Monday, February 11, 2008


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?)


Mrs. C said...

Jenn, a word of encouragement...

They like to pull that Advanced Maternal Age crap to line their pocketbooks. Really. I turned 38 a few days after my last baby was born (two weeks ago!) so we are very nearly the same age. I get to be more "advanced" than you by a few months, maybe...

PLEASE don't worry about it. If you want a test, take a test for AFP or whatever. But if you don't want it (and I didn't!!), don't let them bully you. It is YOUR body and YOUR baby.

I think the best comments are from the well-meaning or not-so-well-meaning relatives. You know, you're getting too old to "keep doing this" and all. (??? I will leave you to reach your own conclusions on that one LOL!!!)

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Jenn, I am not sure which is worse--AMA or GMP (Grand Multipara).

But, when you are the only one in the maternity ward with bifocals, enjoy the extra attention you get anyway.

Ryan O. said...

If 37 is AMA, then my mom must have been PMA-Prehistoric Maternal Age, for carrying and delivering my lil' sis at 42. But we, your readers, know better-you're not old. I mean, you say dude more frequently than I do-and you write it!

Here's a capitol idea:
I say you play up the AMA thing. When you go to the hospital to deliver lil' Gus, you show up with a giant purse full of reading glasses, Blu-Blocker shades, a shower cap, a sack lunch and a can of Aqua Net. You should also call everyone 'junior' or 'young man/lady.'
A vocabulary of old fashioned lingo would help, too. Stuff like, "you're on the trolley" and "capitol" and "neato."

I hope this helps.

Rational Jenn said...

Thanks everyone! Ryan O--you were cracking me up!

It would be so funny to show up to the hospital with bifocals and a huge purse full of peppermints and those little plastic scarves my grandma used to use when it rained. "Just wheel me right in there, sonny! And step on it, I've got Bingo later!"

They'd probably think I was crazy.'s very tempting!

I figure there's nothing I can do about them calling me AMA, so I might as well amuse myself with it!

piscesgrrl said...

Hey there, this had me totally cracking up! And then ryan o had me totally cracking up! What a hoot!

You get bonus points for this post!!!

Rational Jenn said...

Glad you liked it! I have fun writing this snarky kind of stuff--releasing my inner snark is a healthy way of not being inappropriate when I'm in the situation. Because they really did say those things--"whippersnapper" and "You don't need to sound so depressed." I just thought to myself at the time--hm. Bloggable.

I get over-explainy sometimes. Bye!