My sister-in-law just became the first person I know to get pregnant. She’s having a baby! I am so excited for her and her husband that I can hardly stand it. I couldn’t sleep at all last night after I found out and I even managed to have a minor baby freak-out on my husband when we discovered the news. All in a days work.
Of course, once my happiness and joy subsided I instantly joined the freak-out team. I’m 28 years old and constantly tell my friends that if they are young and want kids they shouldn’t wait. Yet here I am, been with my man for 10 years, and baby-free. I always wanted it that way though so it was ok. I thought I would never have kids! But I also didn’t know I would feel so conflicted now that my husband’s sister has filled us with such joy for her and her budding family.
I suppose I’m a little backward in my thinking compared to most women. Whenever I’m around kids for longer than a couple hours my natural birth control kicks in reminding me to be careful next time I’m ovulating. The other side of the coin is that I really want to be pregnant. Is that odd? I want to know what it feels like to be part of creation. To feel a child growing in my belly, to go through the pains of labor, to experience the miracle of life. I want to know what it’s like to give birth in the comfort of my home surrounded by friends and family during a crucial life moment. But after that, I cannot for the life of me picture my life with children. I strongly dislike cartoons (even Pixar ones- I know it’s weird). Driving kids around sounds like the worst possible afternoon for me. I hate going to fairs, PTA meetings and children’s sports games. I don’t enjoy playing hide-and-seek. So I’ve always wondered if I lack the maternal instinct altogether. Of course, it could have been my birth control talking. Certainly now things are a bit different.
Not only that but my husband and I have radically different views on our hypothetical child situations. He’s pro-vaccine, I’m against. He’s pro-school, I want to unschool. He wants to give them the world, I want them to bring the world to themselves. There are things we agree on. We would read the bible every Sunday as a family, but wouldn’t take them to church. We would let them play outside all day and get muddy as all hell, but we would avoid sugar.
There’s also logistics. We live in a gorgeous one bedroom house and I’m never leaving it. We would have to build a room downstairs which is, while cool, a money issue. My husband travels quite a bit for work which would put me on kid duty (and I’m the sort that would absolutely need a break!). And it would also need to happen fairly soon judging by the way-too-much I know about the possibilities of pregnancies later in life. Of course if I did want children, I would want to be a young parent so either way it’s an issue.
A few moments after discovering the exciting news, my heart sunk in an “omg what if we miss out on this whole parenting thing” and it really hasn’t left me. What if we miss out on something great just because we didn’t know it was great? I know this part is common. A lot of couples have children because they worry they will regret it later if they don’t. But isn’t that a weird reason to want kids? Because of regret? Not only that but a regret we haven’t actually felt yet? I always thought it should come from more of an “I’ve always wanted to be a parent!” feeling. But maybe it doesn’t?
In the end, I feel it’s a decision I cannot make, at least not now. If it were up to my own mind, or my husbands, how could we possibly come to a conclusion on this story? Any children that come into our lives could only come from our hearts, or God’s. So if I do have a child it will probably be for one of two reasons: We meet a child that needs to be adopted and can’t say no. Or we decide to be a bit more lackadaisical in our birth control. I could see a moment in the not-so-distant future where we are more open to the possibilities of a new life, and start doing less in the way of stopping it.
For now though, I’m so blessed to get to become an auntie and I never knew how emotional this would feel until it happened. I can’t wait to meet the new addition to our family and to get to celebrate with my sister and brother-in-law. It’s such a beautiful thing, to create life, and I’m so excited for the joy in all of our hearts as we anticipate this new family member!