Posts Tagged ‘pregnant’

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?

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I always wanted children but didn’t meet my husband until I was 34 and we decided to ‘try’ to get pregnant when I was 37. I came off the pill and expected it to take some time. Four weeks later I felt like crap. So very tired and sore boobs and bingo – a blue line – on BOTH home tests. This was two weeks before our wedding.

I was still living in England at the time and midwives deal with most pregnancies and births there so off I trot to meet Rosie the midwife. She takes my details, tells me that I have to have the pregnancy ‘confirmed’ by the doctor – hmmm two tests, sore boobs and unbelievable tiredness not enough? She handed me a card, told me off for not taking folic acid supplements and that’s where it started. It had the words elderly primigravida written on it in capital letters or in other words old first time mum.

Throughout the pregnancy my advanced age was constantly mentioned. I wanted a home birth but it was – oh no, not for a first birth and ‘at your age’. Always been a bit of a hippie me – as was confirmed when I took the hippie test on this blog. I didn’t want pre natal testing but the midwife was horrified because of the risks ‘at your age’ (I still refused anything other than scans – and that was because I wanted to see my baby).

Thing is, I didn’t feel old. I’m fit and healthy and always felt younger than I am and I just believed that my baby would be healthy and everything would be fine – so way to go guys – try your best to try and make me feel old.

To all you older mums out there did you have a similar experience? If you’re not a mum have you experienced anything that made you feel older than you felt before? Do you think attitudes have changed since 1997 when I got pregnant – there’s an awful lot of older mums these days?