Earlier today, my dearest friend Ashley (@raeofsunshinelife) published a post about a real hot topic-babies or no babies? I’m so thankful that I met Ashley because we share the same views on almost everything. We have such a strong connection and it’s so refreshing to have someone like that in your life. Check out what she had to say on the baby or no baby subject [here]. Her take on it all got everyone expressing all these emotions surrounded by the concept of procreation. I was about to sort out my thoughts and join in on the fun when I realized that my thoughts were not that easily sortable (what a surprise). I came to the conclusion that if I did comment, it would win a Guinness world record for the longest comment ever posted on a blog thread. Ultimately, the common question of “when are you planning to have kids” is seemingly an innocent one-but for me, it’s the most loaded question that I often receive. I have not shared most of what you are about to read with anyone…my friends, my family, and some of it-even my husband. As you can anticipate, yes I have much to confess, express, and share on this subject. Is it anybody’s business what my future family plans are? Hell no. Nobody should ever feel obligated to reveal such an intimate and personal part of their lives. I’m just a girl who apparently likes to put myself out there. To be honest, blogging is so incredibly therapeutic for me. Every time I write up a personal post, I immediately feel free. It is how I come to understand what goes through my chaotic mind and what raw emotions I feel in my heart. When I write, I forget about everyone. I forget that my friends may be reading this. I don’t worry that my co-workers, clients, or even my in-laws could be getting a pass to the deepest and darkest secrets of my soul. I simply express what festers inside me and it comforts me, it heals me. To top it off, I find that when I do show this vulnerable side of me, I in the end, help somebody else out there feel not so alone. This also proves to me that I am also not alone.
I have recently shared that I am turning 30 very soon-on June 14th to be exact (mark your calendars friends)! This would have most women in a state of panic and depression, especially because we haven’t had any children yet. In a recent Instagram post, I shared my excitement for this upcoming celebration. The way I see my birthday is most definitely not how others see it. Whenever I share my age, most people immediately follow-up with the kid question. When it’s revealed that no, I don’t yet have mini-me’s, the questioner often looks panicked for me. Did you guys know that know that a women’s reproductive system completely shuts down the minute you turn 30 years old? That fertility is off the table because you waited too long? Insert eye roll emoji…PUH-LEASE. In my post I stated that I felt honoured and ecstatic to reach this milestone in my life. And whenever any talk about this milestone comes up, it seems that everyone likes to point out what I’m lacking in my life (aka babies). I have so much to celebrate. This is the year where I’ve gained the most beautiful of things in my life and that’s what a birthday celebration should be about!
To start off with what takes up most of mind when it comes to the decision of having children or not, I would like to confess that I am honestly undecided. This decision has gone back and forth since before my husband and I even tied the knot. We have yes days and we have no days. We have yes weeks and we have no weeks. The following post will just highlight the different factors that affect my indecisiveness.
I’M ENJOYING NUTURING MYSELF. I finally love and appreciate myself. This is why I’m so thrilled for my 30th birthday. I feel like I actually have something to celebrate. I know who I am and I know who I’m striving to be. This is the first time in my life that I enjoy my body, my thoughts, and my own company. I have hobbies, dreams, and plans. I have found a passion….one I don’t want to give up. I want to help others and their families to lead the healthiest of lives they can. I know for a fact that if I had a baby that I’d be so focused on the health and wellness of my child that I would let myself (and everything around me) slide. That’s just a reality. I have let myself slide my whole life up until this point; I’m not ready to do it all over again. I’m a natural born nurturer. I’d kill it at being a mom-I know that. I’ve put all of my loved ones before me in the past. I had to-it was like a reflex. I took care of my alcoholic mother. I babied boyfriends who needed motherly figures in their lives. I worried myself sick when my brother had cancer and I was my mother’s full time babysitter after he passed. I’m also a Registered Massage Therapist for crying out loud! I have always taken on everyone’s struggles as if they are my own. Now that I have finally learned that essential boundary-I just have no desire to step back behind that line. For anybody. Call me selfish-go ahead, but I LOVE loving myself. And half of my friends are mothers so you can’t even tell me that this does not happen because I’ve seen it firsthand.
IDENTITY ISSUES. Everybody always states that you’ll never regret having kids. I do honestly believe that 100%. What I do think is possible though, is the chance of just not enjoying your life post-baby. This is something most people would never dare dream to admit, understandably. I have too, seen this situation firsthand. Some parents are just born to be parents. They are completely satisfied and fulfilled bringing life into this world and raising beautiful children. For some, that truly is enough. For me, however…I don’t see it leaving me fulfilled. I would want to be me but also be a mom which I know is possible…but is it possible for me? Will I slide? Will my passions fade? Will I simply forget about the world the instant I give birth? Like I mentioned, I have a passion which inspires hopes, dreams, and plans. I’m just getting started here. This is the year for Nutty4Nutrition. This year is set up for the rest of my dreamed about life.
INFERTILITY. Although I threw out some very sarcastic comments related to infertility up top, I am fully aware that infertility creeps up with age. It also creeps up with many other factors. I think deep down I do think I would have a very hard time conceiving. I just have a gut feeling. Whether or not that is factual or just instilled because of my fear-I don’t know. I do believe in the power of mentality but as much as I try to shake this feeling-It just doesn’t dissipate. It’s one of those situations where you can try with all of your might not to think about it but then you end thinking about it even more because you are trying so hard not to think about it-ya feel me? To add to the equation, my monthly moon times (aka my periods) are not a joy to say the least. I have excruciating menstrual cramps that mimic contractions and lead me to the toilet to both interchangeably throw up out of my mouth and out of ummm, you know where. This is the only time where I take drugs simply because I have to in order to function. If I didn’t take anti-inflammatories around the clock, I would be bed ridden. Plans need to be made tentatively (and are often cancelled) and trips are always a very hard vacation to power through (although I do it-always on pain meds). I despise this weakness and feel I can never be honest about it when opting out of events. “So, you are on your period?…every woman gets one, and every month”! Due to this consistent burden, I have a very unhealthy relationship with my femininity. I would love to embrace my womanly functions as nature intended but I struggle with it cycle after cycle. Endometriosis has been thrown out there as a medical possibility numerous times. Do I have a diagnosis? No. I have jumped halfway through the slow moving hoops and I am almost at the point of being referred to what I need in order to be medically diagnosed (a laparoscopy). I have made numerous doctor appointments, and I have cancelled them all. I don’t want to know. I’m scared to know. I’m scared that my only options will be the same options I was given for long-term pain management which is surgery or continuous birth control which I’m not interested in. Endometriosis greatly increases the chance of infertility, especially as time goes by. I’m scared that with a diagnosis, I’ll go crazy. Unfortunately, we sometimes become our diseases. We let them define us. We either fall into it or we fight hard against it (and then sometimes fall into it anyway). I’m a fighter. I’d fight hella hard. With a diagnosis or an actual deadline to try to procreate, I’m scared it would consume me. Talk about having kids for the wrong reason. I don’t want to conceive a child out of pressure, uncertainty, or worst of all-fear. Especially since I’m currently so uncertain on the matter. I want to conceive in passion and love.
*Side note: I’m aware that a huge factor with my menstrual problems is due to hormonal imbalances. I’ve tried many holistic alternatives to help in this area including acupuncture, homeopathy, diet changes, and now reflexology. It’s a very frustrating journey but I believe patience is key.
MY MARRIAGE. The whole infertility subject branches off into the factor of my marriage. With infertility tests or diagnoses comes obsession. I would become that woman who maps out her cycles and does whatever else imaginable to be able to have a baby. Don’t get me wrong ladies-I completely understand it-I really do. I understand it so much that I know I would do it too. My heart truly goes out to each and every couple that had to resort to these measures. It breaks my heart that life can be so unfair. I remember there being one point where I was having a yes week and all I wanted to do was try, try, try. I remember my husband eventually asking me if we could just go back to making love. If I could look at him as my husband again, not just a baby machine. I realized then how much pressure I put on him-on us. I felt terrible and he was right, obviously. Like I said-I want to conceive in passion and love. Stress is the ultimate villain. I know that and I felt that in just that one week. I couldn’t imagine a long term period of life consuming planning and trying. The thought of a ruined marriage and the possibility of defeat makes my stomach churn. The way I personally see it-I HAVE a positive and stable relationship with my husband, would I really want to jeopardize that for just a CHANCE at having a baby?
THE FUTURE. If I was told right now that there was no chance that I could have a baby, I’d be fine. I would currently be accepting of that news. I would daydream of all the travel plans my husband and I could make. I have not seen nearly enough of the world and knowing that I would have the rest of my life to do so-would be exciting. We could maybe relocate and live somewhere sunny and tropical. We could buy a winter home down south and live it up. There would be comfort in knowing that we would be financially stable (and comfortable). And yes, these things are possible with children….if you are well off. The traveling life is also way different with children compared to without. Presently, that is how I would react. However, I fear for perhaps the day two years from now. I can see myself eventually being dedicated to having children. I can see myself being a fabulous mother, I just don’t know if I’m ready for it right now. Eventually all of my friends will have big eccentric families and if I’m still childless, I fear that we would all grow apart. To be honest, I already feel an unintentional distance due to my Nutty lifestyle (no regrets at all though). Is there any room for further distance? Should I have babies now in case I do really want them in two years? Again, that would result in conception out of fear.
ALL THE WRONG REASONS. Many reasons to have children have been introduced into my life, but they are all the wrong ones. Aside from pressure or fear, I also have a couple more “not so ideal” reasons to procreate. To really reveal how crazy I am, listen to this. I love pregnancy and birth stories. I’m obsessed with them actually. Although I’m very uncertain about having children-I would LOVE to be pregnant. I envision myself being such a joyous pregnant lady. As a girl who suffers with chronic bloating issues (which have gotten a gazillion times better since changing my lifestyle)…pregnancy is the dream! I currently wear clothes one to two sizes too big for me because I find them more comfortable. Tight fitting items make me uncomfortable and the pressure against my usually distended abdomen is far from pleasant. I literally have a ginormous section of my closet dedicated to the prego life. You know how some women disappear off the face of the earth as soon as they find out they are pregnant? Yeah, that won’t be me! You best believe that the moment I get pregnant (if I do)-I will be reppin’ the tightest shit around. This girl will be baby bumpin’ it all day, err day. Finally-a reason to look as bloated as I normally feel-a baby growing inside me! The thought of maybe one day possibly sporting all of my saved, form fitting clothes in my closet gets me all giddy. Of course, I’m also super interested in going through all the organic changes that a woman’s body does as she carries to term. A lady’s body is truly fascinating.
Last spring, I took a doula program through my Massage Therapy Association. If you are wondering the hell a doula is, check out my recent blog post all about it [here]. Going into the program I was convinced that I would be leaving more on the “no baby” side of things. I was well aware that we would be watching graphic videos of labour and delivery and I was certain that they would not help my situation. On the first day I witnessed the most magical and natural birth scenes I could have never imagined. Experiences that entirely changed my fearful and negative feelings I had associated with giving birth. Well shit. I went home that night bat shit crazy for babies. All that weekend…I wanted babies. However, I soon came to realize that I only wanted the labour and delivery experience. I was infatuated with the empowerment behind such an organic act. It’s like I wanted the challenge. I wanted to know how I would cope with my labour discomforts. I was curious to see if I too, could have such an indescribable and beautiful birth experience as these featured women had had.
You must be thinking “man, Nutty is &#@*ing twisted.” I’ve got it all backwards, I know! I want the pregnancy and delivery but everything that comes after that….meh-not entirely sold.
WHAT ABOUT MR. TANGO? It takes two to tango, we all know that. Now that you know every last thought that goes through my mind on the baby or no baby debate…you must be wondering what my husband’s stand is. Thankfully, he is exactly with me. He also has his yes days and weeks just as I have mine. It’s hard not to pass up the idea on those days where we get to sleep in, go on brunch dates where we sip on mimosas, and genuinely just enjoy our lives together. And enjoy our lives separately. We have the time right now to do everything we desire….how is that not appealing? But on the other side of it all, he believes I would be a terrific mother (duh) and he would honestly be the most involved, helpful, loving, and supportive father I could ever ask for my children.
SO, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US? Alas, we are back where we started. Undecided. As we currently stand-our fate is in the hands of the baby gods. Hell, who knows, after all that rambIing I could very well be pregnant right now. It either happens or it doesn’t. If I have children, I want it to be done lovingly, positively, and naturally. If that doesn’t happen then maybe it wasn’t meant to be. There are other options should we want explore them when we feel the time is right.
Some see the “when are you planning to have kids” question as innocent as asking “how are you.” For my husband and I, it’s a decision we don’t take lightly. I know that some couples out there know exactly what they want. I also know that for some parents, conception was as easy as 1, 2, and 3. These blessed souls do not understand the struggles behind such a seemingly simple question. I get that, how could they? Older generations also have a hard time relating to young couples (yes, 30 is young)! Fertility issues, financial stressors, and lack of time were not as much of a burden to couples as they are now. I do understand the innocence. I do hope however, that as time goes on people become a little more considerate on this subject. For many partners, the decision to have children or not is a very complicated question (I almost wish I could print off this post and hand it out to everyone who asks). And for many couples, procreation is not as easy as putting the lime in the coconut.
So, let’s hear your thoughts. What have you experienced or where do you stand on this intimate subject? Let’s have a respectful and supportive conversation!