2
Feb
2014
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it's all about me; happiness is a journey; roy goodman

“Do you have children?”

“No, we don’t.”

And queue “oh shit, what door have I opened” combined with “you’re almost 40 and women are put on this earth to procreate so why don’t you” looks.

Whenever I’m asked this question awkwardness always ensues. I’ve got my elevator pitch down to 14.3 seconds. “Oh, don’t worry, I’m an open book about this stuff. Our non-kid family isn’t from of a lack of trying. We’ve had three miscarriages. I believe everything happens for a reason so I’m OK with it. We’re DINKs. We’ve got a great life with great kids all around us who I get to give back at the end of the day.” <insert fake laugh>

It’s a question I am tired of defending. Why must we have kids for life to be complete? I love my life. It’s fantastic. It’s a life that allows both me and hubs to work hard to fulfill our career driven aspirations. It’s a life that allows us to live in our dream home with nature at our doorstep. It’s a life that allows us to go for dinner with friends any night of the week without negotiating who gets left out because we can’t find a babysitter. It’s a life where I can drink way too much Sauvignon Blanc which ultimately turns into shooters which ultimately turns into me sleeping on the bathroom floor…naked…and I don’t have to worry about who’s going to make sure le damn noise-makers don’t burn the house down cause I can’t lift my head out of the toilet. It’s my life.

it's all about me; happiness is a journey;  roy goodman

I’m happy. I really am. But more and more these days I am starting to wonder if I’ll have regrets not having children; or at least not trying one last time. Hubs wants a baby. We’ve even been negotiating: he gets a baby and I get a dog. Don’t get all up in arms – the only way for us to have a serious conversation is by not being serious at all. I’m just not sure. I want to live my life with no regrets. But will I regret not having a baby? I mean society completely fetishes about baby bumps and motherhood and tells women that’s what we’re supposed to do.

By now you’re probably going “but you’ve tried before so isn’t all of this a bit of an oxymoron?”

Growing up I never had that burning desire to be a mommy. I didn’t play with dolls and pretend I was their mommy. Sheesh. Why would I want to pretend to change shitty diapers. Give me a speak-and-spell and bam! See, I told you I was almost 40. I never really pictured my life with kids in it. In fact, for a long time I was going to be that single, high-powered woman of influence living in a downtown, penthouse condo.

My biological clock has never gone tic-toc, get on the cock. Two of our pregnancies were unplanned before we got married. While yes, I was a bit sad after each one, a tiny piece of me was thankful. Our relationship was not ready for kids. We were still building our foundation. Even though we had been together a few years, we were still learning and adapting to each other.

The timing of our third pregnancy was perfect if you go by the image society paints. Newly married. Living in our single family dream home. The stars aligned.

9:30 pm on a Tuesday evening I started spotting. Hubs at work. I went across the street to tell my girlfriend (who didn’t know I was pregnant yet). I wasn’t too worked up knowing this can be normal as it had happened with pregnancy #2. Early the next morning I knew it was over. We went to the hospital and an ultrasound confirmed it.

It crushed me. Three pregnancies. Three miscarriages. What was wrong with me?

The most devastating part of it all was I was finally ready. Not “OMG I need to have a baby” but more like “ya, we can do this” ready. I was finally OK with having the title of mom. We had a baby plan. Remember the career driven part? Well, I needed a plan on how I could be a mom and have a career and the role hubs would play in that.

Shortly after miscarriage number three, I started seeing Patricia, a fertility psychologist at the Ottawa Fertility Clinic (we’re patients there). She was and continues to be amazing. I went to her because I felt alone in this world of increasing baby commodities. I felt selfish for loving my life as it is, for being happy sans-tot. Society has this way of making a woman who does not have children feel worthless. Like our stock isn’t as valuable as those with kiddos. It’s on the front page of every tabloid. It’s a common headline in traditional and social media.

Well, guess what? Patricia made my realize my stock is priceless. Invaluable. Can you put a price on keeping your bestie’s children alive when she is going through the fight of her life? Trust me. You can’t. There is a silver lining in every situation – you just need to look for it.

As I am closer to 40 than 30, I started to worry about the risk associated with pregnancy at this age. I was consumed with thoughts of the “what-ifs”. I got to a place where I was OK with being a mom but knew I would not be OK being a full-time a caregiver. I commend people who do but also wonder if there is well-disguised remorse with their decisions. We don’t have a cohesive system in Canada to truly support the families caring for children (and adults for that matter) with mental and/or physical disabilities.

But because society tells us to love a child no matter what, I again felt lonely with my thoughts. Society was basically telling me I was a black-hearted for thinking this way. For thinking of me. Patricia, on the other hand, made me realize the most responsible decision one can make is when we put ourselves first. We are constantly telling people in our lives “it’s OK to put yourself first” when doing things like deciding to go on vacation without the kids or buying something pretty for yourself because you deserve it. But when it comes to making the biggest life changing event one will ever experience? Well, society basically tells us just do it. Take the plunge. No need to put the most important person first – you.

Patricia got me to a good place. Hubs and I had started trying again in the spring of 2013. By September I was done with the monthly reminder that I was not pregnant.

So what now? Well, we’re not pregnant but it looks like I’m getting a dog. I’ll keep you posted if my DINKs card is revoked. But if it isn’t, I’ll still be happy. And the world needs happy people.

Image sourced from You’re Not From Around Here

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it's all about me; angry uterus; fertility issues; fertility problems; infertility; low amh; bad egg syndrome; low egg reserve
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23 Responses

    1. Admittedly Stephanie, my reaction to defend may be premature sometimes. It’s the surprise in people’s faces when they find out a married, middle-aged woman/couple do not have children. They may not say the words directly but their body language says even more. As I don’t like conflict I feel I need to immediately justify.

  1. I have too many comments to write them all here so will leave it as HUGS and YOU GO GIRL and never feel you have to defend a position or belittle anyone elses (this is to all readers not specifically the author). While not the same as this situation, I have experienced the same feelings of having to defend, explain and was always conscious of trying to not make others feel uncomfortable and sometime they probably didn’t but I assumed they did and even then, sometimes uncomfortable can be fleeting and blossom into a great conversation. I used to do this when it came to my parents. I lied for years about my parents. What they did, where they were etc. Why? Because it made me uncomfortable to make others pity me or feel uncomfortable and yes, sometimes it made me cry if I spoke about it. It’s not a regular conversation or answer to “What do your parents do” to say, ‘they are both dead/passed away” and hear, “both, how is that possible?” I don’t know how it’s possible-dumbass. “WHEN” is often the follow up question. When I was 7 and 3 months apart was my answer. “Are you sure?” Are you sure!!?????? I think that’s something I would be sure about. So, I lied or made sure I prepped good friends and boyfriends (as I got older) by warning them to tell their parents not to ask me at the dinner party or a social gathering, about my parents. Okay so I wrote more than I said I would:)

    1. As far as society has come with conversations like mental health, same sex relationships and pregnancy loss, we have a long, long way to go Laurel. Because not everyone is comfortable with these conversations yet, we feel the need to ease any tension – or avoid it all together. Some day we may be able to talk openly about these topics with anyone…regardless of profile…hopefully.

  2. We had three children, after the first, something weird happened to me, I wanted to be a baby maker, but I would never push my choice or give you grief for yours. I may be envious of your money, but not laying naked on the floor after a night of fun, lol.

  3. Oh – do I ever understand you. Unlike you though – I always wanted to have kids – but through choices I’ve made in my life, it never happened.

    I thought for sure I’d meet the man of my dreams and we’d have lots of kids.

    A few years ago, I finally came to terms with the fact it would never happen and now I concentrate on giving all my love to my nieces and nephew.

    As for the questions and looks – not much I can do about them and it sometimes hurts still, but I know it all happened for a reason :-)

    Thank you for posting this hun.

    1. You’ve just been test driving Julie so now you know what you like and don’t like. Now if we could only punch those selections into a computer for it spit out your model, it would be perfect!

      The best part about loving your nieces and nephew? You get to nap after they go home ;)

  4. I’m sorry you’ve been made to feel you have to defend your wonderful life. I have three children (also three miscarriages) and would never judge someone for not having kids. The people who are going to judge you are also likely to judge people with too many kids or not enough kids or (like the ones I got) “You had a boy and a girl, why’d you ruin it by having a 3rd?” “You’ve gotta have a 4th to even it out.” Ugh. ((hugs)) to you.

    1. As with any situation outside the majority people are constantly having to defend or justify their positions. I mean just look at Rob Ford (I know. I know. Bad example. I can hear the hissing). In the not so distant future though I think the pendulum will start to swing as the millennials come up the ranks. They’ve got a long road ahead of them with the cost of living on the rise, job shortages, interest rates rising, etc so these types of decisions (albeit for different reasons) will have to be made, turning this topic into a dinner table conversation.

      As far as society has come with conversations like mental health, same sex relationships and pregnancy loss, I think we have a loooong way to go. Because not everyone is comfortable with these conversations yet, we feel the need to ease any tension – or avoid it all together. Again, hopefully these conversations become dinner table talk one day.

      Thank you for being so open with your experience Samantha. xo

  5. The best thing about this great country we live in is that we have the freedom to do whatever we want. The world needs all kinds. And the world especially needs happy people. Sounds like you are on the right track to living exactly the right life for you. I wouldn’t worry about anyone else. Easier said than done, I know. But just remind yourself of that when people ask the question.

  6. Good for you for speaking out Sarah, it is all too common for people to ask, and really what business is it of anyones as to why you may or may not have kids.

    I honestly had never thought much about it until I was working with a client on her website, and she talks about infertility/loss and how life CAN go on without children (I say that for those who think it cannot, not my thinking). Her site is: http://lifewithoutbaby.com/

  7. My life got a whole lot happier when I started thinking about me. Oh, and after I got rid of that leech that was sucking all the life out of me.

    Good for you for choosing yourself, your wine, your dog, whatever. No one know what it’s like to live one moment in your shoes.

    Life happens. Kind of like the weather. You don’t always have control over it so I say put on another layer or just get naked. Life is short. Enjoy.

    Besos, Sarah

  8. It’s weird to me that we have to defend the way we live our lives whether it’s choice or the way our lives simply unfolded. and you are BEYOND right….the world needs more happy people. p.s. I’ve never met you but I have a feeling we’d get along really well

  9. I understand what you are saying Sarah, but in a different way. I did have children, and young in life. My youngest just turned 14 and the oldest is 19 today. I am 37 in a month ( 25 forever technically). Hubby and I are basically back to “Honeymoon” or LBK (Life Before Kids) stages. We can go out for date night when we choose, go shopping, sleep in. However, now I find the friends I have with young children are looking at me with contempt. How is it my fault that they decided to have children when they were 35? I think what you do with your life is up to you, how you use your life is up to you. If you are happy, that is all that matters. I will say however, jealousy sometimes comes in many forms. Love the new fur baby idea. ;)

  10. I think many people are way too judgemental in life. Most days I am in a space where I don’t actually care what others think about my life. It is my life. I have my own code and I sleep well at night mostly. People are a curious lot. It would be nice if people were simply more accepting and tolerant and you shouldn’t have to defend your life. Also sometimes I think if the same shoe is on a man’s foot would society judge in the same way?

  11. I think it’s wrong for our society to make you feel as though you have to defend yourself for not having kids at any point in your life. It’s ridiculous! It’s bad enough that our society has all of these expectations of what a woman should and shouldn’t be, it’s quite confusing. You have to be married, a successful career-oriented person with kids while keeping a clean home, and a slim figure?! Women cannot be expected to live up to all of them. I think women should be able to live the life they personally choose to live, without the comments from the Peanut Gallery when they are not living up to the same expectations themselves! I believe you should live the life that makes you happy. So long as it doesn’t interfere with another person’s happiness, you should do what brings you joy! You only have one live, you should live it to the fullest!

  12. I this it is ridiculous for our society to expect all women to want to have children. I think you should not have to defend yourself, regardless of what has happened in your life, as to why you choose to live your life the way you want to. So long as your life is not impeding on another person’s life,you should live the life that makes you happy!

  13. Anonymous

    This is my first time on your blog and I must thank you for a wonderful blog. This post especially touched me, I have desperately wanted to have a baby but unfortunately God never graced me with one or a man to have one with. Yes, you’re lucky you at least were given a love to spend your life with. It is sad that the society makes you feel you’re less than of a woman since you don’t have your own children. I am however lucky enough to be blessed with many nieces and nephews to spoil.

    I hope whatever your dream for your life comes true, you seem like a remarkable women and one anyone would love to call friend or mom.

    1. Anonymous

      Thanks, I just hope maybe reading your blog it will help me find that inner strength that you and your bestie seem to have for whatever my journey is. Is hard these days since I’m on the other side of forty and knowing my dream of husband and children has to die and I have to learn to accept it.

    2. Oh my friend, please don’t let that dream die. I believe that finding love later in life is the most powerful type there is. You know what you want and won’t settle for less. By the sounds of it you have lots of nieces & nephews. I look at the kids in our life and feel blessed – especially when I get to give them back at the end of the day, sleep-in and not worry about how much wine I drank the night before ;)

  14. Hey Sarah! I am soooooooooo happy that you are happy with who you are and that you know that your life is complete without having to have kids. For me, the “rules” of society are a slippery slope where women and babies are concerned. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Thank goodness you have Patricia in your life to let you see that you’re perfect the way you are. Thanks for sharing this post. Hopefully, it can help others who may feel as though they are by themselves dealing with the struggles and frustrations of infertility. You keep doing what you’re doing, Sarah! :)

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