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

  • Kristen Genevieve

    Also on the plus side, even though there are lots of tests, at least you get lots of ultrasounds! My sister-in-law was also a special case at 28 because she has diabetes, and she got 8 or 9 ultrasounds. Crazy!
    There are pros and cons to every big life decision, and what matters is what’s right for you. Its awesome that you are blessed to be able to have kids exactly when you want them – after all, isn’t that probably what’s best time for both you & your kiddo(s)? Wishing you a healthy pregnancy, as always 🙂
    xo kristen genevieve

    sunnywithachanceoflemons.blogspot.com
    sunny bloglovin

    • Yup, lots of ultra sounds I’ve had 4 already I think. I’m almost losing count. You are so right. You have to embrace your decision and understand there are positives and negatives to everything. Nothing is ever black & white. Ever. I feel blessed every day! How are you feeling? I loved seeing your growing baby bump. Adorbs!!!!

      • Kristen Genevieve

        Four ultrasounds, wow! That is awesome! I’m feeling good – trying a little meditation like you suggested for those headaches! But my belly feels like its growing sooo much this week and reminds me that its all worth it!! So exciting!
        Can’t wait to see your next pregnancy update!! 🙂

  • who cares what LA sees things as, we all do things when the time is right for us, not for anyone else. Sure, the later in life we have children, we all know there are risks, but seriously, congratulations and enjoy your pregnancy. You’ll love being a mother.. its the best thing in the world..

    • Thanks so very much! I appreciate the support. I am very happy with our decision. I just can’t wait to do the most important thing in my life!!! I love that you love being a mommy. So sweet!

  • KPsays

    Oh, can I love you even more!!!! My hubby works in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) at our largest children’s hospital here in Augusta. Girl, you have nothing to worry about! (Just don’t go past 40 weeks. If they tell you to, call me. I’ll give you my cell number).

    I so agree with what you were saying about meeting the right man at the right time. I lived my carefree, happy single life also. If I would have met my current husband at 25, I wouldn’t have been interested. We got married when I was 32! Perfect timing.

    My gyno kept freaking me out with statistics, and said if we were going to have a baby, the clock was ticking.

    We chose not to have children. But I am eagerly awaiting the ShuGar lump, like he was my nephew!!!! xo

    • You are the sweetest person in the world!!!! Your husband has such a cool and super important job. Wow! He must have so many stories!

      I will keep that advice in mind about the 40 weeks. Most definitely. I feel like I need to educate myself on so many things to avoid being misled by anyone.

      So happy you can relate! I got married at the same age as you! Perfect time with the perfect man. Exactly! I was so not marriage material in my 20’s. I was way too selfish enjoying my freedom.

      My gyno has been pretty understanding. It’s just the other people in the medical field and all the additional testing I have had to go through. I did feel the pressure that if we wanted to have kids, we have to decide now. I am ecstatic about our decision and so happy you are happy with yours!!! It feels like a miracle with this little man growing inside of me! You made my entire week with your last sentence. Love ya, girlie!!

  • 35 seems like the perfect age to become a mama especially with the perfect man in your life and a life that is stable, calm and full of love!

    • That’s exactly how it feels. I am surrounded by more peace and stability like I have never been before. It’s different for everyone, but I just feel lucky to even have a choice. Sending you lots of hugs!

  • So happy for you!! Everything happens in its own time and I’m happy that getting pregnant happened in a great time for you. All that scary stuff about women getting pregnant in their 30s? Psssh. You go girl 🙂

    • Thanks, sweet Alyssa! I feel like doctors just love to scare you. I am focusing on the positive and the blessing we have. Sending you hugs!

  • La Maman Heureuse

    Being a parent is a wonderful thing, but it’s also one of the most life changing moments you’ll go through. No matter what age someone is, you should be ready. And for each and every person that timing is different. I love your explanation about waiting for the right person and having experienced the world. Everything in our lives has a timing and yours was now. Getting kids at a younger age might be better healthwise, but what’s the use of being a parent when sometimes you’re a kid too.

    I always said I wanted to be a mom by 30 and then 30 passed with further ado. While I knew I wanted to be a mom, there was always a reason not to do it. And then I got a bit of a health scare and I realized I wanted nothing more than to be a mama. It took a lot of convincing for the husband who wasn’t ready for kids yet. But when I did got pregnant, it felt like the most natural thing and I never looked back. She’s the best thing that ever happened in my life and age really doesn’t matter. And I do wonder sometimes about giving her a sibling and while age plays a big part in that, I know it will happen when necessary.

    You guys sound like amazing parents to be and that little boy of yours is going to be so blessed!

    love from Belgium,

    Cindy

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Cindy! It really touched me. I do agree with you that people should choose their own time. It is different from everyone.

      Your journey sounds like it brought you to a place where you knew you wanted kids after a time of not expecting it, which is similar to me. I am so happy to hear you have a beautiful daughter! What a blessing. Funny, I have told the hubs that we need to give our little boy a sibling, but let’s see what happens. Sometimes life has a way of making choices for us. I still can’t believe this little boy in my belly is ours! It really is a dream come true.

      Thank you for visiting! Big hugs from California!