What’s the oldest woman you’ve delivered a baby to, I ask the doctor. Fifty-two, he says

Pandemic Pregnancy: For the second baby, Dad isn’t so bothered about appointments

 

My husband has not been attending any of my hospital appointments, ostensibly due to Covid restrictions, but also mostly – if we’re honest – due to a mild case of indifference towards the second child (Sorry second child. Been there, done that.) 

This is the third in a series by Aisling Marron on her pregnancy during the pandemic.

We’re a long way from the excitement and novelty of the first baby where he not only attended every single appointment, but also dressed in a suit and tie out of respect for each “meeting” with the baby. I sailed through the first pregnancy symptom-free.

There was only one of us who was regularly weepy and emotional – and it wasn’t me. Conscious that he was missing out though, heading out to an appointment I asked if he had any questions for the doctor and, looking up briefly from his laptop, he said: “Ye, ask him what’s the oldest woman he has delivered a baby to?”

The issue of “geriatric pregnancies” is massively overblown in films and in sitcoms. I am having a geriatric pregnancy right now. Or rather, as it is now called, I am a woman of “advanced maternal age” – though I’m not sure if that’s an improvement.

I only know this because I googled: “What is a geriatric pregnancy?”

Answer: Pregnancies over the age of 35.

Aisling and Lanah in Phoenix Park.
Aisling and Lanah in Phoenix Park.

But unless some silent alarm goes off every time I cross the threshold of the hospital and red lights flash and every staff member I pass nods to each other knowingly: “Here she comes, the woman of advanced maternal age” – the issue of my advancing age has not been relayed to me at all. In fact, my doctor makes me feel like a teenager. Though my husband has asked that I please stop saying that.

On arrival at the hospital I convince myself I have a “craving” for a bag of Emerald toffees so I get one in the hospital gift shop. The thing is though, with the mask on, you really can’t nibble while you wait so my craving has to stay in my handbag for now.

Aisling and Lanah in Phoenix Park.
Aisling and Lanah in Phoenix Park.

The consultant is very accommodating and allows filming of the entire scan as he describes what’s on screen. Eventually, wrapping up the appointment he asks, “Any questions?”. So I say “Yes actually, what’s the oldest woman you’ve ever delivered a baby to?”

Fifty-two.

My husband picks me up on his way home from the crèche run and I get into the back of the car beside our 14-month-old. It’s 5pm and already dark. I tuck into (at last!) my handbag Emeralds. The toddler keeps trying to look to see what I’m eating, but she can’t see anything in the dark. In the end, I give her the empty wrapper to play with and she is delighted.

I’m such a good mother. 

Part 1: ‘This is all getting a bit Angela’s Ashes
Part 2: We got bad news at the first baby scan
Part 3: What’s the oldest woman you’ve delivered a baby to?

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