Advanced Maternal age

When you’re 40 and pregnant they say a lot of words to you that you don’t want to hear.

They say things like high risk, cerebral palsy, genetic abnormalities, no guarantees, possible disorders, down syndrome, anomalies, advanced maternal age, increased risk, never certain, just in case, testing, screening, and risk factors.

 When Dr. Murphy said all those words to me a couple of months ago I wasn’t mad at him because he is one of the kindest people I know and I’m incapable of being mad at someone like Dr. Murphy. But here’s what I heard when he said those words.

Be afraid. What were you thinking? You’re too old for this. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Why would you want to? Are you sure? Not our fault. Entirely your fault.

While the logical side of my brain usually can’t be heard over the emotional side, I tried to remind myself that literally everyone I’ve ever heard speak about raising a special needs child has described it as a huge challenge and trial but a tremendous blessing as well.

But I’ve always hoped my trials would come more in the form of an excessive amount of money that tests my faith and humility. Bring it.

Now I am not a worrier for the most part. I have usually always embraced what Eckhart Tolle teaches, which is that, “Worry pretends to be necessary but never serves any purpose.” Even when Dr. Murphy said those words to me that I didn’t want to hear, I wasn’t really worried. I knew that no matter what, everything would be just as it should be.

Fear, on the other hand, is something I allow in my life at times. I allow myself to feel fear because as Seth Godin says, “Fear denied is fear reinforced. What we do is we dance with fear, we seek out fear, we intentionally create tension. Tension is what we get paid for.”

So after that appointment with Dr. Murphy I danced with fear instead of dismissing it because I think I needed to and a part of me wanted to. And do you know what happened? After a day of dancing it was completely gone. I kept searching for it, trying to remind myself that there is a lot of unknown I’m pretty old and isn’t that scary? But the tension was gone and all I could feel was peace.

All the things I know about the uselessness of worrying about things beyond my control, my complete faith that the journey God gives me is the perfect one for me, and the peace I have from looking at life through an Eternal lens rose up within me once I allowed myself a dance with fear and the things I know to be true released the fear altogether.

So far the baby girl we’re excitedly expecting this fall appears healthy and happy and we are so grateful for the blessing of another child in our family. But if fear visits again as I’m sure it will (I mean there WILL be a newborn here soon and Jake and I will be outnumbered 2 to 1) I will dance with it again because I know this about myself. I can handle it. Together with the help of my Father in Heaven I can totally do fear. Fear doesn’t own me or control me because I allow it to visit and then it loses all its’ power.

If you are feeling fear, I’m thinking of you today. It’s ok. Everything is as it should be and you can do fear. Just dance with it and if you want to talk through it with someone who gets it, I’m right here.


jody moore




2 replies
  1. Avatar
    Chelsea says:

    I had a Child with a major heart defect in June. He is now preparing for open heart surgery. I’ve had nothing but peace and calmness all throughout the pregnancy. (I’ve known since 23 weeks in utero) however now that the surgery is scheduled for Oct 10th I’m so stressed. I’ve been trying to “be strong” like I have been through this whole journey but I’m now feeling anxiety from trying to suppress my fear. I’m not sure how to let myself “dance with fear” but the anxiety is taking over. I constantly feel something heavy on my chest breathless and like I can’t catch up. How do I dance with fear so that it can pass?!?

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