As a follow up to yesterdays blog post Antenatal Ultrasound and Testing and the Older Mum about the fact that I refused the triple test and most other prenatal during my first pregnancy I thought I’d talk about my second pregnancy and how I, rather unwisely I now feel, took a different approach.

I somehow overlooked all my very valid reasons for not having the triple test and then ended up also having an amniocentesis.

Would love to have your comments and experiences with this. Do you think there is too much antenatal testing? Do you go for the lot just to absolutely sure that there is nothing wrong with your baby?

Advertisements

I talked in this blog post about the fact that I refused most antenatal (or prenatal) testing when pregnant with my first child at the age of 37. What I really meant was that I refused the blood tests to show the possibility of abnormality. Most new mums these days go for all tests but older mums are particularly encouraged to do so because of supposed higher risks.

So, why did I refuse? At the time, where I lived, the earliest abnormality testing was the ‘triple test‘ which was recommended for women at my hugely advanced age – grrrr. This is a blood test that is taken between 16 and 18 weeks for best results. It’s designed to show the possibility of Down’s Syndrome and Spina Bifida.

Why on earth would anyone refuse this I hear you asking. Okay – here are my reasons

  • The test results are skewed by age (that is they factor in your age). Therefore in all likelihood anyone over the age of 35 is going to get a ‘bad’ result
  • A bad result leads to a push to have amniocentesis and I was very against invasive tests
  • The results would have arrived a very short time before the major abnormality scan or ultrasound
  • The ultrasound would show up any very major abnormality
  • I would have carried on with a pregnancy that showed slight chance of abnormality so why worry myself for the rest of the pregnancy with what might be wrong.

I know that there are other options for testing nowadays and I am all for personal choice but I urge anyone who wishes to avoid invasive tests to stand firm and refuse the triple test as it only gives an indication and, therefore, almost always leads to an amniocentesis in women over the age of 35 just because of their age.

What was your experience of ante/pre natal testing? Did you refuse any tests or go for the lot? Either way why did you make that choice?

I wrote in this earlier blog post how I overcame a whole load of fears and learnt to ski at the age of 49. Well, ever since then I have decide that there are certain things I am going to make myself do before I am too old to do them – my bucket list I guess. The main one on the list was to try something that the very thought of has always terrified me – to ride the zipline at Park City Mountain Resort. I had seen these things on TV and, since I’ve always had a fear of heights, thought that this would be a big no no. However, having overcome that fear to a degree whilst learning to ski I began to think maybe, just maybe I could do this.

I did, however, have a feeling that I might chicken out so I told my husband and girls that I was going to do it and to make doubly sure I arranged my August AuPair meeting at the resort so that some of my girls would do it too. Funnily enough, turns out most of them wouldn’t do it as they are just like I was at their age – over fearful but there were other things to enjoy at the resort so it made for a fun meeting.

Anyway – having husband, two daughters and my AuPairs there meant that there was now no way I could chicken out so I bought my ticket and Natalie from Austria and I decided to do it together (thanks Natalie – I love you!). By the time we reached the line at the top I was beginning to get nervous and as our turn came I was wondering if I could back out there but I just though ‘stop it!’ – you HAVE to go through with this. I was shaking as the guy strapped me into the harness and then he flipped the lever to let us go.

Well all I can say is WOW!!!!! It was an amazing rush from that first second. I loved every moment of it and Natalie and I are now planning on doing a longer, faster zipline at Utah Olympic Park. As an older Mum I am so proud of myself for doing this. My husband and daughters loved seeing me get such a rush from it and I feel I proved to my AuPair group that I’m not an old fuddy duddy at fifty :). I think the pics show how much I enjoyed it 😀

I finally feel at the age of fifty that I can do ANYTHING I choose to do. Tell me your stories of overcoming or facing up to fears. Or what’s on your bucket list? Do you have anything you feel inspired to just get on and do after reading this?

Many of us Mums work at home (or are WAHM’s) because we want to stay at home with our kids and raise them. Is it an easy option? No way man! Some days you feel that you are being pulled a million ways and the school vacations are the hardest. Some people choose to get a little extra help such as having an AuPair and some use camps etc. And some go it alone. I thought I’d do a list today of all the things I fit into just one day, though no two days are the same,  just to show what I do!

  • Answer and delete emails whilst chatting to my program director on Skype
  • Check Facebook updates
  • Check Twitter
  • Post recently prepared blog post
  • Start to prepare next blog post
  • Brainstorm other blog post ideas
  • listening to audio book of ‘Trust Agents‘ by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith while doing other things
  • kids wake up –
  • friends kid arrives so my 10 yr old can watch her for an hour
  • friends kid leaves – play date arrives for youngest
  • Update Facebook Business page
  • Put load in washer
  • talk to guy building fence about gate hinges
  • Wait! Realise haven’t had breakfast!
  • Post transition AuPair onto my website and onto Craigslist
  • Got distracted from breakfast so have early lunch
  • Empty dishwasher while making kids and me lunch
  • Load dishwasher and clean up kitchen after lunch
  • Put clothes in dryer
  • Update my business website some more
  • Youngest going to pool with friend, get all her stuff together and sunscreen her
  • Take eldest to music lesson
  • Run home and start doing some work on Social Networking Coaching Club with Ann Evanston stuff
  • Pick eldest up from music lesson
  • Dryer finished – fold clothes quick so I don’t have to iron
  • Put clothes away
  • Youngest phones and asks if friend can come for sleepover
  • Quick rethink on dinner for 5 not 4
  • Start dinner
  • Hubby arrives – needs to talk a lot about his day in his new role
  • Try to be as attentive as possible while feeding 3 kids and getting them helping lay table etc
  • After dinner do some more work on blog post ideas (and yes this is part of my work!) whilst watching So You Think You can Dance
  • Watch news a little
  • Forgot about fielding all the ‘can we have’s’ etc between all this.
  • Fall into bed and read latest book Olive Kitteridge for 1/2 an hour
  • Sleep!

And this was on a day that I didn’t do any cleaning or meet friends or go to the gym!!!!

What’s you day like? Is it as hectic as mine? Tell me about your life.

This post was originally posted as a guest blog post on @newbreedmama’s (her twitter name) blog. The post means quite a lot to me so I decided to repost it here.

We recently went on a family road trip to California and visited The Haight Ashbury district in San Francisco. This took me back to memories of me when I was around 11 which is smack bang in between the ages my two girls are now (12 and 10) – I grew up in England by the way.

At that age I had an Easy Rider poster on our playroom wall and used to borrow my teenage neighbours record player and records for a weekly disco that I ran for my school friends. I used to charge a small entry fee and with that I bought biscuits (cookies) and lemonade to for all my friends. Early signs of entrepreneurship?

I also remember that The Isle of Wight Festival was on and my teen neighbours went. I couldn’t understand why my mum and dad wouldn’t let me go with them! And I remember that my mum would try and recreate all the 60’s fashions for me as she made most of our clothes and she even bought me a pair of boots like the ones in the picture.
These memories made me look at my girls and how hard it is to let them grow up and be themselves. It’s so hard to let go and I had far more freedom at that age than my kids do now. My eldest got really upset the other day over some little thing and sobbed that she wished that she were 18 and that we didn’t tell her what to do all the time (I seem to remember that we had told her off for not doing some small chore). I remember feeling way more grown up than I was allowed to be.

I do also remember those hormonal ups and downs but it’s so difficult to know exactly how to deal with them as a parent of two girls. I do my best and communicate and hug way more than my mum and dad ever did but I still feel I’m not quite getting it right. Add to that equation two very different personalities in my girls and I’m learning that each one is going to need very different things from me as a mum.

We have started to allow them some freedom. My 12 year old went for a sleepover with a 13 year old friend the other day and was exploring our small town and riding around on the free bus in the town and she loved it. I was, of course, worried sick. We also drop them at the movies on their own and leave them at home alone for short amounts of time while we go to yard sales or on a date night.

I’m learning that this time is way more difficult than when they were younger even though we have the freedom to go out without them at times. I’m also learning to understand where my mum and dad were coming from all those years ago.

How do you cope with either the actual or the thought of the process of letting go with your kids? What are you learning from seeing your kids grow up? Does watching them grow up bring back memories of you at that age?

All I’m hearing right now is BlogHer this, BlogHer that and EVERYONE seems to be going to BlogHer 2010. I’m so new to blogging (4 weeks) that I hadn’t even heard of BlogHer before and still know little or nothing about it except that EVERYONE (yes EVERYONE!!!!) is going but me.

Well, okay, not quite true – there’s a little group of lovely bloggers that I have met who AREN’T going to BlogHer and are doing Blog Hop instead. I was invited by my lovely new bloggy friend NewBreedofMom who I did a recent guest post for recently. Join us if you like. This is virtual BlogHer – well kind of :)))

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…

I talked in a previous blog post and how I had bad culture shock after moving to Utah and I wanted to talk to you all today about some of the causes of culture shock and how I’ve learned that seemingly little things can cause the symptoms. And I also talk about how I have reached what is described as the ‘mastery phase’.

What are your experiences of culture shock? Have you or do you know anyone who has experienced it? What triggered the symptoms? How did you (or they) deal with it?