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Advanced Maternal Age…Who Me?

At the end of this month, I will be {gulp} 40.

I am well into the realm of what is considered “Advanced Maternal Age” (AMA), a classification give to women 35 and over.

I was of AMA when I was trying to conceive my first child.

And here I am, 5 years later, trying for another baby.

When my daughter graduates from high school, I will be 54. When my son enters college, I will be 56.

If we are blessed with this baby that we are trying for, I will likely be in my 60s when he or she marries.

As my 40th birthday looms, I am reminded that I am perhaps a bit old for this journey.

That perhaps my children will one day wish for younger parents.

There is a true disconnect between the woman I see in the mirror and this “older woman” I read about in the AMA literature.

How is it possible that I am nearing 40 and not done having children?

And what does AMA really mean?

Though most women who are labeled AMA have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, undeniably, we are faced with greater risks than our younger counterparts.

In addition to having a more difficult time conceiving, we have a greater chance of having a baby born with a birth defect, so we are offered and encouraged to have more screening and diagnostic tests.

Our risks of miscarriage go up with each passing year. At my age, I have a 35% chance of miscarrying. We miscarried just over two years ago, so we know this risk first hand (you can read our story here).

As if that’s not enough, we also stand a higher chance of complications during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, placenta previa, and premature birth.

So, given all of this, why are we even trying for another child?

Because, while that all weighs heavily on us, we are optimistic that by obtaining quality prenatal care, eating properly, getting enough folic acid, and taking all of the other precautions recommended for all pregnant women, I can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Because we know that we have more than enough room in our hearts for one more child.

If you are classified as AMA, I’d love to hear your story in the comments!

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