Old Bat…New Mom: A Reflection on the Joys of My Advanced Maternal Age

AUTHOR: | POSTED: May 17, 2012 | COMMENTS: 2 Comments
CATEGORIES: The Babies!,

Carolyn Savage

      Sometimes I feel like an old bat.  I hear forty is supposed to be the new thirty, but seriously…there have been many times over the past nine months that I have felt downright ancient.  For instance, my hearing is atrocious, especially in a crowd.  Last week we were at a dinner-thing and during the cocktail hour I was straining to hear various conversations.  When the band started to play, I completely gave up and just started nodding and smiling.  Nevermind the fact that I had no idea what people were talking about.  They might as well have been speaking Mandarin.  I probably looked like an ass.  Adding fuel to my “old bat” fire, is the fact that I can’t quite relate to the television shows that I hear younger moms raving about.  I tried to watch “Don’t Trust the B* in Apt. 23” last night.  Clearly, I’m not that show’s target audience.  I find story lines about casual sex and making porn tapes with friends offensive—not funny.  Making me feel even older is my fleeting short term memory.  Just this morning I was giving Reagan a bath and I glanced up to look at Isabella, but couldn’t find her. I’d only put her down five minutes before, but had no idea where.  It’s as if I can see the brain cells exiting my head.  And then came the humdinger of reminders of my advanced maternal age.  Nothing…NOTHING has made me feel like more a relic than the situation detailed below.

     To set the scene, MK goes to a soccer class twice a week.  It’s low key—no games, uniforms or crazy parents thinking their child is the next Mia Hamm (well…maybe there are, but I’ve learned to stay away from that crowd).  I drag the twins along, which is a bit of an ordeal, requiring a double stroller that I swear weighs a hundred pounds, a bag of toys, bottles, diapers, and all the other baby crap that I need to survive sixty minutes of being out of the house.  Once I get everyone situated, I tend to sit and mind my own business, hoping and praying we make it through without a meltdown.  Imagine my surprise the other day when I hear a young dad say…”Mrs. Savage?”.  I turn and realize, much to my horror, that this young—and very handsome dad—is one of my former eighth grade students.  Turns out his daughter was on the field with MK.  We have kids the same age.  How the hell did that happen

     He must have knocked someone up in high school—was my first thought.  Turns out he didn’t.  He went to school, got married, and started his family.  He has two kids and one on the way. 

Him        Wow, I haven’t seen you since you were my teacher.  Weren’t you pregnant that year?

Me         Yes

Him        How old is he now?

Me         Eighteen

Him        And these are your babies too?  Wow.  You have your hands full, Mrs. Savage.

Me         Yes.  Yes I do.  And *for the love of God* call me Carolyn.

     He tried to lessen the blow by remarking that I must’ve been REALLY young when I taught him.  I wasn’t but it was a nice gesture on his part.

     After we finished catching up, and I hobbled back to my car, I thought about how many more times this was bound to happen.  Toledo is a small town, and interestingly, people who were raised here tend to stay here.  I’d already had a former student scrub-in to assist my ob/gyn on a surgery of mine a few years ago—which is a story in and of itself…stay tuned for that one—so it is likely that I’m going to be parenting my girls alongside some of my former students. 

      I do think there are advantages to being an older mom.  Sean and I have a lot of marriage under our belts.  Our relationship is pretty solid.  Our careers are established which has alleviated much of the stress we experienced when we were younger and scraping to get by.  Then there are the life experiences we’ve had, which have given us great perspective.  We don’t “sweat the small stuff”.  Hell, we hardly sweat the big stuff.  Most importantly, “we’ve been there done that” with our older boys and it appears they are turning out pretty decently.  Hopefully we can repeat with the girls. 

    That being said, there are those moments when the benefits of wisdom garnered from being an older parent are trumped by the much, much younger parents we encounter.  How to deal with that?  I have no idea.  But I’m going to start with some Strivectin for my wrinkles, some highlights to cover my gray, and some wine to help me cling to my sense of humor.  I figure if I laugh my way through it, it won’t be all that bad!

2 Comments on “ Old Bat…New Mom: A Reflection on the Joys of My Advanced Maternal Age ”

  • Jen Daechsel | May 17th, 2012 2:34 pm

    Caroline,
    I had to laugh with pleasure at reading this latest post. I too have 2 boys currently age 14 and 20 from a previous marriage. Now at 41 my new partner and I are attempting to have a child of our own. We recently suffered a miscarriage which unfortunately is typical with my history but have hope that we will be successful in future treatments. I look forward to pushing a stroller into my oldest son’s college graduation ceremonies with his younger brother or sister in tow. Looking forward to your next post.
    Sincerely,
    Jen

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  • Carolyn Savage | May 17th, 2012 3:12 pm

    Jen- Sorry about the miscarriage. Miscarriages are hell…especially when you are of “advanced maternal age” because it seems like you only just hit the lotto getting pregnant (in your forties) only to have the rug ripped out from you. So glad I made you smile.

    Good luck with the “trying”. I’ll be looking forward to you joining the ranks of the Old Bats, New Moms!

    All the best!

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