Sunday, January 1, 2012

Phase 1

My husband and I have made a decision:  It’s time for us to throw our collective hat into the childbearing ring.

We’ve been married for six years now but have been together for over twelve.  During that time, children were something we said we’d think about later or avoid entirely.  It wasn’t until this last year that we began considering the topic more seriously.  The time has now come to either move towards or around the process of reproduction.

For years, my husband and I both insisted that we’d be content never having children.  We’d squirrel our money away, have more time to devote to our small business, and take more opportunities to travel.  Slowly but surely, we both began to falter at different points this past year.  Now we both agree that children will bring us a different type of contentment down the road.  We’ve also begun to consider our own parents’ futures.  My parents are both relatively young being in their mid- to early fifties, but my wonderful in-laws are already in their mid-sixties.  If we wait much longer to start a family, that severely reduces their time to influence the lives of their grandchildren.  My in-laws support everything my husband and I do, but they very much deserve to have grandkids in their lives, and they will be the most loving grandparents a child could ask for.  We owe it to them to begin the process.  I also think about my husband’s future.  If something happened to me somewhere down the road, I’d hate to think of him being alone.  I don’t think he would handle life on his own very well if I was out of the picture, but having children around could ease his pain.  My husband thinks this is a very morbid reason for having children, but it’s a reason nonetheless.

I’ve never felt any motherly instincts towards children, though I am very nurturing towards my cat.  It’s amazing how the baby talk that used to repulse me comes very easily with my animal companions.  I am also not one of those women who look forward to pregnancy.  I’ve always had a very athletic build and would’ve been happy keeping a slim, boyish figure throughout my life.  Perhaps partly because of athletics and partly due to genetics, I didn’t even start menstruating until college, which was wonderful and embarrassing at the same time.  In middle school gym class, the girls were required to line up at the start of the period and count off for roll call.  We were all assigned numbers to call out, and if anyone was having their period that day, they would add a “half” after their number.  I was never able to call out “seven-and-a-half” because I never had my period.  Menstruating, breasts, and curves were a scary, foreign concept to me at that age, yet I was also self-conscious of not being like the other girls who were going through puberty.  There was always a question on the form I filled out as part of an annual physical that asked the date of a girl’s last period, and I would inevitably make up a date.  Looking back at this time of my life, I wish my mom had shared more information with me, but I know I would have died from embarrassment if she had tried.  Instead, I didn’t ask any questions and my mom didn’t volunteer any information.  It’s hard to believe that she would have been my current age at the time I was going through this stage of life.

I finally started menstruating regularly at the age of twenty once I began taking the pill, and have been on the pill ever since.   When my prescription ran out last month, I officially began Phase 1 of this childbearing process:  I stopped the pill, began taking prenatal vitamins, and started researching ovulation.  Though I taught human anatomy and physiology for years to juniors and seniors in high school, and I’m very much familiar with the textbook process of conception, pregnancy, and birth, I can’t quite fathom going through this process myself.  I assume that it will be difficult for my husband and I to conceive, even though people get pregnant everyday when they’re not even trying.  I guess this assumption stems from the disconnection I have with my own femininity, and also from the newly acquired knowledge that mine would be a “geriatric” pregnancy, as loudly stated by a registered nurse acquaintance.

My husband has also started his own Phase 1:  he’s begun the nesting process of removing extraneous “stuff” from the house and reorganizing the garage and basement.  Though he genuinely worries that he won’t be a good parent, the amount of love he’ll have for a child will be immeasurable, which is really all that matters.  What he lacks in parenting skills will be made up in love.  He worries that he won’t be good at setting boundaries, but from my years of teaching experience, I know how to set expectations and follow through on discipline.  I accept that he will be the good cop and I the bad cop.  I still worry how a child will impinge on my independence and how we will continue to have time and money to invest in our small business, but I guess we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Phase 2 has yet to begin.

1 comment:

  1. I wish you luck on the journey!

    My wife and I have started talking about having kids as will be an interesting endeavor for sure.