One of my biggest pregnancy symptoms is getting nauseous over cutesy pregnancy speak. I get green around the gills every time I downloaded an app and read the phrase “bundle of joy.” Or it referred to my stomach as “your baby bump.” [Insert eye roll emoticon here.]
So after some trial and error with apps, I’ve narrowed down my favorite non-cheesy pregnancy apps to these…
My husband definitely wants kids in a real, much more immediate sense than I do. I’ve never dealt with pangs of baby crack, but I do enjoy the company of children in certain doses. I have a toddler niece and nephews whom I love a lot, but I’ve never felt gooey for babies. I realize that just about everyone who thinks about becoming a parent questions the decision. But is there a point when you know that being child-free is truly what you want, and it’s not just cold feet?
My husband and I have been together for five years, and married for almost one. Up until recently, neither of us have ever wanted to have children. We’ve made this perfectly clear to all interested potential grandparent parties. However… I’ve recently started to think about having kids more and more, and it hit me the other day that I would very much like to have a kid.
My thoughts turned to my friend at work who had given birth that day, and her baby who would always share a birthday with this tragedy. I thought of my other friend who is planning on welcoming twins into this world in October and taking the rest of the school year off to be with them. I thought of my childhood best friend whose daughter is almost a year old. And I thought, I am so lucky to be childfree. How do you deal with questions from a young child about why and what happened when these tragedies inevitably take place? I wasn’t even sure what I would tell my high school students in class the next day.
In the break rooms at work, over lunch, next to coffee pots or in store aisles while shopping for high gloss paint, I have proclaimed with unwavering conviction to at least a hundred people: “I never, absolutely never, want kids.” This stance has come to symbolize a lot more than my choice on children: it represents my autonomy, my position in (or not in) various social spheres, and, to some degree, my rejection of conventionality. And thus, my recent confusion about whether or not I want a kid has felt like a lot of very unpleasant things.
Some women dream of their child, the name, the sex, long before they even meet the partner they make their baby with. That’s not me — I have always felt a selfish twinge when picturing myself having biological children. My friends had children, my half-sister did, and it felt good and right for them. See, the ten years I spent so vocal about not wanting to bear children, people smiled condescendingly and told me, “Just wait,” muttering something about a clock. I didn’t suddenly freak out and then came baby, more the other way around.
I’m a perennial University student of literature and philosophy; a vegan, tattooed traveler who, being aunty to six terrific nephews and nieces, felt that I was surrounded by enough kid-love to forgo cooking up any of my own…until now.
I waited as long as possible to announce my pregnancy. I told my oldest friends first. And the first reactions were: “Congratulations?” “Oh. Wow.” “I thought you didn’t want kids!”