Today is my 35th birthday.
Now, I’m not really one to stress over numbers. As long as I still occasionally get carded when buying liquor, I’m OK with being 35. Really.
However, I have a bone to pick with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). According to them, today’s birthday brings with it a special message – Happy Birthday and Congratulations on reaching Advanced Maternal Age.
In other words, I’m OLD.
What the f*ck ACOG? I am not a carton of milk. Why are you slapping an expiration date on my ovaries?
Studies show that women who become pregnant (or are trying) at the “advanced age” of 35+ are generally classified as “high risk”.
Now, I happen to work with a lot of OBGYNs and many, including my own, have basically told me that this is bullsh*t. Some of these women waited until their 40’s to have their first kid and they assured me that they turned out just fine. Sure, there is data to support ACOG’s declaration, but for the sake of this post, let’s just ignore all of that.
Based on my research of the risks/reasons that allegedly affect us elderly women, I would like to offer some very unscientific, yet more logical explanations to explain why we may be faced with certain complications.
**DISCLAIMER: The following is for entertainment purposes ONLY and should NOT be considered serious/educational information. This is NOT meant to insult anyone who may be trying to conceive. I am NOT a medical professional (as if there was any question). I am merely an old hag.
It might take longer to get pregnant. My sources (WebMD and The Mayo Clinic) claim the reason for this is because women only have a finite number of eggs. We are born with approximately one million. By the time puberty kicks us in the ass, we are left with around 300,000. When all is said and done, about 300-500 of these little suckers will actually be fertilized. That still sounds like a lot to me so I think the REAL reason it takes someone longer to get pregnant when they are 35+ is because we just don’t have as much time to spend banging everyone’s brains out. Newsflash: there are many more libido killers to take into consideration at this age.
1) KIDS – If we already have kids, nothing will kill an attempt at getting horizontal faster than a toddler jumping into bed or a screaming baby.
2) CAREER – By this point, we have substantially more responsibility at our jobs than when we were 23. If we happen to have important meetings that keep us away from our partner’s “soldiers” on the few days we are actually capable of getting knocked up, we may miss the ridiculously small window of opportunity that we are afforded each month. And that’s IF we can even identify when that happens. As someone who has never been on birth control, I would have better luck spotting a Yeti than figuring out when I ovulate.
3) HIGHER STANDARDS – a pretty big reason a woman in her 30’s may not be in a serious relationship (gasp!) is NOT for lack of suitors. We can get laid whenever we want thanks to the internet and the fact that we have the one thing men think about 22,873,927 times a day – a vagina. However, we don’t need to hop into bed or marriage simply for the sake of procreation. By this age, we generally know what we want and aren’t willing to settle. And why the hell should we?
You’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes. It is suggested that, to prevent this, you must monitor your daily sugar intake and participate in physical activity. I’m pretty sure that my (almost) diagnosis with gestational diabetes while I was pregnant was because I ate mint chocolate chip ice cream three times a day and then washed it down with a King Size Snickers. Thankfully, I was able to work out throughout my pregnancy to (somewhat) make up for the copious amounts of fat I inhaled. If I got pregnant again, it would be an entirely different story though. Since my daughter was born, I have been to the gym ONCE – to cancel my membership. I figured that while everyone else was JOINING on Jan 1st, I would be a real badass and go against the crowd. It’s hard to find time to work out when you are working long hours AND taking care of a baby AND trying to stay up to date with episodes of The Bachelor and other riveting reality television. Something had to give.
You’re more likely to have a low birth weight baby. Well, that’s probably because you forced us to take SoulCycle classes and forbid us to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream.
You are more likely to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy. Yeah, you want to know why ACOG? It’s because we keep hearing how we are “older” followed by some asshole making the obnoxious biological ticking clock reference in our ear – tick, tock, tick, tock, tick…shutthefuckup!!! Nothing gets our blood boiling faster than phrases like “older women in their 30’s” or “geriatric pregnancy”. If I’m so old, why am I not collecting social security and playing Bingo at the assisted living community up the street? The next person to tell someone they don’t have much time left to get pregnant is getting a donkey kick right in the mouth. Some women do not even WANT kids (a decision made as a direct result of reading this blog) and that is completely cool. I know this may come as a shock to some, but you don’t need to have a baby in order to complete your life or make you happier than that one time you took ecstasy in college and were tripping balls telling the bathroom attendant how much you loved them.
You may need a C-section which puts you at risk for infection, negative reaction to anesthesia and injury to bowel and/or bladder. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that has nothing to do with age and can happen to ANYONE. But as long as your doctors aren’t complete idiots, these problems are rare and can usually be easily treated. And if you do end up scheduling a C-section, it can’t hurt to ask your doc for a little tummy tuck while they are in the vicinity. Consider it a bonus for bringing your uterus out of retirement.
And so, despite the fact that I am no longer a nubile 20-something with hoards of fresh eggs to spare (according to “studies”), at least I will never be too old to adopt. If you are a potty trained college grad with a lucrative career and healthy 401K who is looking for a new home, give me a call.
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