Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern Maine, Quebec, and parts in between
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Well, I'm almost 38 (later this month) and recently decided to wait another whole year plus a few months before having my third child (or trying to!).
I think it's good to get a Pap smear and thorough exam before trying to conceive...plus a mammography, and making changes to your diet (if needed) and making sure you're getting enough folic acid, iron, and other vitamins. This will weed out a lot of problems before you even get started.
I would be cautious about looking at numbers of LIVE BIRTHS with down's syndrome and other genetic 'anomalies' becuase more women than you might think choose to terminate pregnancy when they learn their developing baby has such a condition. If you contact your doctor or a genetics/high risk pregnancy clinic, they can look at the odds for you. You could also opt to have genetic testing beforehand so you would know if there might be known risks with you and your partner.
Then there is amniocentesis. When I was pregnant with my now 17-month-old, the risk of introducing a problem with the amnio was about equal to the risk of there actually being a problem to detect with the amnio. That coupled with my foregone conclusion that I would not abort regardless of findings, I decided against the amnio. You also have to have an ultrasound to do the amnio, and I am just finding out that an ultrasound is not always a good thing (see thread on that).
Any pregnancy is a leap of faith. If I am lucky enough to become pregnant after my wait, I do not think I am going to get amnio or ultrasound, but will have other screenings done such as good measurements by my osteopath, listening to heartbeat with traditional equipment (not doppler), and counting movements. That's IF I end up being in low-risk category...such as normal weight gain, blood pressure, etc.
I hope this helps? It's not a whole lot of information, just MY recent thinking about my situation. My 17 month old is really healthy, a nice bright child, I didn't have any complications conceiving, carrying, or delivering him, or afterwards.
You have to do what your heart tells you to.