Pregnancy

I’m Pregnant And I Refuse To Let The ‘Advanced Maternal Age’ Talk Freak Me Out

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Then the ultrasound began. I’m not one of those people that thinks the whole world should greet me with a smile at all times, but there are some professions where bedside manner should be a prerequisite. Dealing with nervous pregnant ladies when they are seeing their fetus for the first time is definitely one of them. “I’m a little nervous,” I confessed. “This is my first ultrasound of the pregnancy.” No reply from Miss Congeniality, just a barely audible grunt. Okay. We wouldn’t be buddies. She slathered a bunch of that weird gel on my belly and got to work.

There was a giant screen perched on the wall in front of me, just waiting to be examined. I was looking away, trying to muster the confidence the look forward. It took about 30 seconds, but I finally turned my head and faced an image of what looked to be a human baby; little arms, little legs, and a beating heart. Yes! There’s a baby in there, and it has a beating heart. Score! 

Meanwhile, stone-faced ultrasound tech is measuring all angles of the baby and saying absolutely nothing. Usually, there is some kind of chit-chat happening by now. You know, something along the lines of, “Everything looks great, measurements are good, don’t worry,” etc. This woman is saying absolutely nothing and it is really starting to freak me out. Finally, she opens her mouth and speaks.

“We’re done.”

“Oh. Does everything look okay?”

“Yes. You can head down the hall for your blood draw.”

“Can I get a picture to take to my husband?”

She lets out an audible sigh, and begrudgingly prints one for me. The one she chooses looks like a kidney. Thanks for nothing, lady. I head down the hall.

I take a seat in a small room. There is a chair, a counter and a giant billboard. The billboard is overflowing with prenatal genetic testing brochures. There must be 30 up there – and they are all different. Wow. A young woman walks in the door a smiles. She says hello and leans against the counter next to me.

“So, as you know, there are about 5000 different types of genetic disorders we can test for  in a woman your age.” She’s sort of whispering, and using an apologetic tone.

“No. I didn’t know that actually. Wow.” Her tone is confusing me, and I am anxious to stay in the I just had a great ultrasound space, rather than going down the I am so old my child will definitely have a genetic disorder rabbit hole. “I’m just here for the NT scan.”

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