If you are a birthing person at the age of 35 or older, you have probably heard the term advanced maternal age. In this episode, we meet Derrin Moore, 42-year-old mama, who didn't let this term or categorization determine how she created her family.
Studies show that first time birthing individuals over the age of 35 can have increased risk for potential complications. These include excessive bleeding during delivery, prolonged or stalled labor, high blood pressure, premature delivery, and increased risk of genetic disorders in the baby (Evidence Based Birth). As with any process of birth, that doesn't mean that is the case for everyone. This sentiment is highlighted by Evidence Based Birth, "Certainly women of advanced maternal age go on to have otherwise completely healthy pregnancies and deliveries—increase odds by practicing healthy lifestyle choices and seek out a care provider that doesn’t automatically classify you as high risk simply based on your age."
As we discussed with Derrin, all birthing individuals should be given the opportunity to place themselves in a box, not the birthing system. When Derrin found out she was pregnant with her rainbow baby, she felt that stigma immediately. Her doctors saw her age and could only see the risk. Derrin even had family members tell her that a cesarean birth was the only option for her delivery. Knowing that she was having fear about birth and needing lots of medical interventions, she prepared in ways she thought best.
Being a gymnastic and circus instructor coach, she felt fit and kept working until she couldn't. She hired a doula and sought out additional support. Derrin's birth did not go exactly as she planned and that's ok, that's birth. From her story, we realize how impactful society's view on our expectations of our bodies can be. To all the cesarean birth parents, you, your body and your birth journeys are powerful!
One of the reasons that Birth Stories in Color was created, is because we knew our community needed space to allow families to process, learn and sometimes heal from their birth stories. We witnessed Derrin do that work in this episode. Our discussion with Derrin was the first time she fully shared her story, and we are incredibly thankful for her vulnerability!
CooperRose | advocates for cloth diapering, breastfeeding, baby-wearing & natural product in communities lacking support
Evidence Based Birth | online childbirth resource