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 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.