Upon returning from a quick visit with A. and our fabulous 15 week 5 day baby, we were presented with the option for an amnio. Not that there have been any indicators for problems, but if you want to do one, now is the time. Now, hmmm, wasn't there a very good reason I used a 26 year old egg donor and a 31 year old surrogate? Oh yeah, to precisely LOWER such risk factors as downs syndrome and miscarriages and endless testing. So if I was 26 years old right now and knocked up, would this same doctor be telling me all these risks and making me decide if I would terminate or risk losing a healthy pregnancy with an amnio? Probably not. He would say you are at low risk at 26 years old and would probably imply that there wasn't a pressing need for an amnio unless there is family history. He'd then proceed to scoot me out the door.
But I am not 26 years old. I am a 38 year old who got another woman pregnant with another woman's egg. So does this change anything? Not really. But does this pregnancy somehow appear more risky because I appear to be at advanced maternal age even though I had nothing to do with this pregnancy? Shouldn't I be getting that same scoot out the door with relief that I am young and low risk? Instead I am feeling like a woman who has to decide between two risks - a down syndrome baby or a miscarriage of a healthy pregnancy from an amnio. I thought my options between horrible and extra horrible were finally over now that I was pregnant. So why do I feel pressure to do an amnio? Is it the worst case scenario in me always believing that I will be the one that always falls in that 1% chance? Way to set a person into unnecessary panic.
So this is making me feel rather advanced in maternal age even though my pregnancy is not. I mean really, at this junction what really matters about my age? I'm completely cut out of the reproductive part of this story so isn't my age meaningless? At worst people could call me an "old" mother. But sticks and stones, a-holes, sticks and stones. By my own body clock, yes, I am 38 years old. I will be 48 when this child is 10 years old and at the starting line of adolescent frenzy. I will be 58 when the child is 20 years old and finishing up college. I will be 68 when the child is 30 years old and I start badgering him or her to get married so I can see some grand kids before I croak. I will be 78 when the child is 40 years old, and God help us all, hopefully their sperm or eggs haven't shriveled up like mine had by then.
After 3 years of IVF, ectopics, miscarriages, am I prepared to raise a donor egg child that might have downs syndrome? Nope. But am I equally prepared to lose a healthy pregnancy that we've spend thousands of dollars on and went through emotional chaos about because I was given an option for an amnio? Nope. So I am left to soul search through this trying to believe that I'm not going to get screwed over again and again and again. I should be at low risk as a 26 year old, but I am so used to being at high risk for everything. Don't I at least deserve to reap the benefits of my egg donor after giving up so much of myself and my sanity to have this child?