So, as you know, the journey from conception to birth is one I have just begun, and if you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s a topic I’m passionate about (hence the blog). I will provide information through the lens of my own experiences, in order to help you understand your own.
Congratulations! You may have just reached the very important step when you and your significant other have jointly decided you are ready for a baby. Now, getting to this point, I assume, was no easy task. I have friends who have taken years to make the decision – and I completely understand why. It’s a BIG deal! As they say, your life changes forever – and while almost all the changes are for the good, a few are probably going to be tough. Say, for instance, your inevitable, constant exhaustion those first few months (or years). Or the lack of freedom to say to your partner – “What do you feel like doing tonight?” and heading out the door for a spontaneous date night. Probably the biggest change isn’t an action, but a feeling. You would be in charge of someone else’s life – and I can’t think of many bolder, scarier statements than that. However, even through all of these slightly frightening thoughts (and you know you’ve had them), you have still decided, the pros FAR outweigh the cons, and you’re ready.
As I said before, this blog is through the lens of my own experiences, and I’m happy to say, my husband and I reached the point I’ve just described a while ago. Well, I feel as if I’ve been at that point for years and years, but my husband has been officially “ready” for about a year.
I have always wanted kids. It was never a question, really. In fact, as a teenager, I never really fantasized about a fairy-tale wedding, or being swept off my feet by my “prince” (does that even happen?). Instead, I have viewed myself as a mother. Of course, I have always been safe, and luckily have had many other outlets for my desire to work with children. I am an elementary school teacher, and I have loved every second of it. No, the real reason I have felt the way I have over the years is because of my own mother. I’ll save her for a future post, but to summarize, I have loved being raised by her, and have always loved the thought that I could pass on what she has taught me to my own children.
I am lucky enough to be married to someone who also loves children and has always wanted them. We have been married for about two years, and have dated previously for over nine years. He knew what he was getting into when we were married, and we have talked over the years occasionally about the topic (usually questions like, “What would you do if your child…..”). But as I said, about a year ago, we knew we were both finally “there”. If you don’t know what “there” is, you probably haven’t reached it yet. You’ll know when it happens!
I titled this post “Support….and pressure”, because I believe that when you finally make the decision, you will be faced with both of these things.
Support is crucial – first and foremost, from your significant other. The two of you must be on the same page – for if you weren’t, and you had a child, what would life be like for him/her? Of course, that doesn’t mean you have the right to talk 24 hours a day about the topic, like I occasionally do. My husband is 100% supportive, but there have been times where he’s hinted that it’s time to change the subject, and I’m more than fine with that – I’m passionate about it, but not everyone is.
Support is also crucial from those whom you trust – close friends or family. I have received positive reactions, mostly.
With support, though, may come pressure, especially from family. In my journey, some members have expressed concern that it “might not happen as soon as I’d like”. My reaction to this is – no kidding! But here’s hoping, and I’m trying to go into it with an optimistic attitude. On the opposite end, some family members have been subtly hinting that they’d like this baby to be conceived and birthed just as quickly as possible. They mention people they know that are having kids, and seemingly stare at my stomach when I walk through the door! After talking with friends, I have found most people seem to have pressure in the form of the latter, rather than the former. Lucky for me, I have both! Regardless, the important thing to keep in mind is that pressure doesn’t help. It’s not something you need. That said, try also to remember that your family and friends are happy for you, even if they sometimes show it in interesting ways.
I suppose the real lesson here is simple: Be careful who you tell.
I imagine this will become an even bigger deal when I’m actually pregnant….
I really want this to be a “sharing and connecting” blog – not just for your sake, but mine. For this reason, I’m going to try and post questions at the end of every blog in hopes that you feel comfortable enough to respond. It’ll help others who read this, as well as myself.
So, what pressures from family and friends have you faced after revealing that you are ready to start trying for a baby? What have you received by way of support?