It was brought to my attention last week that I am now in fact old. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve known all along that I am getting older. I just didn’t realize that I am officially “old.” But I am. And the worst part is, I didn’t even see it coming! I thought I had timed this pregnancy (and by timed, I mean, through sheer luck and no planning on our part whatsoever) so that I would get in just under the wire of being considered “advanced maternal age.” And by doing so, I would avoid the long speeches by the doctor (I assume there are long speeches when you’re old—I don’t know; I’ve never been old before) and warnings and cautionary tales and whatnot, regarding how pregnancy in old age can be more dangerous than … what? Being pregnant when you’re 15? I have no idea. Anyway, the point is that I thought I wasn’t old yet.
Last week we had our first ultrasound. It’s always fun to see the baby, and it makes the whole thing seem more real, to me. The image of the baby was on the screen for a good 30 seconds when I announced, “Oh! I get it!” Because that’s how long it took me to figure out which part was the baby’s head. This is my fourth baby. I’ve had, what, upwards of a dozen ultrasounds? And still you could show me a picture of a blank wall and tell me it’s the baby, and I’d believe you. I’m an excellent mother.
Anyway, during the appointment, the doctor gave me the speech (See? I knew there would be a speech) that I do, indeed, qualify as advanced maternal age. You see, apparently they calculate that most noble distinction by how old you will be when the baby is born, not how old you are now. Very tricky. Seems like a technicality to me. Also, I blame math. Math, as we all know, is the Axis of Evil. Anyway, as luck would have it, I will most likely be 35 by the time this baby arrives. (My due date is February 15, and my birthday is four days earlier. Four days!)
So there you have it, I qualify as a geriatric obstetrics patient by four days. (To be clear: The doctor never once referred to me as “geriatric.” I referred to myself that way. But let’s be real with ourselves here—”advanced maternal age” is just a longer way of saying “geriatric.”) And I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s not. I know lots of people have babies after they become “advanced maternal age.” And they’re probably some of the best people ever. All I’m saying is that the term now applies to me, and I liked it better when it only applied to other people.
So there it is. In three weeks we’ve learned that I am unsentimental, I have a bad SI joint, and I’m old.