Advanced Maternal Age, etc.

>> Monday, April 9, 2018

Thank you so much for your congratulations on our big news. I had another ultrasound last week and was so excited to see that baby was measuring 11 weeks with a strong heartbeat -- 168 bpm. The scan has definitely helped me relax a bit as I get closer to the second trimester. Some of you who follow me on Instagram know that I am anxiously awaiting results from free cell DNA blood work that I had done last Thursday. I should know by the end of the week if our baby has a risk of certain chromosomal disorders. And, yes, we're also finding out the sex this way. My guess is girl, so we'll see if I'm correct!

This week, I'm going to do all things pregnancy. So, if you'd rather skip -- I'm just letting you know. What I wanted to write about today is how I'm feeling. Not necessarily physically, though there is some of that I'll cover. But more what it's like to have my first pregnancy where I'm classed as advanced maternal age. I didn't care much at first, but seeing it checked off on my paperwork a few times now . . . it's had a surprising effect on me.

I mean, at 34, I realize I'm only on the cusp (I'll deliver when I'm 35) . . . but now I'm officially an older mom. (Image source)

For a silly example, in previous pregnancies, I've wavered on whether or not I should color my hair. My roots would bug me. This time around, I have quite a crop of grey hairs that are sprouting. I always thought I'd transition gracefully, but they're making me so darned self conscious! It's yet another reminder that I'm getting older. That doesn't have to be a bad thing, but somehow it just feels so different.

(As an aside, I ordered a new Overtone hair conditioning color. I'll write about it soon!)

I also started this pregnancy at the highest weight and lowest fitness level of any of my pregnancies. And that's not helping with self esteem. I feel a bit sluggish and chubbier that I'd like before I really start packing on the pounds. I am trying to jog 3 miles, 3 to 4 times a week, but it's been tough. I mostly have the evenings to fit in workouts and that's when I've been the sickest and most tired throughout the day. I've skipped a lot of workouts as a result.

I have tried not reading too much into AMA being a risk factor for certain complications throughout pregnancy and delivery. But I know as we age, there can be more risks of certain things. For example, I have had high blood pressure at a lot of my appointments so far. After taking it at the end of the appointment, we're all pretty sure it's white coat syndrome. But there's this nagging part of me that worries about preeclampsia developing later on.

One thing I like about being an older mom is that I am not really worrying much about after delivery. You know, when the baby is actually here. I've been there and done that. I know that I don't need to spend hours toiling over a registry or worrying about what gadgets I might need. The answer to most things is that I don't need them. We are trying to figure out sleeping arrangements. I think we'll be moving Eloise's room to the spare behind Ada's. It's small, but it'll provide some noise insulation from the baby being in our room. I'll get into this more another time.

I did have to go out and buy some maternity clothing. Like I said, I started out heavier than normal (months on progesterone will do that to you). All of the clothing I wore during Ada's pregnancy -- same seasons -- way too small. (And honestly, I'm sick of it. Like first-generation Liz Lange from Target.) Maybe I'll do a small maternity clothing capsule for you guys!

OK. What else? Well, I do enjoy the added monitoring throughout my pregnancy. As I've written before, my pregnancy with Eloise was rife with anxiety. And for good reason. But I felt my midwife didn't take my concerns seriously and didn't really offer much peace of mind. This time around, I am seeing an OB who is extremely understanding of that piece. He gave me additional ultrasounds in the first trimester, for example. And I know that as an AMA mom, there are more tests that go along with the process (like the free cell DNA). Some people don't like added stuff, but I am happy to get any and all information that's available.

Other topics I plan to cover this week include how I'm managing morning sickness, thoughts on being a family of five, and perhaps I'll know if baby is a girl/boy in time to share! If you guys would like me to write about anything specifically, let me know.

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