“If you don’t feel maternal, perhaps you should reconsider having babies” – Well-meaning advice.
In case you haven’t gathered, I am not a baby person. Please don’t take this personally if you’re a new mum! I don’t think they’re cute, I don’t really enjoy their company, I don’t think baby clothes are adorable, and I absolutely despise any festivity related to babies, unless there’s copious amounts of alcohol & the dads are the ones looking after the children (which never happens). They say that when I have my own, I will love him/her and all will be well in the world, and I have no doubt about this (thanks hormones!). But the truth is, I am really not looking forward to being a walking cow who is completely depended upon by the most inefficient infant species in the world. Just look at horses, who walk within hours of being born! Or some species of monkey who cling to their mums for the first year while she goes about her business! Insert hand clap emoji to evolution!
I know I will struggle in the first year, I’m a realist. But there ARE positives, like not having to work for a year (yes, yes, I know its not a holiday), or being able to walk the dog every day, or being able to travel during months that would otherwise be no-go in my job.
So why have kids you ask?
Although I don’t get warm & gooey at the tiny & pudgy, I do want a family. I want 5 year olds to talk rubbish to, and do craft with, I want 10 year olds to tell me what they learnt at school that day, to camp with, to experience things with for the first time, to play soccer in the backyard with. I want teenagers, to help them through their angst, to teach them life lessons, to help them discover who they are. And I want young adults, to witness them graduate, find their first jobs, move out, meet the loves of their lives. Babies only last a couple of years, they’re the challenge you’ve got to endure to get to the good stuff. And I think a lot of women see babies like puppies, super fun and cute and sweet smelling for the first few years (I seriously don’t get the smell thing), but never contemplate what its like to have a 13 year old. But that’s what I’ve pictured, and that’s what keeps me going through the blood tests & scans. Even in my dreams, my kids are all 5+. Sometimes teenagers. If there’s ever a baby in my dream its not my own.
The thing is, why, now that we’ve started this process, do I feel in such a hurry to start incubating? I already know I CAN get pregnant. Praise be. Step 2 is to be able to stay pregnant, but hopefully that’s just a matter of probability & statistics. So why the rush?
Is it years of media & careless people telling me that my expiry date is 35 (which it indeed is not)? Is it the fact that I’m caught up with forums where everyone seems to be in such a rush? Is it the fact that most of my friends have fallen pregnant quite easily, and are onto their 2nd buns as we speak (although that’s never been an issue before)? Is it that I went into this year naively thinking it’d take us a couple of months to make a baby? Is it the fact that every cycle we try involves me having blood tests every second day and ‘dildo cam’ (and the bill that comes with it)? Maybe its all of these things. But I need to constantly remind myself, that it doesn’t really matter if it works this round. There really is no rush. We can afford this. You don’t really want to give birth all that soon. There is no need to be disappointed if it doesn’t happen straight away.
When I miscarried, the first thing I thought was ‘Wow, what a waste of 7 weeks’ and the second thought was ‘I want to get pregnant again ASAP’. But it wasn’t a waste. I loved it. I had energy, I got up without pressing snooze (very strange for me). I didn’t feel like drinking. I felt like I was part of a special club. So even if it didn’t work out, it was a really lovely 7 weeks where I felt loved and special and excited. Totally not what I thought being pregnant would be!
So no, there was no wasted time. I’ve been really lucky. Although the process of finding out how to get pregnant took 5 months on account of referrals, tests, scans, waiting for appointments etc, we actually got pregnant on our first go. After doing the deed once. Which is incredibly lucky. Really lucky. So I feel grateful.
Life has been really good! We’ve been sleeping in, drinking great wine, eating great food, going to the movies, having spontaneous pub dates. Our relationship is stronger than ever. The later we have a baby, the more money we’ve saved on account of me working. And part of me wants this life forever. So really, what is the rush?
We’ll keep trying, but it won’t be the focus of our lives (I hope!). I’m going on holiday soon to see my best friend, and have a few long weekends of camping planned. Then before we know it, it’ll be summer, and there’ll be long, hot days filled with eating watermelon, swims with my furbaby & laying on the beach reading. And then there’s Christmas, which incidentally is THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR (be gone with thee, naysayers!!) So if I just so happen to fall pregnant in this time, awesome! But if I don’t, it will be a great summer. Life will be good. It always is.