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Geriatric Pregnancy WTF?

Sticks and stones may break my bones

But words will never hurt me.

Most of us remember that classic rhyme from childhood. Well, even as a kid, I knew that was some BS. We recited those lines so other people would think their words had no affect on us, but most of the time the opposite was true.

And it still is. Case in point—being a 39-year-old pregnant woman, otherwise known as #mycurrentsituation.

I’m expecting my third child in weeks, and this pregnancy has been different in many ways. Perhaps, what has made it most memorable though are other people’s comments.

Since finding out my husband and I would be adding a third child to our brood, I’ve realized that a lot folks in the world are habitual line steppers.

They say what they want, when they want, no matter how inappropriate, without a second thought.

A few months ago, for example, I went in for my five-month prenatal check up. I mentioned to my OBGYN that my baby feels very heavy and low in my belly, and that I didn’t remember this type of discomfort with my other two pregnancies. So I asked her whether I should be concerned. A smile spread across her face and she cocked her head to one side.

“Well, Calida, this is your third baby, so you are more stretched out and loose down there,” she said with a chuckle.

But I wasn’t chuckling.

Instead, I gave her a blank stare.

 She cleared her throat and, in her most professional voice, said. “I would recommend purchasing a pregnancy belt to help with the discomfort.“

“Thanks for the tip,” I replied deadpan while giving her the side eye.

As the weeks followed and my baby grew from the size of a cantaloupe to a watermelon, strangers in stores, on the street, and waiting in line would try to make small talk about my pregnancy. But the conversation inevitably became as redundant as a scene from Groundhog Day.

With the most endearing smile, strangers ask, ” Is this your first baby?”

“No,” I reply with a cautious smile, anticipating the inappropriateness to follow. “It’s my third.”

“ Oh,” they say, looking for something to celebrate.

“Do you have a boy and a girl?,”

“I have two girls.”

” Well, this one is going to be your boy! You husband must be so excited”

“No, it’s a girl.” I fire back.

“Oh,” they reply, disappointed that my reproductive excess hadn’t produced any XY chromosomes.

And then awkward silence.

Wash, Rinse. Repeat.

One time a friend asked if I were I trying to build my own WNBA team. Then there was the time I went to a 40th birthday party in a dress that showed off my growing figure.

“I can’t believe you are going to have another one,” said one friend, shaking his head and laughing.

“I wouldn’t even want three cats and you’re having three children,” said another female friend.

“You must really like being a mother,” added another.

I have just the thing for such encounters. My recently adopted survival technique. It’s crude but effective: fake smile, forced laugh, calling them all bitches in my mind.

And it’s not just my friends. My family is among the worst offenders.

When I was visiting relatives on a recent trip back to Delaware, one family member told me I looked like a cow. Another kept telling me how huge I was whenever I walked into a room. One uncle snickered in my face about being “40 and pregnant.” And I even had one cousin tell me that in 10 years I’m going to be the “not young” mom picking up her kid from school.

You get the point. The third time has not been a charm.

I was telling one of my close friends about these experiences, and she hit me with the whopper.

“Another one of my friends is having a geriatric pregnancy, too, Calida,” she said.

“A geriatric pregnancy? What’s that?” I asked.

“That’s the term for women who are over 35 and pregnant.”

Whoa. WTF?

I had to look it up for myself. And guess what? It’s all over the Internet.

Thank God my doctor hasn’t referred to my pregnancy in that way. The concept of being labeled “geriatric” at 39 is absurd even if, at almost nine months pregnant, I’m stiff, grumpy, and pee on myself a little if I laugh or cough too hard.

But all the inappropriate hating aside, I’ve been getting much love from most of my friends and family. My husband kisses my belly and tells me how beautiful I am every day. I’ve had three baby showers (unheard of for a third child), received an abundance of gifts, and had friends pick up my kids for play dates so I don’t have to drive.

Plus, I’ve been saving some sticks and stones of my own to throw if my hormones get the best of me.




16 Comments Post a comment
  1. I so love this…and I love you, my dearest, CalidaGarciaRawles! I can’t wait to babysit and go to the park with you and your three girls!!!!!

    July 23, 2015
  2. Dawn #

    Calida, please ignore those people they are just jealous. You have a loving husband and two adorable children and this one will be the icing on the cake. I pray for a healthy baby and all will be grand. Sending you much love from Ghana!

    July 23, 2015
  3. Congratulations Calida!!!!!!! You are absolutely beautifully blessed. I have four so I’ve been there, LOL. Just remember, we were chosen by them to mother them, what an honor. Geriatric, INSANITY!

    July 23, 2015
  4. Jawahn #

    Again congrats… some of us aren’t habitual line steppers…. just the older we get the thinner our filter gets. lol…. Wishing you the best

    July 23, 2015
  5. I feel your pain. I had similar comments with my third. My doctor told me Geriatric pregnancy was over 40. 35 plus was advanced maternal age. Not much better. I was 36 with my third.

    July 23, 2015
  6. Shadra #

    You look beautiful. My aunt had the opposite situation…three boys. She had her third at 40 and was in no way geriatric. Man, I hate labels. Good luck on the last leg!! Girls rock.

    July 23, 2015
  7. Kassandra #

    What a wonderful surprise! You look fabulous. Congratulations on your newest blessing! May you experience the best and easiest delivery yet!

    July 23, 2015
  8. Dr Verda #

    Congratulations! I am one of those whose filters are deteriorating because I am old and say what I like. You are beautiful and gorgeous. People who say less are jealous and mean spirited. Others are trying to make a joke without success. You have a lovely family now and even more so when the little arrives. God Bless, Dr. Verda

    July 23, 2015
  9. Toni Garcia-jackson #

    Which ever cousin said your gonna be the old mom picking up your kids, sucks!

    July 23, 2015
  10. Natasha Grigorov #

    People are gonna say what they want to say. Its all up to interpretation and their own projections. I have two beautiful kids and have always longed for the third. The idea of having all our children around us and the amazing experiences through the years is far more memorable than anything negative people will project upon you. Thanks Calida for your great and very valid blogs. And all the best, I am very happy for you!

    July 24, 2015
  11. MaKara #

    I went through the same round of comments when I was pregnant with my third. You just continue to be fly and fine!! I’m so happy for you!!

    July 25, 2015
  12. “Geriatric pregnancy?” …. at 39?! Who are these unintelligent people? Next time someone comments or asks about your pregnancy, tell them you are giving birth to twins, but you had hoped for triplets. Shock them again when they learn you’re 45!!!!

    July 26, 2015
  13. CY Kim #

    From one “born-again mom” (at the age of 42) to another, it’s the same game, with different rules, and totally worth it, love.

    July 28, 2015
  14. Nikki #

    Well, just when ya think you have heard it all! Geriatric pregnancy?!? Wowwwwww….whatever, ya look fab to me! 😉

    July 31, 2015

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