Too old and too fat to be pregnant (FFS!)

Amy Finn says:
I was 36 years old, 5 feet tall and about 170 pounds when I went in excitedly to my initial ob appointment for my third pregnancy. I was stoked about this little surprise the Universe had dropped into my lap.

I had delivered my second baby through this practice just five years earlier and admittedly, while I liked one doctor more than the other four, I didn’t have any issue with them throughout my care despite my gaining 50 pounds during that pregnancy.

That changed immediately with this visit.

The doctor walked in holding my chart. The first thing she said was, “We all know you don’t want to be here.” I laughed just because I couldn’t figure what she was on about. She continued, “Thirty six years old and a third baby. Hmm. We all know your eggs aren’t any good any more.” My eyes darted around the room looking for just who “we all” were in the room. Nope, no one else there. Just the two of us and of course, my baby.

She spoke on and on about why it probably wasn’t a good idea for me to have the baby and that time was running short for me to terminate the pregnancy. I finally held my hand up and said, “I am not terminating the pregnancy. Let’s just move on from there.” She sighed and looked down at the chart, her eyes popped out a bit.

“Well, you’re rather obese, aren’t you?” At this point I was looking around the room for the hidden cameras because clearly, this could not be real life. “If you look further in my chart you’ll see my blood work and health markers are all terrific.” I felt frustrated having to justify my size to her but I was in shock and truly regretting sitting on that cold table clad only in a paper sheet being berated by this woman who didn’t know me at all.

“Well, you can’t gain much more weight. It’s detrimental to your health and… and your baby’s health. You will only be able to gain nine pounds this pregnancy.”

At that point I guffawed so broadly, I’m sure patients two rooms over could hear me. “Listen, doc, if you again check my chart you’ll see that my two previous babies were each nine pounds. How could I only gain nine pounds? How do you accommodate a baby, extra blood flow to me and what not?”

“Nine pounds,” she repeated. She turned on her heel and left.

If I had been further along in my size acceptance philosophy, I would have calmly gotten dressed and walked out refusing to pay. However, I was still struggling with my size and so I continued at that practice. I made sure to never see that doctor again. I did complain to the senior practitioner about this doctor’s behavior, but I do not know if anything was ever done about it.

For the record, I gained 50 pounds with this baby. Not one of the practitioners said a word about it to me. And my baby was exactly nine pounds at birth.

This took place about a year before I realized and fully accepted size acceptance and health at every size. My life is much different now and I am thankful for that.

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  1. Wow that is horrendous!!!! i’m shocked and appalled that she would even consider suggesting you terminate the pregnancy without even thinking that you might want to keep the baby!!!! what a total a$$hat!

  2. The Real Cie

     /  February 4, 2013

    Wow…what can I say. This doctor is Satan’s sister. What a total See You Next Tuesday. And a complete ignoramus at that. I’m nearly 50 years old, so there’s probably no question that my eggs are no longer viable. But 36 years old? That’s far from questionable. Plenty of women that age have babies every day.
    I really hope this doctor meets Karma face to face and Karma is in a very bad mood.

  3. What a bitch. I’m so sorry you went through that.

  4. Andy Jo

     /  February 4, 2013

    I wonder how many women she has shamed/harassed into a termination they did not want. That is just evil.

  5. Clara

     /  February 4, 2013

    Honestly it sounds like your doctor was just an asshole who saw an opportunity to do her two favorite things: Shame a woman about her weight and shame a woman about her age.

    It never ceases to amaze me how critical doctors become about women being pregnant after age 35 because it makes almost no logical sense. I have a human bio masters but even without that I could easily name off about ten people right off the top of my head who I personally know who had successful pregnancies and children LONG after 35. The problems brought on by pregnancies after 35 are so trivial that a real doctor wouldn’t even mention them with any sinceirty so as to keep her patient calm for a healthy pregnancy. There is a reason most women don’t go into menopause until they are in their fifties for god sakes.

    What a nasty bitch. Just remember, doctors don’t really have to be as smart as we always think.

  6. Horrible. Honestly, I don’t think that doctor should be practicing, given her complete ignorance about ovum health after age 35. She needs to go talk to some reproductive endocrinologists and get a smack upside the head.

  7. Jennifer Hansen

     /  February 5, 2013

    HUZZAH for laughing in the doctor’s face when she said something stupid! The world needs more belly laughs in the face of bloviating authority figures!

    I had my second two when I was 36 and 38 and over 250 pounds both times. At home, with a midwife, no complications expected and no complications experienced. FAT MOMMAS FTW!

  8. I had 3 of my 4 kids at age 35 or older…and at a lot higher weight than you. So much for nonviable eggs due to weight, and age!

    Yes, docs do sometimes urge fat women to terminate their pregnancies. I’ve documented several of these stories on my blog. They see them as too risky, and yet another fat person about to enter the world. I also believe that deep down, it’s an attempt at Eugenics as well.

    I’m so sorry you were treated like that. Thank goodness you’d already had two kids and knew not to buy into this crap. Imagine being a fat first-time mom and encountering this!

  9. Bex

     /  February 6, 2013

    This is horrible! And I can confirm that, as someone who has no children, I spent some years convinced that overweight = PCOS = infertile, and I that would never be able to go through with a birth or have a healthy child anyway.

    Sadly this doesn’t surprise me. At merely overweight and only 32, I have already been told by a family friend (who – terrifying – is a former social worker) that I have supposedly chosen not to have children. She told my father this (and God knows who else) before she thought to tell me. No recognition for the fact that I’ve been working my a** off for years to try to save up and put a family home together and do whatever I can to lose weight and get healthy (which, coincidentally, I’ve largely achieved – no thanks to her). I think these characters are just petty power freaks who enjoy screwing with other people.

    I’ve just found a doctor who recognises that I am largely healthy and even supports me being mildly overweight (people with a bmi of 24-28 live longer than those who are slimmer, apparently).

  10. Hi. Needed to find someone to share this with and still don’t know what to do.
    We had a miscarriage 3 years and been trying for the last year for a baby with no luck, so asked to be referred. A few weeks ago we had an appointment to see a nurse at a local hospital. She was very abrasive. She pointed out that I’m too old, my eggs are 9 months older and likely to be of poor quality.
    The kicking only gets better, I’m too fat (5ft and 15st – i know im over weight and trying to loose weight). There are likely to problems TTcoz I high blood pressure.
    At this point I can’t hold it together. She hands over a list of ivf clinics, and says I’d get your skates on if I was you.


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