Here’s the thing.
Mr. avabeth and I DO want children. It’s a constant discussion between the two of us when we’re in those fuzzy ‘planning-our-future-together’ modes. We talk about it a LOT between the two of us. We talk about it because I have a condition that may make pregnancy and carrying to term difficult. We’re more than aware of this, so we discuss it a lot. We’ve also decided between the two of us that instead of putting my body through intense infertility treatments, we’ll turn to adoption, more than likely, foreign adoption. So I’ve even asked on these boards about adoption before and gotten some wonderful advice. We know that it’s going to be a long road and we want to be prepared. But again, as much as I love the Dopers on this board, the majority are an unknown quantity - it’s not like discussing adoption with family or friends who will offer a lot of unwanted advice. Here, we get the info that we want and need without the prying. But for the most part, the discussions are between US. We don’t see the need to bring others into our discussions.
What’s bugging me is the fact that my mother and my cousin (who’s more like a sister to me) continually ask when we’re going to have children and TELL, not ask, us that we should have them as soon as we get married. Over and over and over. This bugs me for several reasons.
We’re not even married yet. We will be in a month and a half, and right now, all we’re concentrating on is the wedding. We like being an engaged couple right now, and we can’t wait to be a newlywed couple soon. And I’m quite harried with last minute wedding plans at the moment, so I’m having trouble remembering to feed my cats sometimes (yes, that’s hyperbole…they eat quite well:D) - I don’t need to be badgered on my aspirations of motherhood. Could we get the damn WEDDING RINGS on our fucking hands first?
My mother is constantly calling to tell me “I saw so-and-so’s baby today! He’s so cute! When are you going to have one? When are you going to make me a grandmother?”. And my cousin says “You need to have a baby! I need a baby to play with!” Okay, I realize babies are cute to most people. I like babies, too. I even like two year olds because they’re funny as hell most of the time. I like older kids. But we are NOT ready for kids yet. We’d like to have a house first. We’d like to have some time together to be married. And I want to take our delayed honeymoon to England next year - call me selfish, but I don’t want to give that up to get pregnant because my MOTHER says she’s ready to be a grandmother. Why is that so hard to accept? (Of course, my cousin doesn’t like it much when I remind her that she’s only 37 and she’s more than young enough to have another one - her own two are 18 and 14, so she could just start over…that usually goes over with quite a thud.). We’re not emotionally or financially ready for kids, and while we realize we probably never WILL be, we would still like to be a bit MORE ready than we are right now.
About a year ago, I had a very early miscarriage. It was so early that I wasn’t even aware of the fact that I was pregnant. I went to the doctor with heavy cramps and bleeding, worse than usual, and she told me what was happening. We didn’t feel the need to tell anyone at the time - so my mother doesn’t know, neither does anyone else in my family. We were fairly upset, but we recognized at the time that we weren’t ready. However, had the pregnancy continued, we’d have a four-month-old right now. So every time my mother goes on and on about how cute someone’s kid is and how she wishes I’d have one, it reminds me of how we SHOULD have one right now. That pretty much hurts.
I’ve been told by my doctor that I will have fertility issues, especially after the miscarriage. Even if I can get pregnant again, carrying to term will be a challenge. While we’re fairly prepared for that (well, as prepared as one can be), we don’t think my family is prepared to accept that we’re already considering adoption. We know we’ll get “But why not have one of your own first?”. Well, either way, we’ll be having our own child - we don’t care if the child is biological or adopted - the goal is to be parents, the way we get there makes no difference. We may just not be able to do it in the normal way. If we can, wonderful. We’re still considering adoption for a second child. But we’re really not in the mood to have our plans questioned when we’ve already discussed them at length between ourselves.
And this one’s pretty silly, but my brother and sister-in-law were married last year. Yet when my mother began badgering them, my brother simply said “Oh, we’re not planning to have them for a few years, maybe five or six.”, that was that! When I say the ‘we’re not planning to have them for a few years’ thing, we get ‘oh, you can’t wait that long!’ and continued badgering. Yes, I realize that I am the oldest child in the family, but that doesn’t mean I should be badgered the most. He was married first. He’s earned the right to be badgered first. (And yes, I’m sort of kidding - I don’t think either of us should be badgered!).
Why is it that family seems to think our reproductive choices are any of their business? And when we give an answer, why do they think it’s their right to CHANGE our minds? Or give us a hard time?
I swear, my poor best friend has been getting the same thing from FRIENDS and she’s been married for several years. We have a close friend whom we adore, but who has become a bit like the Smug Marrieds from the Bridget Jones books - she has an adorable, well-behaved two-year-old and is expecting her second and while we both love him to pieces, neither of us is ready for the same thing. But she did pull the same sort of thing when she first got married, so we should have expected it when she had kids. Luckily, she’s a good person so we can overlook that, but it apparently caused more of a rift between the two of them than I’d initially realized (my best friend told me about it last weekend…the two of them work together and things got VERY rough between them). I just wonder why even FRIENDS seem to think it’s okay.
Thank God for my friend at work who always tells me “Once you have them, you can’t give them back! Wait until you’re ready!”. Gotta love her:).