The inevitable question once someone hits that age in her late 30s and is married: the baby question. It’s almost like it is just assumed as soon as a couple shares their first kiss as man and wife that a baby should be promptly following nine months later. Ok, maybe this does for many, and maybe even shorter than nine months in most shot-gun weddings.
However, there are some of us who are not granted that privilege. Or maybe yet, we just do not choose that.
For me, the idea of having a child of my own just felt it would not fit into my lifestyle in the past. I met my husband at the age of 35. My mother had already waited seven years for my sister to be born and then another seven for me by the time she was that age. Here I was a single woman, living alone, working hard to maintain an income to cover bills and enrolled in online university after a sabbatical from education. Did it really seem like a child would fit into that scene?
Yet, it wasn’t until I met my husband and we fell in love that the idea of having a child started really appealing to me. I adored watching him with children. He was great with them. He even taught a photography class with me as his trusted sidekick and we both just enjoyed the energy, the excitement, just the innocence and seeing the world through their eyes that week.
My husband himself loves children, but also never saw himself having a baby until we met either he claims. He already helped raise a dear friend’s children when he was younger. I also helped with my niece a lot as she was little.
So now here we are at our late 30s, three years after our wedding when we fixed a goal to wait one year after our wedding to start trying. Some advise us to wait and see if we can be more prepared, but (as my doctor says) no one is ever really prepared for a child. Plus, I’m not getting any younger.
I’m already at the point where women face a bit more difficulty conceiving. We’ve had tests performed and read up on all the issues. We’re tracking cycles, but above all else having fun with it. Luckily, we both agree that if it is meant to be, it will happen. And, if not, well, we happen to love our time together too.
That’s the awesome thing. We love each other so much that we’re fine without a child. Any baby would now just be a blessed addition to the miracle of us finding one another after years of rough roads and disappointments.
Now, do not get me wrong. There’s that time every month where my heart breaks a little, some months a bit more than others. The husband says he is ok with things, but I see a light in his eyes if maybe there’s a chance. I notice he is aware of when ovulation time rolls around. I hear him tell others he won’t put me through having the fact we haven’t conceived yet thrown in my face like visiting the hospital on a day loved ones have a baby when really I’d be perfectly fine and so thrilled for them. That tells me he is just as disappointed too.
We talk about it and say the idea of a baby thrills us and excites us and we’d love it. But then we also say, “but do we really want a baby,” as we think over how different our lives would be. So, then, why do I choke up when I reach that revelation I’m not pregnant that month?
Then, we run into the gauntlet of others saying comments online about how they’re a true woman providing a baby in their younger years to their husbands right away. Or, we get that inevitable question of if we have children at our age or hear we better hurry up and start. While people don’t realize it or mean to be cruel, sometimes it can be a knife that cuts slowly at those of us not blessed yet. Women especially face this pressure still in today’s world. Part of my disappointment is a concern I’m not fulfilling my duty as the woman to conceive, like I’m somehow letting my husband down. Yes, he is totally awesome and always reassures me that it will be if it’s meant to be and that he loves me. In fact, he even says in some ways he’s too selfish to have a child he thinks because he doesn’t want to share me.
So, why am I even sharing this blog post? Because I want to reassure the women out there who either choose to not have children or who have not been had the thrill of conceiving that you’re not alone and it is ok. And, I want to remind those asking those questions or making those comments to realize while you may not mean to wound, not everyone may appreciate the added pressure to their situation and they may be traveling their own difficult journey.