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Baby Blues... Not Really Sure Where Else to Post This...

Monday, April 08, 2013

[Before you comment, please read the whole blog, particularly the last paragraph about what I DON'T want to hear from others. No offense, but I just don't want people making me feel even worse about this issue.]

So I've been struggling a lot lately with what I can only assume is my biological clock. emoticon

When Steve and I first started dating, I knew up front that he had had a vasectomy and said that he did not want any more children. He has one from his very first sexual encounter (the 22-year-old son that lives with us now) and two from his first marriage (two daughters that we never get to see because of their mother). He very much feels like all his children were forced on him - his high school girlfriend planned to get pregnant in an attempt to get him to marry her, and his first wife purposefully skipped her pills to get pregnant even though he told her that he did not want children at the time. That's not to say that he doesn't love his children - he very much does - but he got a radical vasectomy (one that cannot be reversed) due to the feeling that he had enough children and that he didn't want any others "sprung" on him, so to speak.

I have no children. And when things became serious between us I started to re-examine my desire for children. Like many people, I'd always assumed that I would have kids. In fact, my ex-husband and I had even named our potential offspring. When we got divorced, I was very relieved that we had not had children together and even then started to question whether I wanted to have any at all. So as my relationship with Steve grew and developed into a serious, long term one, I thought about it and decided that I was content to not have any children of my own.

Well, over the last few months, that contentment has been wavering, if it has not disappeared altogether already. We have talked about it, and he agreed that he would actually like having a child with me. And it would be the first time that he made the decision to have a baby, rather than having the decision made for him, and he liked that. So we looked into whether we would be able to extract sperm from his testicles and inseminate me.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to use the "turkey baster" method with sperm extracted in such a way; because the sperm isn't fully developed at extraction, in vitro fertilization is the only possible method. And IVF is REALLY expensive. Moreover, the chance of a successful implantation is less than 50% AND the risk for birth defects increases by about 2/3rds (from 6% in natural pregnancies to 10% in IVF). So it would be ridiculously expensive with a less than 50/50 shot of working and a pretty high risk of birth defects even if it did work.

And that just doesn't seem like a "good bet" in our minds. And the other options available - adoption or a sperm donor - really aren't what I want. I want OUR child - mine and his. And now that it's been brought up, putting it aside again is really difficult. I know logically that we really cannot afford it and that, even if we could, we aren't willing to accept the risks involved, but I can't seem to stop wishing we could figure out a way. I am really very saddened by the prospect of never having a child.

And it seems like things keep happening to mess with this sadness even further. My mom is dealing with a lot of stuff with her parents (her father is showing signs of Alzheimer's and her mother is having a very hard time taking care of them both any longer). And as she's telling me these things, I start to wonder, "Who will be taking care of me when I get to that point? Who will make sure that I'm okay?" My co-worker is pregnant, and I went to her baby shower on Sunday. And I couldn't stop thinking about how I'll never get to experience any of the things she is experiencing. Friends post about their kids on Facebook, and my immediate reaction is kinda snarky - "Oh you've got kids? That's nice, but I'm going to continue sleeping in and spending my money on myself." But I also think about what it might be like to have a kid of my own.

There are times when I think that it wouldn't be the right for us to have a kid anyway. We really enjoy our lives exactly as they are, and I don't know if I want to rearrange everything in my life for a kid. Plus, we honestly don't even have the money to support a child right now anyway (in part, thanks to his ex and her manipulation of the child support system). But at the same time, there's something that's making all the logic fade. Probably hormones. And it just sucks to feel like I don't have complete control over my reproductive choices now.

I'm not really asking for advice on WHAT to do; that will be a very personal decision between myself and Steve. And I *definitely* don't need anyone telling me about how WONDERFUL motherhood is and how I should do everything possible to have a kid OR anyone telling me that kids are a total drain on your money/time/youth and that I should stay childless. I just don't really have anywhere else to post this, and I really need to get out my feelings about it. If anyone has struggled with similar issues and has advice on how to process these feelings (without judgment as to whether remaining childless or not is good or bad), I'd really appreciate that.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I've definitely had some similar struggles. My husband has never wanted children and before we got married I went through some major processing about whether or not I was willing to give that up. Eventually I decided I was, and have even come to believe not having kids was right for me all along. I was the one who finally prodded him into getting a vasectomy just before our 7th anniversary last summer.

    There were some things that helped me process all those feelings along the way. I had to really examine WHY I wanted kids in the first place, and for me I eventually figured out that a lot of those reasons weren't good enough to justify bringing a new person into the world. A lot of it boiled down to assuming it was what I wanted because that's what people do, rather than taking into account what I really wanted out of my life and whether I'd enjoy/be good at being a mom. PLEASE don't take that as a reflection of what I think of you or your reasons - that was JUST ME. I know many people who have asked themselves the same questions and come up with very different answers.

    After making the decision, probably the biggest thing I've done is to really concentrate on my creative work. I'm a writer, and I focus all the energy that would be going towards a child into my writing. I won't be the annoying person who calls their projects their 'babies', but channeling that energy into something tangible and positive has been very rewarding for me. Is there anything that you've been wanting to do with your life but have held back from taking the leap? Is that thing more or less tantalizing than having kids?

    I guess the most helpful thing was to realize that there are a lot of ways to be happy with your life, both with and without kids. Imagine the happiest version of your life in both directions. Which version pulls you most? Are there any surprises either way?

    You'll know what's right for you. Whatever you decide, just concentrate on making the most of it!

    Good luck!
    1793 days ago
  • GRAPLEIRIS had to get that out SOMEWHERE.

    Just sitting down and articulating what you are feeling is a huge accomplishment.

    My husband's cousin had some really horrid experiences trying to get pregnant. They tried so hard and spent so much $. They did foster care and TWICE just as they were going to apply to adopt, the child was given back to the natural parents. Nothing in life is a given. But you have a level head on your shoulders and it sounds like a solid relationship with good communication. The two of you can figure this out.

    I did want to share with you: My husband was about to get a vasectomy and right before he did, I offered to carry a child for His cousin and her husband. The woman was so sweet: 2 weeks before her son was due, she called me to tell me that when he was born, if I just couldn't give him up, she would understand. I cried. I assured her that this was HER son and that just wasn't going to happen. He is 9 now and they are a lovely family. Know what? They would still be a lovely family had they made different choices.

    You've looked at the options, you know what's out there and you know how you feel.
    You've got this.

    1803 days ago
    Thanks for the hugs and support everyone.
    1804 days ago
    My first thought is to pray. I don't know whether you're Christian or not, but prayer is always an answer. It doesn't have to be a prayer for a miracle, but it could be. It could simply be for peace and contentment. He knows what's best for you and even though his choices aren't always what we want, it's always for the best. I'll be praying for you. Miss you! emoticon
    1805 days ago
    1805 days ago
    Being able to just sit down and write out your thoughts is sometimes the best thing that you can do for yourself.
    You have my heartfelt support.
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    1805 days ago
    Sometimes it just helps to talk. emoticon emoticon My sister was never able to have kids either, and you're right about IVF, her experience was not a good one. I wish you the best!
    1805 days ago
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