Search the Web

Friday, June 08, 2007

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe

Very old, to hear my doctor talk.

I had my first OB appointment yesterday afternoon, and got the litany of risks, most of them age related. "You do realize that there's a drastic increase in the chances of having a Down Syndrome child because of your age?" Yes. "As much as 1 in 260." Yes. "There is also an increased risk of other genetic problems. Are there are any genetic or congenital conditions in your family?" Tourettes, Autism, Aspergers. (Scribble, scribble.) "Is there any diabetes in your family?" Yes. "Who?" I list various family branches and relationships. (Scribble, scribble.) "Do you remember the weights of your previous children?" Yes. 8-12, 7, 7, 8-14, "8-14? David, right? Are you sure?" Yes. (Thoughtful look.) 10-6 1/2. (Scribble, scribble.)

Then the lecture about what to expect. High risk pregnancy, watching it more closely, especially after 30 weeks... if there are any problems I get referred to an OB (my doctor is in family practice), am I sure I don't have any particular worries about this one? Do I want genetic testing? Do I want genetic counseling?

The end conclusion is that the doctor is more worried than I am. I'm less than two years older than I was when the last pregnancy began, and I have no reason to think that 40 is some magic cutoff line between a healthy and an unhealthy pregnancy. I'm marginally older, and I believe I have marginally more risk. Frankly I'm more concerned with the risk of an upcoming c-section than I am with the risk of a baby with problems.

I'm also not terribly concerned that someone -- even a doctor -- think I'm old.

When You Are Old


When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
(William Butler Yeats)


My love has not fled. How can I be truly old?