April 19, 2014

Sarah Palin is a New Old Mom? Was the Decision to Have a Baby at 44 Safe?


Sarah Palin a New Old Mom?

Is becoming a New Mom at 44 a bad thing?

Twitter is quickly revolutionizing the way people meet, market, communicate and debate on the Internet. It is a force to be reckoned with!

This morning I saw a Twitter friend introduce a new Twitter Pal of hers @TVMOM. That is Peggy Fox from WUSA9 in DC. Peggy had covered the story on the Walmart 11 Moms. If you haven’t seen that, you should. There are some amazing women there Walmart Money Saving Moms

Since much of Twitter is based on following like mind people and developing a community, as we discussed over at my Best Reflections Social Media Marketing Blog in most recent posts, I decided to follow Peggy.

 

The first post I saw was….

Pregnant at 44? Your thoughts on http://dc.momslikeme.com/me…

 

Then I noticed…

 

How responsible was Sarah Palin? At 44, she had a 1/41 chance of having a child with Down syndrome. about 10 hours ago from web

 

I do know that Peggy is a Reporter and used to stirring controversy but, I have to tell you, the hair stood up on the back of my neck. This is a topic that I am obviously very sensitive about. I went over to the forum and decided to join in even though it is specific to the DC area.

NOMC TIP: Unless a particular forum or group is closed to members only in that local area then go ahead and join! You never know who you’ll meet and what type of great advice you’ll get from other moms all over the world! It’s like having a Pen Pal.

 

The question posed was…

High Risk of Down Syndrome

36 posts

Submitted by TVMom on 08-Sep-08 11:34 PM
Sarah Palin, at 44, had a 1/41 chance of delivering a baby with down syndrome. That's partly why they're called high risk pregnancies. The older you are, the riskier it is to have a healthy baby. Do you think Palin knew those risks before she got pregnant? Just like we tell teenagers about the risks of sex and pregnancy, shouldn't older women consider the risks before having a baby? Is it none of anyone's business… or should every important decision she's made recently be looked at now? Here's a link about it the incidence of Down Syndrome with increasing maternal age: http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/downsyndrome/l/

 

From the time I responded to the Twitter post, Pregnant at 44 ,to the time I got back from dropping my daughters off at school, the forum post title had changed to “High Risk of Down Syndrome” and the part about tell teenagers was added. Otherwise, I would have commented about that directly in my post on the forum.

Peggy raises some really excellent points in her query here. I happen to have very strong opinions about this topic since I am a New Old Mom.

 

Let me be very clear, at this point I am NOT making a political statement. I am merely supporting another New Old Mom that happens to be running for the Vice Presidency!

I am 44 years old right now also. I have 4 daughters. My youngest is 2 ½ and I had her just shy of my 41st birthday. I have all girls. If I were to become pregnant again tomorrow I would take that as a blessing. I believe that God gives you what you can handle in life. Sometimes, I do wonder, as I have stated previously, if I may have been mistaken for someone else? However, I am very happy to play the cards I am dealt. LOL

 

That statement I just made about getting what you can handle in like gives me a great segway into the issue of Down Syndrome. Peggy provided a link for Down Syndrome Statistics increasing with maternal age. Here it is: http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/downsyndrome/l/bldownssyn.htm

This link gives basically just a general overview of statistics.

Here is some additional information on Down Syndrome and the age of the mom from a Google Search.

The National Down Syndrome Society

The National Association For Down Syndrome

The March of Dimes

Medicine.net

Down Syndrome and Beyond

 

What Sarah Palin new about these statistics is hard to determine without actually asking her directly. I can only assume that since she is well educated and seems to be in good health that this common knowledge information was readily available to her and that she was well aware of these facts.

Whether she took them into consideration or not is also a question for Sarah Palin to answer. Honestly, I believe that it is also a question that is irrelevant. It is irrelevant to anyone outside of her family and definitely irrelevant to a political campaign.

In my situation, we had gone on vacation. I came home with a souvenir!

We had 3 healthy daughters at the time. Due to a pesticide poisoning at our home, I had had a very difficult 3rd pregnancy and some health issues. We had decided that if I wasn’t pregnant by the time I was 40 then…game over. It was about a week before my 40th birthday that I found out that I was going to be a mom again and over 40!

I did have concerns. I did worry about Down Syndrome and other issues common to pregnancy at an older age. When I was pregnant with my first daughter I worried, too.

I did not have amniocentesis done. I had been under the impression that it was mandatory for women over 35. My doctor explained that that was NOT true anymore. That with technology these days amnio was not required and would only be done by choice.

My doctor also informed me that many of the moms that she was seeing at an older age were in better health and more fit than the younger moms! I know that was my case. I was in the best shape I had been in since I had my first daughter was born!

Now the Down Syndrome issue…

One of my best friends and I were discussing the amnio thing. I said the 'God gives you what you can handle' thing and she quickly responded that…”it’s not about you. I know you can handle anything. It’s about your other girls.”

She proceeded to tell me a story about a friend to cares for a Down Syndrome sibling. They are in their late 40’s or 50’s now. Her friend takes care of the sibling completely.

My friend’s question was, “Do you want to leave that burden to one of your daughters?”

The question shocked me. It made me think. It made me cry. I cried…a lot. In the end, a child is a child and a gift. Period.

About Sarah Palin's choices…

I have to say, Sarah Palin, like me and other Moms over 40, probable had to deal with many comments like this one and the many others that I fielded when it became public knowledge that I was pregnant and “over 40”! People often feel the need to give advice or make comments that you need to take with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, though, many people forget to turn their brain on when the turn their mouth on!

Forty is the New Thirty…Period!

Women in this 21st Century are smart, healthy, fit, business owners, entrepreneurs, soccer moms (or hockey moms in Sarah Palin’s case) and we are having healthy, beautiful babies!

Medical technology has changed dramatically just from the time I had my first daughter to the time I had my fourth daughter. I am sure it will be even better if I have a fifth child!

Pregnancy is a condition not a disease.

The decision to become pregnant or have a child later in life is a decision that is private to that family. It absolutely should not be placed in the political focus. If the question is whether Sarah Palin’s decision should be scrutinized or not then I have to say a resounding “NO”.

As I stated in the forum post, the decision only affects the immediate family. In Sarah’s case the people of Alaska would have been affected only if she was unable to do her job. Many politicians have had real life threatening diseases while in office and it was dealt with in a very matter of fact way. Again, pregnancy is a condition not a disease and should be thought of in that same way.

The New Old Moms Club

My reasons for starting this blog along with its up and coming sister blogs, New Old Moms Entrepreneur Club, Fit Moms Over 40 and two other New Old Mom Blogs that you can watch for are mainly because of the stigmas that I have run into regarding “over 40” and especially “new mom over 40”.

I hope these blogs, as they grow and flourish, provide a place for other New and Old Moms and women in general over 40 to inspire, motivate and empower each other. Together we are redefining what it means to be “OLD”.

Sarah Palin’s decision to have a baby at 44 should not even be a point of contention here today. I applaud her, congratulate her and welcome Sarah to the New Old Mom’s Club.