Oct 13, 201109:34 AMChina Mom
One day, not that long ago, I remember sitting in my doctor’s office and telling her that my husband and I had decided to have a baby. She started asking me a few questions and I noticed that she casually placed a sticker on my chart. It read, “AMA.”
I was working for a hospital at the time so I immediately wondered, “American Medical Association?” I’m not a doctor, so there wasn’t any reason to flag me as a fellow member of her “association.”
And I wasn’t leaving the hospital “Against Medical Advice” – I was still sitting in the exam room in a paper gown, pleasantly answering her questions. What on earth could “AMA” mean on my chart?
So I asked her. Yep, I had to go there. And she told me these three lovely words:
Advanced Maternal Age.
At the time, I was in my mid-30s, so I was a little shocked. Seriously? She explained that any woman having their first baby over 35 is considered “AMA.” Well…I’ve always been advanced for my age…
The problem is, once you’re AMA, you can’t really turn back. And in our situation, I kept getting more, ahem, advanced in my maternal age the longer it took us to get pregnant – or not in our case. By the time we adopted our daughter, I was quite advanced.
So now I am EAMA – my own term – Extremely Advanced Maternal Age. And it has nothing to do with my health or even my ability to parent. I don’t want to get into the whole “is it better to wait until you’re older to have a baby or should you have a baby while you’re young” discussion. I think that’s a completely personal decision based on countless factors.
What I’m talking about here is all about me and my self-image, people! Until recently, I saw myself as one of those “hip older moms” – a description bestowed upon me by a couple of friends. I liked being called hip…not necessarily older. And most of my other mommy friends had also adopted from China and you have to be over 35, so we were all AMAs…er, hip, older moms. My perspective was very limited.
And then, my daughter went to school. And now I’m surrounded by all these incredibly beautiful, slender, young mothers in their 30s. I no longer feel hip. I just feel old.
They have no idea what estrogen is or what it does to your body. They have no idea the toll premenopause takes on your waistline. Their eyes and other body parts aren’t drooping yet. They’re still enjoying the benefits of collagen.
But they are beautiful women on the inside, too.
And unlike me, most of them look past the two “A’s” in my AMA and just see the M – Maternal. We’re all moms. We have the same struggles, challenges and triumphs with our children. And we all need to teach our daughters that true beauty comes from within.
I’d just like my old waistline back.