You know how when you’ve been dating someone for a while, people start asking you when you’re going to get serious? Then when you get serious people start asking you when you’re going to get married? Then you get married and well, I’m sure you can guess what they start asking you next. Can’t you? Can’t you guess? Maybe you’ve done it yourself. I’m sure that you’ve at least thought it yourself. I know I have.
Well, for those of you who have been thinking it about me, blushing newlywed that I am (heh), here’s the update. And don’t think that I haven’t noticed you staring at my tummy every time I overdo it with the carbs. I notice, and people? It’s JUST CARBS!
I have wanted to be a mother my entire life. From my earliest memories I have absolutely loved babies, even when I was just a baby myself. I like children of all ages, but especially babies. The newer, the smaller, the fresher, the better. I even love them when they are still in the belly. I loves me a pregnant belly. I love babies more than I love chocolate. More than I love puppies and I think you all know by now how much I love puppies. I LOVE PUPPIES A LOT.
Last night was Halloween and when a little 1 ½ year-old Nemo (of Finding Nemo fame) waddled up to my front door, all flush-faced and excited, looked up at me and said, “Tinkateeeenk,” I could barely get the candy into his overflowing pumpkin bag fast enough before closing the door and sitting down in my front hall in a flood of tears.
So with all this loving of babies, why no babies in our life yet? Well, the not-so-easy-to-answer answer comes in many parts. If you are really interested, please see reasons a) – g) below:
a) I’m an extremely cautious person. It’s a Virgo thing, I think. We don’t do anything without thinking it through and researching it to death. Preparedness is something that I take to the extreme. For example, before we even bought our home, I already knew exactly how I was going to pack up the apartment. What stuff would go in which box. Which room would need to be packed first in order to pack the others with the greatest level of efficiency. I’m totally serious. I think that every parent out there will say with certainty that you can never really be 100% prepared for children. It’s always a leap of faith to some degree. This is a problem for someone like me, who is always 100% prepared.
b) I have a dog. My dog hates children and tries to eat them. I haven't quite figured out how to "fix" this problem yet, despite renting all the seasons of The Dog Whisperer. Also, my dog has special needs. He is sick a lot and it seems like every time we get him healthy, after vet visits and sleepless nights, medications and nervous mornings at the animal emerge, we have a happy healthy dog for about two days and then it's something else. Regardless of how many times I tell myself, it's just a dog, stop stressing so much, I can't stop. I worry about him and every time he gets sick, I feel sick too. My God! How do you deal with that if it's your child? How? I'm not sure that I can live with the endless worry and fear. I'm not sure that I'm cut out to handle the panic that must rise up like a tsunami in your gut every time your baby is ill. How would I ever possibly with a child who had serious health problems? I'm just not sure I could do it. My heart stops beating at the mere suggestion.
c) My husband gets a say in this, too, believe it or not. And he’s not ready. He’s also into preparedness. Granted, it’s easier for the male part of the equation to wait it out because it’s not the male body that has to carry said child. It’s not the male body that has to have enough elasticity left in it that it can have a fighting chance of bouncing back to something ever so slightly resembling what it was before. Every time I tear up at a Pampers commercial and give him “the look” he says, “What? You want a baby right now?” with a slight tinge of unbridled panic in his voice.
d) So DO I want a baby right now? The fact of the matter is I love my life just as it is. I love sleeping in on Saturday mornings. I love having a tidy house. I love not cooking and not doing 10 loads laundry a day. I love traveling when and where we want. I love deciding at 10pm on a Friday that yes, I will hook up with some friends for tequila shots at the local hot spot. This is happening increasingly less and less, but it still CAN happen whenever I want it to. That’s hard to give up. Basically, I’m afraid of change. I do believe that a baby would fulfill us in so many other ways that these other child-free perks will simply not matter as much anymore.
e) But can I have a baby right now, even if we decided we wanted to? This is a big one—something I haven’t discussed with many people yet. I guess I wanted to come to terms with it and let it sink in myself first. This summer I was “sort of” diagnosed with a condition that could make it difficult, if not impossible for me to maintain a pregnancy, even when we decide to bite the bullet. I say “sort of” because without some very invasive tests, that could do more harm that good, I can not be entirely positive that I have this condition. I do not want to do the tests. The specialist that I saw said it makes more sense to wait and try to conceive naturally and “if it doesn’t work out the natural way” we would begin a treatment plan. The condition is called a Luteal Phase Defect. After doing my own research and discussing it with my regular doctor I’m fairly certain that I do have this condition. I won’t describe it here, but if you’re interested in the gory details, just google it. I have been assured that it’s one of the easiest forms of infertility to treat, remedies range from over-the-counter vitamins (B6) to prescription medications such as Clomid.
f) So here’s the thing though. I have always maintained that I want to have my children before I reach a certain age. I want to be young enough to relate to them through their teen years, I want MY parents to be young enough to enjoy my babies; I want my grandmother to be around to be a great-grandmother. And selfishly, I also want to be young pick up my child-free life once the kids have grown and gone. I ain’t no spring chicken over here. If I have to first try and fail at conceiving, then begin treatment and try again, it could take months or years before we get pregnant. Is my time running out?
f) Further to that is my own moral dilemma. I have always told myself that, God-forbid, if I had problems with fertility I would not put myself or my partner though the trials and tribulations of fertility treatments. There are so many children in this world, I said to myself, and at the risk of sounding too “Angelina” here, there are so many babies with no parents, no food, no future. Why go through the struggle and the heartache of trying and trying to have our own baby when there are so many babies that need us? It was easy to say this to myself before my “sort of” diagnosis because I really never believed that I’d have any trouble. I’m healthy, fit and (sort of) young. I’ve never had serious health issues before. But now, facing the possibility of never experiencing my own pregnancy and never seeing my own or my husband’s eyes reflected back at us through our baby, suddenly I feel selfish and scared.
So there’s the not-so-easy-to-answer answer. For now, no babies for us. And why did I cry when I saw that little Nemo on my doorstep? Because when I think carefully about all the reasons above, and I think about them often, I suddenly realize for the first time in my entire life that there is actually a small sliver of a possibility that I may never have a little Nemo of my own.