I am writing to you today on behalf of my uterus. Or maybe I’m writing on behalf of my ovaries. Hell, how about you just accept this letter on behalf of the whole kit-n-caboodle.
You see, I have been informed by my OB that, due to the fact that I will be over 35 when I give birth, I am something called “of advanced maternal age.”
Please, dear people of AARP, allow me to explain.
Apparently, my lady bits have aged in dog years because the American Medical Association just called me elderly multigravida. And the definition of multigravida is even worse than being called “elderly.” It means a woman (or female animal) that has become pregnant for the second time.
Yeah, esteemed board of AARP members, I said “WTF,” too.
While I was busy enjoying my 30s (and deriving great enjoyment from the fruits of the efforts of my 20s), my vagina was withering away. Unbeknownst to me, my entire reproductive system was growing older by the moment. Basically, the plot of the movie Jack was playing out in my underpants zone. Every second I spent on winery tours or dates with my fiancé (now husband), my vagina was inching closer and closer to needing a daily nap and asking for the menu that features the early bird specials.
Nobody ever told me that on the eve of your 35th birthday, your fallopian tubes would give a dramatic shudder, cough up some dust, and ask for an afghan and a large print crossword puzzle.
My OB sat there smiling encouragingly at me as all of this sank in. She was more than happy to explain everything in great detail, making sure that I understood all the accompanying risks and requirements.
Having a baby at the ripe old age of 35 or older (but by god, if you’re older than 35, how do your ancient eggs manage to get where they need to be while lugging around their oversized purse and walker?! What are the logistics there?) pushes you into a “special” new category of mom. Special.
“Don’t worry,” she assured me when she saw the look of horror on my face as the words “advanced maternal age” once more left her lips. “It just means you are special. You’ll get some extra attention, but it’s really not that bad.”
There’s that word again, fellow AARP friends. “Special.”
After a while of going back and forth, she laughed and told me that nowadays people don’t even begin their families until their 30s and that being of advanced maternal age isn’t all that big of a deal.
It felt like a big deal. It felt like I needed to rush home and get my Medicare and Social Security paperwork in order.
Before I was permitted to hobble out to my car (head down, watching where I was going so that I didn’t fall and break my hip), she issued me more reassurances and a referral to a specialist — a geneticist, because old eggs have a tendency to produce babies with chromosomal defects (which of course, was the exact reassurance that this wasn’t that big of a deal that I needed).
The genetic counselor was also full of words of encouragement and laughed at me during our appointment, telling me I was still just a spring chicken (something that, ironically, my grandmother’s doctor used to say to her when she would complain about the aches and pains of her 80s).
“Thirty-five is just an arbitrary line they drew in the sand,” she said while I pointed accusingly at my paperwork where the words “elderly” glare back at me.
Elderly?! Elderly, my ass! Well, I guess more accurately that would be, “Elderly?! Elderly, my vagina!”
So, it is for this reason that I am requesting early admission. I would like to begin taking advantage of all of the discounts and benefits that are available to women (and their junk) of a certain age.
While clearly, I am still a spring chicken in the eyes of the world (and kindly, if somewhat patronizing, genetic counselors), the baby growing in the complete tear down that is my uterus would have you believe otherwise.
Thank you for your consideration,
The Brains Behind This Old Uterus
P.S. Are there AARP meetings? Is that where I get to meet Luke Perry? I’d like to meet Luke Perry.