It’s official. Women have babies after age 35 and MORE women are having babies after age 35 now than ever before. The “advanced maternal age” woman is more becoming a typical patient rather than the unicorn that she once was. Even so, there seems to still be some measure of fear about pregnancy after age 35.
I knew that trying to become a first-time mom at 40 would be tough. My fears were realized when my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Although that loss was devastating, I had no idea just how much more disappointment I was about to experience.
Stillbirth is generally defined as a baby passing away and being delivered any time after 20 weeks. It happens in 1 in 160 pregnancies in the US; that’s 24,000 babies per year in the U.S. It often happens disproportionately for women of color. To put this in perspective, 2500 babies die of SIDS per year and we all are aware of it and do everything we can to prevent it. Stillbirth happens ten times as often and we rarely talk about it…until it happens to us.
You’ve read all the articles about preparing for conception, pregnancy and childbirth. You’ve researched all the best baby products and bought those cute little milestone photo props. The last think you want to think about is the potential of miscarriage because no one wants to talk about it or think about it.
I had never considered myself old in my thirties. I felt I was just hitting my stride. Then I became pregnant and attended my regularly scheduled OBGYN visits, and my age became not just a number, but a statistic. That sure planted the seed for becoming a walking nervous disaster; as if I needed more anxiety as I approached my heart attack years.