Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Advanced Maternal Age

Advanced Maternal Age. Now that is a set of words that makes you feel like jumping for joy (sarcasm). The societal assumption of youth just seeps through. After Quinn’s birth, I received some paperwork from the perinatologist. I wanted the karotype and ended up getting some additional papers. In these papers I was “diagnosed” with Advanced Maternal Age. I was 35 years-old. I started to wonder that if little "young" me is advanced, what did they say a few years back about that pregnant woman in her 60s? Bet they said the same thing – it has to be the official term. 35 or 60 doesn't matter, you are still considered advanced. I am used to that kind of stuff in my profession, but Quinn has taught me to see the person not just the diagnosis. I guess I might have this all wrong – I should be thinking about how “advanced” could be a compliment; at least I am not some naive youngster. I love the age I am now.

The reason why I bring this up is that I had a visitor (World of Science) on my site here and the comment suggested I post the guidelines for eligibility of pregnant women for a prenatal diagnosis. I went and explored their site and if you are interested in this topic would suggest you go here. But it was the first point “Advanced Maternal Age” that stood out to me, taking me back to what I saw on my paperwork. Getting me thinking...

Advanced Maternal Age is why I received additional testing and eventually the diagnosis. This is usually seen as age 35, but could be as low at 31. Nice huh? Whether you are advanced depends upon where you go and how they define it. Wouldn’t that be like if someone has a certain IQ, one group may see them as having a cognitive disability and another group would see them as below average? Nothing has changed about that person, just others' perception. I was Advanced Maternal Age because of who I am – nothing I could change about that, but when I had the ultrasound I guess that is what then made them realize that there was a risk for a “chromosomally abnormal fetus” – aka Quinn. I am biased, but I don’t see her as being abnormal. She is absolutely beautiful. It is all a matter of perspective. I am not some Advanced Maternal Age mom with a chromosomally abnormal child – I am a wise mother who is blessed with a beautiful beautiful little girl who has made my life infinitely better.


1 comment:

  1. Yeah, AMA, I found it to be a bit insulting. When I saw it listed as part of my daughter's diagnosis in the hospital, I insisted they remove it unless they could prove that it "caused" her Ds. I was so hormonal... On the bright side, I love the 3d and 4d ultrasounds we AMAs get when we are pregnant. What a cool view of the baby ;-)