08.09.2014

Pregnant over 40 amnio

EmailI’ll never forget the day I signed on the dotted line at the age of 44, consenting to an amniocentesis, and feeling like Christopher Walken in the 1978 film Deer Hunter, putting a gun to my head while in a smoke-filled den during a big stakes game of Russian (Miscarriage) Roulette.
As we sat in the small windowless hospital room, she shoved a clipboard at me which listed the oldest mother to have had an amniocentesis so far that year. I realized then (and I am equally assured now) that the medical establishment does not comprehend the degree of angst—all too often verging on bald, raging fear—that older mothers feel about their high-risk pregnancies.


Hoeprich  also noticed that over-40 moms tended to have control issues during natural childbirth and had more trouble letting go. In her experience pregnancies for over-40 moms, some of these fears can be reality based—underlying health problems such as obesity, hypertension, or a history of infertility can make for a rougher road for pregnancy and birth. But Erickson warns “there a risk with TMI (too much information) for any woman exceptionally educated to every aspect of pregnancy and birth that we (her midwives) may spend a good deal of time trying to relieve anxieties and stresses from reading horror stories online or from relatives.


Talking with Hoeprich and Erickson, who have dedicated themselves to supporting mothers—including the rising older breed—through the rite to which they have a birthright (motherhood), sets me to remembering my brief and miraculous two pregnancies.



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