Advanced Maternal Age

Mommy’s Corner is a weekly series exploring our journey in becoming parents, our love for our ShuGar baby, and general topics related to mommyhood.

One thing I have heard over and over again in all my doctor’s appointments is about my “advanced maternal age.” Yup, folks, I am 35 years old and pregnant with my first child. Quick! Someone sound the maternity alarm! I know in LA this seems pretty normal, but in science world it is “abnormal” and, therefore, requires a whole lot of separate, more extensive testing.

Allow me to explain. We have our own genetic counselor.  In case you are wondering, a genetic counselor is someone who specializes in deciphering if your baby is at risk for any genetic disorders based on my biology and/or Mr. ShuGar’s.  We had an extensive meeting with our genetic counselor where she probed us all about our family and any sicknesses or diseases which may be cause for concern. She even drew a family tree of both of our bloodlines and we had to describe each person and cause of death (if appropriate). At that point, we submitted a Maternity 21 test and a Counsyl test.  Apparently both are fairly recent technological developments so we opted for both. We are still pending the results of all the tests, but so far everything is coming out great.

I’ve also had to have several “special” ultra sounds to measure the baby’s development and test for any signs of a developmental disorder. Plus, I have no idea how many times my blood has been drawn. I feel like a human juice box.

In almost every doctor’s visit, I am reminded of my “special” circumstances due to my age. I know it’s not personal, but science. However, instead of focusing on the dangers associated with my age, I’d like to dedicate this post to the upside of being a 35-year old mom.

Disclaimer: I know I have nothing else to compare motherhood to since this is my first child. I also don’t mean to knock young mothers at all. I will only share what I feel is my truth.

I am a mother at 35 because I waited for the right man to be the father of my child. I count my lucky stars that I did not become a mom with any of the previous men in my life.  Not that they are bad people, but I feel so fortunate that I waited for Mr. ShuGar. He is so kind and gentle with me during this time. I am glad I did not settle for anyone less for myself nor for our ShuGar baby. I don’t know if I would have been ready to be with Mr. ShuGar when I was younger. I met him at the right age.

Because I am of advanced maternal age, this means that I have lived a full and independent life the moment I became a mommy-to-be.  My 20’s was a period of pure joy, exploration, experimentation, independence and fun. I traveled and lived in different countries. I completed my college degree and would later get my Master’s degree. I dated all sorts of men. I got my heart broken. I broke some hearts. In other words, I lived my life.  I know what it feels like to read a book in a Parisian cafe. I have been to the Southern most part of the world – Patagonia.  My age means I can tell our ShuGar baby what the world looks, tastes, feels and sounds like.  I don’t have to read it in a book and imagine it. I lived it. I will pass my adventures onto him.

At 35, our ShuGar baby is no accident. My little man growing in my tummy was planned.  We decided to expand our family when my career was settled and Mr. ShuGar’s was too. I wanted a house for my little man to grow up in.  My parents are retired so they can help take of  little ShuGar. We have lived two glorious married years as husband and wife. We have had our “us” time and are ready to share our love.

During this stage of my life, I feel more comfortable in my skin and more empowered about life. I have gained a deeper understanding of what really matters on a daily basis.  As much as I love shoes, I know they are not my happiness (although sometimes they come close to it!).  With maturity, comes strength and peace. I feel more settled in my position in life now that I have aged.

Ultimately, although my age puts me in danger of all sorts of biological conditions, I am so happy I chose to wait until 35 to bring our little ShuGar into this life. It is the perfect time to be a mom with the perfect partner. I wouldn’t change anything at all.

How and why did you decide to become a mother when you did? This question applies to those who are yet to be moms and those who already have a little one. What were factors in your decision-making process?

Photo credit: Peter Shushtari