“Are you going to have children?”
This was a question posed by many well-meaning acquaintances approximately one second after our vows were exchanged. At the age of 43. That’s right. FORTY-THREE. It seemed everywhere we went as a couple, we were asked the same question. I was actually astounded. I can see 20 year olds getting that question, when the eggs are fresh and the sperm are swimming like Olympic competitors in the pool, but at our age? Really people?
At 43, I was pretty sure my eggs had all but shrivelled up or fallen out, and one more ride in a vehicle with bad shocks would doubtless get rid of the few I may have had left.
Himself and I were FAR too cerebral to simply throw caution to the wind and just “let things happen” when it came to deciding if we should even try at this point in our lives. It still amazes me that people take more time and thought to plan buying a new car, than planning if it is the right time to have a baby or to even have one.
We were diligent, if not rabid about birth control, ensuring we were using something.There’s a funny thing about birth control: When used properly… as directed.. it actually WORKS..for an astounding percentage of the population..Who knew?
The level of research and data-seeking we undertook was nothing short of the kind Astronauts preparing to launch into space on the Mars Mission would use:
We went to our Physician who said: Start trying NOW (which was about 2 months after our wedding), and – be prepared for the gift you get (meaning that gift may be one that could be fully dependent on you for their entire lives – heavy words to digest). The luxury of time was not on our side.
Onward to the Genetics/Family Planning person to get more data. We wanted all the facts, the graphs, the pie charts, and the straight goods on the likelihood of getting one of my 43-year-old eggs to kick in to procreation mode. What might happen? Were we prepared to possibly have a moody teenager in the house when we were 60? Did I want to be chasing a toddler around in Menopause whilst battling hot flashes?
After deliberating with the fervor of a Jury in a murder trial, and making very sure that if we decided NO – that one of us would not resent the other 10 years from now, we came to the peaceful decision that it was not meant to be. We can add value to those we love in many ways, without being parents ourselves. It is my hope that we do just that.
Our little jury of two ruled in favour of travelling, drinking wine in foreign places, entertaining friends and family, and enjoying the gift we have been given in our beautiful, intelligent and funny Nieces and Nephews. Watching them grow into themselves has been just a treasure.
We ruled in favour of enjoying our Dogs. They continue to provide us with challenges and laughter every day, and we cannot imagine our lives without them, or the fur we find in our dinner plates.
This post was written with full love and respect for my friends and family who have amazing children, and who are heroes to me for having the courage to have had children and raise them to be fantastic human beings in an uncertain and crazy world.
Thank you for adding beauty and grace to the world through your parental efforts.