I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about having a baby in America in the 21st century. Posts on social media sites, Amanda Palmer talking about her pregnancy. Can I just say, I am scared, but here is what I have learned: I am not alone.
I feel in order to explain myself proper, I feel like you need some background or a lot of background.
My mother was raised very Catholic and subsequently very ignored about many thing for a very long time. She made a promise that when her children asked her about things she would be open and honest. So at the tender age of 4 when I asked my mother where babies came from, she was honest. My reaction? Run out of the room and look back at her and yell, “OR YOU COULD ADOPT!” I don’t remember this, but it has become one of those family stories.
I kept this mind set for a very long, long time, until recently.
So now, almost two years after I’ve been married, we meet my dilemma. I know I took the extreme scene route, but it felt very important to lay this all out (my last post). Also once I got started I couldn’t stop.
Babies, that is my dilemma.
For most of my life, I felt the same way. Why would I want to put my body through that? Why would I want to contribute to the growing population problem in the world and all its manifestations? I am sure the explanation I received as a child played into this somewhere. No matter what though, I said I didn’t want kids.
I remember the exact two moments in my life when I realized I was wrong and I changed my mind.
The first moment was at my grandmother’s funeral. She was 96 when she passed. She had been living my Dad and Step-mom and her health had not been good. I had eaten dinner with her and my parents the night it happened. It was surreal when my Step-mom called me in the morning and let me know she had passed in the night. Her funeral was very large. This was my Step-mom’s mother, my Step-mom is the youngest of 7 children. She is the only one who did not have biological children. I always consider myself her daughter and I am proud of that. So I was sitting this little hippy church in Berkley with all of my family and I realize, “I want this. I want my funeral to be full of my children, my grandchildren. People who loved me and came from me. I want to be the grand matriarch.” That was the first moment, while I had one of my second cousins running around me and crying buckets, holding my Step-mom’s hand. (I had been dating Awesome for two months.)
The second moment was funny enough at my Dad’s mother’s 92 birthday. My Dad’s family is much smaller than my Step-mom. My oldest cousin was there with her newest little one. He was about 2 and thought that Awesome was the best thing since sliced bread. I had to agree with him. So little guy and Awesome become the best of friends. We had been together at this point for about 3 years. This was the same trip that we kind of proposed to each other. Sitting on the couch at my Aunt’s house, a causal conversation of, “I would say yes if you ask me to.” Later that same night we are driving my cousin and her kids back to the hotel. Awesome had to sit so little guy could hold his hand for the drive or else he would cry. I remember soooo clearly looking at his hand holding little guys hand and I just started to cry. The was the moment I realized I wanted HIS kids.
I realized I was damn in the best way possible. I actually started to think about it. After being on birth control for most of my life, I went off it. He is the only man I ever had unprotected sex with and felt completely safe with. In my hearts of hearts, I think I knew that this was it the moment we first had sex. I didn’t want anybody else.
Babies were not the only reason I decided to go off of birth control. I think I will save that for another time. Really now my mind has moved onto the logistics of actually having a kid. HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT? I have finally gotten to a point in my life where I didn’t feel, as Blade would say it, “Some mother-fuckers are always trying to ice skate up hill.” I have a college degree, I have a reasonable job that doesn’t make me want to kill my life or make me feel like I am killing myself every day and I have no idea how I would be able to do it.
I want kids, I have finally come to terms with this idea in my mind, but it just doesn’t seem possible. Yes we are making it by, but that’s it, making it by. Putting a little money aside, barely what I would call savings. We live on a tight budget and I just can’t see fiscally how we could do it. Babies are expensive. Doctor’s visits, toys, clothing, money and time. We don’t even have a washer or dryer in our tiny apartment. I have nieces, I know how important that can be with kids.
Then there is the time part, we NEED my job. I hate the idea of having a kid and then sending it away with a strangers every day and having somebody else raise them. My husband jokes about being a stay at home Dad. Sounds amazing! Again, we could not afford that. We need both our paychecks to get by with the cost of living.
Time and money. I hate it. I have this beautiful picture in my head. I have actually become that person who stores names in my head. This beautiful picture that just seems like a complete fantasy and I want to cry. I know my parents would love to become grandparents again, but it just boils down to, how? How could I bring a child into the world and have no idea of how I would feed it, cloth and house it with what I am making these day?
Throwing out all my fears about having a serial killer or just a kid who doesn’t like me, but the how? I want it so bad, I am not afraid to work for the things that I want, just the money isn’t there. The time isn’t there. I feel selfless, selfish and greedy all at the same time and for a million different reasons. I have even talked to my husband about it. He’s a big kid sometimes and he loves the idea and he gets where I am coming from.
For so long I was afraid to talk to him about kids. He actually pointed out to me when I switched from “if we have kids,” to “when we have kids.”
My Grandfather, funny old-crazy man that he is kept his speech at our wedding brief and too the point, “ From Genesis: As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”
Sounds great Grandpas, want to fund that for me?
Why can’t I though? Why can’t I bring my screaming ball of love with me to work and make it work? It’s not like I work in a dangerous environment. Babies at work seems like a taboo, but why is it in offices? I don’t get it really. Yes they cry, scream, poop, but I have had bosses that were worse than a new born before. It’s a conundrum and I hate it. I don’t want to look back at my life and think, but why didn’t I have kids. I also don’t want to have kids and then realized I did something terrible because now we’re living in a car because we can’t afford the rent on our apartment without the washer dryer.
I am one of the lucky ones, I got my educations without debt, but I still can’t afford shit. My car would be a freshman in college this year. My computer is actually about the go into it’s sophomore year of high school and my dog is almost of drinking age… Something seems very wrong in my life and I don’t know what.
$300-1,600 a month of child care, that’s the average in the states… I maybe put a couple hundred into savings ever month. Well hello depression my old friend. It’s like a torturous Mirror of Erised this biological clock. I know it’s not just the clock though. When my second niece was born I flew out to be with my sister. I stayed with her for a week, she was about the become a doctor and was in the middle of finals. I was there as an extra set of hands and to keep my older niece busy. I love my nieces. I love being there, making them laugh, comforting them when they cry. I want to be there all of the time. I want to teach them about life and read them books out loud. More than anything I want them to have cousins too. I have amazing cousins growing up. I want that for them too.
My other HUGE fear? Miscarriage. What if I make the decision and go through with it and loose it? I have about five people in my life who have children… All of them have also had miscarriages. My role model, my best friend, she also had a miscarriage and never tried again. I can understand that and I don’t know if I would be able to handle it if I did. The first time I did talk to my husband about having kids, really talked I told him this. He understood, his brother and his wife went through a time where they had many miscarriages. She actually carried a couple far enough that they actually had to name them. That made me soul sick when I heard about it and still kind of does. It makes me think about Frida Kahlo and her struggles.
I have to say here too, I am Pro-Choice. I understand the difficulties of such a decision and at one point thought I was going to have to make it, it turned out I didn’t but I went through that thought process. I knew what I would have done and it’s nobody’s else business. That is always your choice and you are the one that lives with the choice so fuck all those people who think they know what they’re talking about with ultra sounds and three days before you can go through with it. The decision is already hard enough.
I have had a couple times where I though maybe it was going to happen, I was freaked out and giddy. When I did get my period I was reveled but melancholy. I felt like I had lost sometime important, but I had never had it. I almost wondered if you could suffer from a form at postpartum depression from not getting pregnant. It confused my husband and me too. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to go through with being pregnant or if I ever will actually get pregnant.
Last night we were talking again and I was talking about one of my friends with him and he didn’t know she was a lesbian because she has a kid. I even said it sounded like some weird joke almost. I am married and straight and my lesbian friends had a kid before me. There isn’t even a dick involved in that relationship. He laugh about it, it seemed funny.
I don’t know what I am going to do.
You know how you always have that list going in your head, “when I win the lottery”?
Top of my list: Have a kid.
Second on my list, adopt some kids.
I am material as fuck and I know it, but I don’t have anywhere to put this. I really don’t even know where to go from here. I’ll live my life and try to make it to a point where I won’t feel like I would be fucking myself and a kid over, but it just doesn’t seem plausible.
I am not really asking for advice. I really doubt anybody will bother to read any of these, just felt like I need to put it out into the world.