Posts Tagged ‘older mums’

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?

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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?

Me - second from left with friends and my daughters

So, our second winter in Utah I decided to try and improve at skiing as much as possible and bought season passes for the whole family. After all us older mums have to keep up with our kids and my kids were getting really good at skiing. After my first few times out I was bored stiff with the one and only green slope and decided to take myself off down an easy blue. I called my hubby, who was elsewhere on the mountain with a friend of ours, and told him I was going to give it a try and he wanted to come and help me. I told him I wanted no pressure and would rather try alone – I always hate the feeling that I’m holding anyone back and would much rather fail alone than have someone ‘help’ me. I felt sick to my stomach as I rode up the chairlift and felt my legs turn to jelly as we approached the top. Well, it took a while (erm ages) to get down the run and I fell down a more than a few times but I DID IT!!!

There was no looking back then.

  • I took another lesson and spent the rest of the winter gradually improving.
  • read skiing books
  • I watched learn to ski videos by Lasse Lyck on youtube over and over (I always throw myself into things whole heartedly when I decide to do something).
  • I joined a ski forum for women and read and reread hints and tips and asked questions.


I think I skiied around 40 times in total; sometimes alone, sometimes skiing with the children and Chaz (though he snowboards) and sometimes with friends.

By the end of winter, I was tackling some quite difficult blues and going all over the mountain and had whole days where I didn’t fall over once! I even tackled DEEP powder when we had some late big snowfalls. Amazing what mileage will do. I must say I’m quite chuffed with myself for overcoming my fears and I’ve had a few ‘break through’ moments where I get the wind in my hair, it all feels good and I shout ‘I CAN SKI!!!” with a big grin on my face and my kids are very proud of their mum! Learning to ski has given me a sense that I could do anything now (well enclosed spaces might still be an issue – LOL) and I’m even thinking of doing a zipline this summer with my AuPairs. I now look back at those years where I was full of fear and refused to try and ‘do’ things and wonder who that woman was.

Have you ever had any break through moments that have helped you to change how you see yourself?