I’m halfway there, so I’m going to bore and offend people by making a few comments about being an older mom. If you are over 35, you are encouraged to take an AFP test. This is a simple blood test that tells you if you are at an increased risk for serious problems with your baby. The problem with this test is that besides the results being affected by the baby’s health, the test also “dates your blood” so, if you are over 35 you are guaranteed to get red-flagged results. Doesn’t that make the test pointless for women over 35? Skip ahead to the recommended step for women who test increased risk. The next thing recommended is an amniocentesis. This is an invasive test that gives a lot of very accurate information. What do the medical professionals do with this information? They tell you to choose if you want to have this baby. Why do I need a dangerous test to know if I want this baby? So, I said no thank you to the AFP and I was informed that I needed to sign a form that I was refusing the test. Next comes the ultrasound. This is not my first child so I fully recognize the difference between my first ultrasound and the one I just had done. First ultrasound is sweet and educational, “there are his toes and look at how well he can move around right now”. Older moms get an ultrasound more like this: “Ok, I don’t see any thickening at the base of the skull and his palate looks intact. Let’s check his organs.”
The point of all this is that I am left feeling more than a little paranoid and anxious. I can only imagine the guilt and pressure that is heaped upon moms over 40.