Being 37 and pregnant is a very different experience than being a perky twenty-something and pregnant. First of all, older pregnancies seem to be far more physically and mentally challenging. I have never been so sick in my life as I have been with Thing 4. It has been brutal! Not to mention, on top of the constant nausea, the vomiting the headaches, the already appearing stretch marks, and the fatigue, it is just plain scary being pregnant with old eggs. As an older mom you have a drastically higher chance of miscarriage and your baby is much more likely to suffer from chromosomal abnormalities or birth defects. Thankfully, though, after my last ultrasound the doctor reassured me that my chances of miscarriage has dropped to just 2%, and from what he can see, the baby appears to be picture-perfect. Still the chance for a miscarriage is a little high for my liking, and not enough of a reduction to stop me from frantically looking in the toilet for blood every time I use the washroom, but it is reassuring enough that I am now allowing myself to plan for this baby and to pick out names. Oh, which brings me to a great point: being an older mama means picking out names becomes infinitely more difficult because that many more people have unimpressed you in your lifetime and have hence ruined those names forever. Also, if you are an older mama with kids, you know a ton of kids and every name seems to be used up. Grrrrrrrr! Seriously, you have no idea how tricky picking out a name has become. Please feel free to leave name suggestions in the comments. We can use all the help we can get. Except of course if you are my dad or brother. This baby is not being named Emmy Lou, Lester or Buck. Just saying.
Second of all, being 37 and pregnant is a whole new experience for me because the medical community slaps the label AMA to your charts, and who knew, but this little label is your ticket to multiple doctors, extra doctor appointments, more ultrasounds, and a gazillion (and might I add optional) tests. AMA stands for "advanced maternal age", or as my doctor likes to joke: "against medical advice". Now, it is not all bad because with this label comes some pretty cool perks. You know those extra ultrasounds I was talking about. Well, we AMA's don't have to fill our bladder for them! That's right; we don't have to drink those three ginormous cups of water one hour prior to our appointment and we get to pee all we want. Sorry young mamas! Since we are talking about ultrasounds, let me tell you that we, AMA's have our own waiting room for this procedure that is filled with plush, leather couches and we don't have to sit awkwardly in a room filled with strangers because there is only one AMA ultrasound room, which means we get the waiting room all to ourselves. Sound too good to be true? Well, it gets better. The AMA ultrasound room is large and warm, and the state-of-the-art ultrasound machine that resides there gives ultra-clear pictures even at the earliest months (hence my beautiful 12 week snapshot of Thing 4), which might I add was printed off for me by the doctor. Shall we see that again? Oh, let's:
In all honesty, have you ever seen such a cute fetus?
Anyhoo . . .
Oh, and if the ultra clear images were not enough, well, we AMA's get to sit comfortably and watch the ultrasound on a large screen directly placed in front of our bed. Oh yeah, no craning of the necks for us older mamas!
Mr. Level-Headed also came up with a great idea for us AMA's the other day after I began whining in the car when he received his pina colada smoothie from DQ before I was handed my strawberry, banana smoothie. He believes we AMA's should be given a card to carry around with us so that whenever we are at the drive-thru, or people stop by unexpectedly, or we are unable to carry on a coherent conversation because we just can't remember what we are talking about, we can flash this card and people will automatically cater to our every whim. That man is brilliant! This is why I married him ladies, and yes, since that conversation, I have become a certified, card-carrying AMA:
I guess being AMA is not all bad.
I wonder if it will work . . .