Well, I got myself into a pickle this weekend. While watching a 20/20 interview with the dude who gave birth, I brought up a big ole’ 4 letter word with DD: Kids.
It’s not like we haven’t talked about it before. We’ve touched on it, mainly in regards to my kidney disease and transplant. When I originally told him about my health, I explained that my disease is genetic and has a 50/50 shot of being passed on with every pregnancy I have. I also explained that while I can have children with my transplant, I’m just not sure how I feel about it risk-wise. So he’s known about all of that, has been fine with it, is (I feel) open to adoption if I wanted to go that route, etc. etc.
But here’s the thing. Lately — as in the past couple years — I’ve been thinking about my stance on children in general. Growing up, I always knew I’d have kids, because that’s what you did. You dated, then came love, then came marriage, then came the babies in the baby carriage. It’s what that annoying song tells us, after all. It’s what my mom did. It’s what I knew, and therefore, it was the only path to take.
As I’ve grown up and realized it’s much more complicated than that, and that I have many paths I could take, I’ve realized my interest in children has changed. I’m an only child. Aside from babysitting when I was younger, I have NO experience with kids. I’m also one of the most impatient people I know. And rather selfish. The idea of turning over my life for 18 years just doesn’t have me running to sign up for prenatal vitamins and Mommy and Me playgroups. On the other hand, everyone tells me the minute you hold your own child, all that changes.
On top of that, I don’t feel my biological clock ticking away. In fact, sometimes I even wonder if it’s on. I’m perfectly happy these days. Sure, I’m itching to get married, but not so I can have kids. I’m not itching to get pregnant. I just feel too damn young to be popping out kids at this point, and so it’s just not a part of my thought process.
Or maybe it’s because I just don’t see kids in my future.
That’s the problem: I just don’t know. Right now, I feel like I could go either way. It’s not a firm “no”, but it’s not like I feel a strong “yes” either.
And so I brought it up with DD, thinking he felt the same way I did. The conversation started out casually enough, with me asking how many kids he wanted. Truthfully, at the time, I wasn’t thinking about my indecision, I was merely asking a question. But then, I saw him get more and more excited about it.
And that’s when the OH SHIT feeling set in. You know, the oh shit…he’s way more into this than I am right now. Which led to: oh shit…what if we feel differently about this topic? Kind of a big thing when it comes to marriage — what if he decides he doesn’t want to be with me because I’m not sure if I want to have kids?!
Oh shit, indeed.
I still decided to express my uncertainty to him, which led to him getting frustrated and huffy (he does this when he’s not sure how to respond) and replied: Well. It’s not a dealbreaker if you can’t have children because of your health. But if you don’t want to have children, I guess I’d have to think about it.
Obviously, the shit hit the fan.
He got increasingly frustrated, asking me why I’d even brought it up when we’re nowhere near this point in our life. Which then snowballed to even more things I’ve been doing lately that have frustrated him, which left me in tears.
Eventually, I explained to him that maybe this kid nervousness was just all coming out of fear of what a pregnancy will do to my transplant (even though my doctor says I’d be just fine), how my child could be affected by my genes (which, honestly, I don’t think is really weighing on my mind), and my level of uncomfort with children in general due to my lack of experience with them (the real jackpot of the issue). He calmed down and we made up.
Regardless, I’m sure this whole thing is still in the back of his mind, and will be for some time. Having children is one of the major issues in a marriage, and before we decide that’s where we’re headed, we need to know each other’s feelings on the subject. But the conversation does leave me a little scared. I thought we were on the same, iffy page when it came to kids, but I see I was wrong. And that just leaves me afraid that I don’t want it as much as he does, and that that’s somehow bad.
Luckily, this whole thing doesn’t have to be sorted out just yet. We’re both still growing up and figuring out what we want in life, and what I think today could change in 3 years. I hope it does.