighbors. All you young'uns just keep your "but that's not so old!" comments to yourselves, and stay out of my yard while you're at it! I may have Advanced Maternal Age, but I am very hormonal and I can still hurt you.
(In fact, if there's one thing to be learned from this post, it's that I am very close to smacking people at all times, so look out! Also, if excerpts of this post appeared in your RSS reader last night, it's because I inadvertently hit "Publish" instead of "Save" before the post was ready to be shared with the world. Naturally, this should be taken as proof of my ever-deteriorating mental faculties, since, you know, I'M OLD, doncha know?)