After two posts and over 130 comments on the subject of baby-making, it seems some of you are curious about why I’m suddenly talking about this. I started to get Facebook and email messages asking me what’s up.
Well, this is actually a topic I’ve been holding back for quite a while. In fact, this marks the first time in three years that I’ve cleared something with my wife before writing about it.
See, my wife and I have been married five years. And we don’t have kids.
And that was okay.
But I’ve learned a few things about myself over the last five years.
People Change…Including Me
When my wife and I got married, I was not willing to have a kid right away…if ever. I didn’t want to think about it or talk about it. I had three years left of graduate studies. And my wife was never bit with the “baby bug,” that insidious impulse that makes women “ooh” and “aah” over little booties and onesies and want a baby immediately in the way that scares men.
My wife is the best. After I told her I would not discuss having a child, she did not bring up the subject again. Oh, and just to chime in on the discussion that exploded on Monday about birth control: it was prescribed to us to correct for other, serious concerns. So at the time, it was win-win.
But it’s funny how things change. After a few years, I had graduated. We bought a house. We were on solid ground.
But what surprised me the most was how I had changed.
I began to feel something…odd. Some strange, nagging, foreign impulse. Despite my best efforts to suppress any procreational instincts, I found myself actually wanting a child. I never wanted to want a child. It just happened.
And in a streak of some kind of Catholic subconscious thought, I became convinced that denying the chance for a baby to be born had become disobedient for us.
The Deck is Stacked
So we said, “Okay, let’s have a kid.”
And that was eighteen months ago. I learned that even when you obey the small, quiet voice of God who tells you, “You’re ready to have a kid,” it doesn’t mean God’s going to give you a kid that easy.
I’m not complaining. My wife and I aren’t decorating an empty nursery or kidnapping our friends’ babies. We’ve had it pretty easy, actually. While other couples have had awful things happen to them in the quest for a child, we’ve just had…well, nothing.
I know it’s cliched and trite to say that a baby is a miracle. I guess what I realized, that doesn’t sound so corny, is just how highly the odds are stacked against any of us being here.
Homemade vs. Store Bought
So, my wife and I have come to the place where we get to see some fun doctors, and make some fun decisions.
We decided from the start that in vitro was out. Even if we had a baby that way, there’d be no money left to buy food for it anyway.
We agreed that we want to adopt, but before we rush out to get a store-bought kid, we’d like to give an honest try at a homemade one. People like homemade things, even babies. Someone should open an adoption agency that’s just a roadside stand with a sign that says, “Homemade Babies: just like your Mom used to make!” And it should sell pies.
Then I started actually investigating the horror of the adoption process. Even the application looks awful. Making a kid from scratch is definitely more fun.
But then I started looking at the pictures of kids needing homes, and I admit, I got emotional. I wanted one.
You know how I said that people with kids sometimes think that childless people have no purpose in life? Well, I’ve actually had bouts of that feeling. I know it’s not true. But my wife and I will be doing some activity, and I’ll catch myself thinking that this would be so much better with a kid…especially when we’re finger painting.
All I really know is that the longer we go without a kid, the more I seem to want one.
Oh, and it’s really weird when a friend tells you they’re trying to get pregnant. Congratulations…on having sex with your wife…I guess.
Okay, I’m dropping this subject before you all get sick of it…for now. Tell me something you’ve learned in your time as a parent, waiting to be a parent, or not ever being a parent.