After I had my son, I read my doctor's notes on my pregnancy and did a double take when the word "Geriatric" was used. My first thought was the wrong note was in my record. But no it was mine - because I was over age 35 when I concieved my children, I am considered a geriatric mom! For my first pregnancy my doctor was kinder and labeled me "advanced maternal age" - not so with my second child! Yup if you have concieved any children 35 or older you belong to the exclusive Geriatric Mom group! So, Yes this desciribes me - both of my children were born when I was 35 and older. It took me a very long time to finish writing this blog because I had to put a picture of my "Geriatric self" out there! And who wants to call themselves a Geriatric (at any age)? So if you had any babies at age 35 or older - Welcome to the Geriatric club!
It took 12 years to conceive my children so I do not mind the label too much..... but DUDE, GERIATRIC? I am not 70 years old and pregnant. Or like one of my physical therapy clients was so nice to point out when they found out I was pregnant - "Oh just like Sarah in the bible" , really? really? Come on I think she was supposed to be 90 or something. Sheesh!
Now I was lucky and had two normal, healthy pregnancies ( big babies- hello split abdominals), I can not imagine older moms with complications. Because the truth is older moms are more likely to have complications, and lets face it we do not bounce back as quick (no matter how good of physical shape we may be in!)
I was blessed to come from an athletic background and thought I would just breeze through even though I was an older mom. Umm yeah - Nope. To those Mom's who come from a place of not the best health and still rock...you are amazing!
Some of the challenges us "older" moms face:
1. The skin is just not as elastic. It just does not come back like the shrink wrap it used to be.
2. Obgyn does not blink an eye (or warn you) about Diastatis Recti because you are older. Really they should be giving every mom the simple instructions on how to prevent or treat split abdominals if it happens during pregnancy - it would help so much post partum. Just "being active" during pregnancy does not cut it (believe me I know). And if you are an older mom - please ask your doc about kegal exercises - because ....well....things are just not as elastic.... and you REALLY need to do those exercises! Here is what is involved for those of you wondering. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/kegel-exercises/art-20045283
3. Everyone assumes because you show up at your childs class room looking older you must know what to do....I may appear more confident because of life's lessons learned, but I am just as clueless as everyone else.
4. When you have kids as an older adult (true for your spouse too), it is a major life changer. Because my husband and I were VERY used to life without kids, the dynamics that need to change after that can be harder to adjust to.
5. Any weaknesses you have in your body will be magnified x 100 and so much harder and longer to recover from (even after pregnancy).
6. Older moms feel like we are starting over... everyone around you appears to have -" been there and done that" -when it comes to children however we are just starting our education. Most friends my age are at a completely different life stage and having young children usually does not encourage them to spend time with me. So it can be lonely to be at a different stage in my life than my peers.
To keep this short, ( maybe I am becoming a Geriatric - getting long winded here!) My point: dont be too hard on yourself older mommas of younger kiddos, there are a lot of us out there! Here's to the Geriatric Mom!!! We totally have this!