I may not be in the majority here, but when I got pregnant in my mid-thirties, it didnâ€™t turn out to be how I had hoped it to be. I had at that point, 5 years into my marriage, faced countless questions about my fertility. No one was buying our explanations about waiting to get a little stable first. It was an acceptable excuse the first two years, but not after that. That is a whole another issue, the judgment women face for waiting too long. I even went to consult a fertility expert just to make sure everything was on point because their doubts messed with my mind, and I am glad I went. I couldnâ€™t believe I had gone through so many adult years without knowing much about womenâ€™s reproductive health.
But when we finally were there, the promise land of pregnancy, I felt like I was still being judged throughout my pregnancy for waiting so long.
One of the major players in making me feel somehow bad, albeit unintentionally, were my health care providers, they made me feel like crap. I work at one of the best hospitals in the world in the heart of New York City, and still there was no dearth of judgments, even though the rooms were filled with 30 somethingâ€™s who were pregnant.
When you are in your mid-thirties and you go to an OBGYN for pregnancy, the first thing they insist on is an AmniocentesisÂ (also referred to as amniotic fluid test or AFT). This is done to test if your child has genetic abnormalities and also carries a nominal chance of a miscarriage. They say because you are in your mid-thirties the chances are so much higher for genetic diseases to surface, so instead of elation you start to feel apprehension. I understand the necessity of it, but somehow the delivery is insensitive.
Should you choose not to do it, like me, you are apprehensive the whole entire time you are pregnant. My doctor gave another option of a blood test called Maternity 29 that can also do the same thing as the Amniocentesis without the risk of miscarriage. I did that instead. The test results were very good, but the answer from the doctor was so ambiguous that the doubts lingered. All throughout the pregnancy I kept hearing â€™you know because you are in your mid-thirties the risk is higher forâ€¦..â€™ which does not make things easy. I can only be thankful that he is a healthy baby!
You also keep hearing family say different things like â€˜you should start planning your second one now or it will be too late, as it is you waited too longâ€. I have heard this so many times I have lost count. I mean câ€™mon people, let me at least enjoy this one first!
Women are getting married older and starting families older, that is a reality today and everyone accepts that. Yet, when it comes to the language people lack restrain.
One thing that is now clear 11 months into motherhood is I should have had a baby at 18. Itâ€™s like he is an energizer bunny and at the end of the day my husband and I are like two zombies. Itâ€™s very hard to have full blown careers and have the energy level to match a baby. I feel sixty instead of being in my thirties. I am very blessed and thankful, but I am also so tired, your whole body changes after you give birth and sometimes I feel I did wait too long.
Would I change anything if I got a do over, probably not! Teenage pregnancy was never going to work for me J I was only trying to get my life together before bringing another human being into it and I think thatâ€™s the correct idea. It would be nice if people around were more sensitive, but then no one said life is fair!
- Moumita Chatterjee
- March 30, 2016
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