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I find nature incredible.  The biological urge to have children is, indeed, strong.  In my case, it became strongest when I became a mother myself.  Ever since my second child, I have had an incredible urge to have another child.  Now that she has just turned two, I am wondering why does this urge remain so strong . . .  that is, until yesterday.

Yesterday, I was at JC Penney attempting to get my daughter’s two year-old picture taken.  When we arrived, there was a family already there getting ready to take pictures of their two girls: a two year-old and a two and a half week old. 

Of course, I SWOONED when I saw the newborn.  I love that stage!  I have always said that I should have been a pediatric nurse in a NICU unit.  Ahh, to hold those little ones in your arms everyday.  Must be the best job!  So, going back to my swooning, it wasn’t any different from the norm.  I even left the store thinking about that beautiful baby and was experiencing all those maternal feelings that you experience with a newborn. 

But I noticed there was something different this time around.  Although I thought about that beautiful newborn baby, those feelings didn’t last as long as in the past.  In a matter of minutes, I was fully engaged in the children’s clothing rack at Baby Gap, madly searching for some nice summer clothes for my daughter and son. 

Then, the thought of that newborn popped back into my head but this time it was in relief.  I started thinking how lucky I am, now that my daughter is turning two, that I am exiting the baby stage.  She just stopped using her “binky” two days ago and she just got off of drinking baby formula.  Soon we will get rid of the baby bottle and start potting training.  And you know what?  It felt good, it felt right.  I was at peace.   

All in all, it looks like the biological urge to have one more is dissipating.  Instead, the rational –and smart– part of me is taking over.  My life IS already full with two kids and, at my age (almost 43), why would I want to go through a pregnancy and all those baby stages all over again?

So, I think that I am finally free of my demons.  Now, I look forward to having a newborn in my arms as a grandma.  In the meantime, I am going to enjoy every second of the next 20-30 years of my children’s’ lives before that day comes. 

I just hope that I am not pregnant inasmuch as we did make a good faith attempt at a baby with the assistance of my Ovacue a couple of weeks ago.  Wouldn’t that be ironic!  At my age, there is only a 5% change of being able to conceive in any given month.  Crossing my fingers. . .

What does a couple do when they have waited until later in life to have children and suffer the rude awakening of finding out that they are unable to conceive?  When all attempts at infertility treatments have failed (while you continue to grow older –ugh!), do you give up the battle by remaining child-free or do you consider adoption?

Countless couples wrestle with this decision on a daily basis.  And it is probably one of the hardest decisions to make because, if you make a mistake, there really is no fixing it ten or twenty years down the road.  Adoption programs are becoming increasingly picky.  Many place age limits on adoptive parents  –especially if you are trying to adopt a healthy newborn or toddler.  Thus, even when it comes to adoption, there are man-made (as opposed to biological) deadlines.

I can only wish that people who are currently struggling with this very important issue post a comment on this blog.  There are certainly GREAT rewards in having children.  They bring joy, keep you young and give you a second chance at having a great parent-child relationship.  You get to experience life through their eyes and you are, literally, making an important investment in the future of the world (sorry for getting sappy but it is true.)  And there is no greater feeling than having a child wrap her arms around you and tell you that she loves you!  It is truly awesome.

On the flip side, it is WORK.  It is a tougher job than any 9-5 job I have ever had.  It is endless.  There are no breaks.  The responsibility is continuous and the many things that need to be done on a consistent basis, day-in and day-out, can tire even the most resilient of working people.  Now that I have kids, my life is no longer mine.  My wants and needs take a back seat to everything that concerns them.  I am the principal actor in their movie and never the other way around.  And with dad gone everyday working hard to support us, the burden of child-rearing falls mostly on my shoulders.  

Do I miss those eleven years of marriage when we were child-free?  Absolutely.  I often take mental trips to the past to re-live the freedom I had and all the wonder things that I was able to do and accomplish.  Would I change my kids for anything in the world?  Absolutely not.  Am I already planning that mega vacation to Europe sixteen years from now when my youngest will be entering college?  Yes.  I have been planning it since she was born and have already picked the dates and destinations.

Bottomline, life is short and we don’t have as much time to ruminate about things as we would like.  There is no perfect state in either having children or remaining child-free.  They both have their ups and downs.  It all boils down to attitude.  You can truly be happy in either state if you are an optimistic and happy person or you can truly be miserable in either state if you are the type of person who always views the cup half empty.

My best advice is to make an educated decision and just go for it  –without ever looking back.  For you can truly have a great life either way!

This lovely video clip speaks louder than words.  Enjoy!

Everyone notices those getting pregnant in their late 30’s and early 40’s.  How could you not?  It is both a miracle and a marvel.  What we don’t hear much about are those couples who try, and try again, without success in these later years.  Their pain is not expressed in public and their void is not felt by those around them.  Many assume that such childless couples have voluntarily decided not to have children when, in fact, it is the farthest thing from the truth.

 After all possible rounds of infertility options have been exhausted, what is a couple to do?  For many, the answer is adoption.  For others, it is not.   I have known two couples (one currently in their fifties and another in their sixties) who did not take the adoption route when all hopes of having their own biological children were frustrated.  Although each couple has an overabundance of family and friends, there have been instances where they seem lonely.   I would never dare ask but I often wonder if either of these couples regret not adopting when they had the chance.   

The husband of one of the couples once remarked that adoption was not for him because of the many risks involved.  Although my role was just to be a listening ear, I couldn’t help but think that so many decisions we make in life (who we marry, where we live, what we do for a living, what road we drive on, etc.) are rife with risks.  Statistically, we can’t leave our homes without being exposed to hundreds of  risks each day. 

So, for those tired of going through infertility treatment and with a desire to move on with life, I recommend that you take a close (or closer) look at adoption.  I have never adopted but I am a witness to the miracle of adoption in my husband’s family and in the family of a good friend.  And I know, without a doubt, that if I asked them whether adopting their children was worth the risks, they would say yes. . .  absolutely YES!

Authored by Guest Blogger:  Mumabroad (Kent, England) 

I have been up since 4:45 a.m. and I feel like a zombie.  I was also woken up four times during the night by the twins and I think to myself, “Why didn’t I have children in my 20s?”  I am 40 years old and I have three children under four years old.  

 One thing I did not take into consideration when deciding to “live my life” before thinking about settling down was how much more tired I would be as an older mom.  Like many women, I assumed that I could have children into my mid-forties if necessary.  I was a very fit young woman and never suffered from any major ailments.  Therefore, it did not occur to me that it might actually be much harder having babies in my late 30s  — “Hey, I’m strong and energetic!  That’s just not an issue!”  Now 18 months into my personal torment of twins and a pre-schooler I am seriously wishing that I was 30 instead of 40.

 Having children changes every aspect of your life from something so miniscule as trying to go to the bathroom to more serious issues such as transporting them safely in the car to a doctor’s appointment.  Think about how much energy it takes to constantly be vigilant inside your house to prevent painful or costly accidents, and managing the complete personal needs of one, two, or even three nearly helpless beings while they are voicing inarticulate opinions at full volume.  It’s hard enough to accomplish that with a good night’s rest, let alone one punctuated by multiple awakenings and a hellishly early morning wakeup EVERY day!!

 I do not regret what I did in my youth.  I explored the world, tried different careers, and took my time meeting the man of my dreams.  However, I did have some control over when to start having children and in retrospect I would have started in my early 30s.  I am by no means old but Mother Nature is letting me know that I am pushing the envelope a little.

I got pregnant with my first child all on my own.  However,  with my second pregnancy (which, unfortunately, ended up in an early miscarriage) and my third pregnancy, I used the OvaCue to help me determine when my most fertile day was each month.  And it worked like a charm!   For both my second pregnancy and my third pregnancy, I got pregnant on my very first month of trying.  Needless to say, it is the best money I have ever invested.

It is important to note that this little miracle worker only works for women who have regular monthly periods.  It is not cheap but it really is a gem of a product.  It is the first and only ovulation predictor that I have ever had to use. 

Below is a video clip about OvaCue.  It is a little over four minutes long but if you watch the first minute you will get a sense of what it looks like and, more importantly, how it works.  For more information, the product’s website is located at:  http://www.zetek.net/

If you are a member of the AMA (and, no, I am not referring to the American Medical Association) or if you are postponing parenthood until you become a member, this piece on advanced maternal age and autism may be of interest to you. 

Please note that I don’t agree with the medical doctor’s opinion at the very end of the interview wherein he states that one should not worry about advanced maternal age and autism.  His reason?   Because only 5% of the increase in autism cases are attributable to advanced maternal age. 

I am sorry, but an increase is an increase in my book.  If 5% is deemed to be significant in other scenarios (and it is), why not in this one?  It sure is significant to me. 

But don’t go by what I say.  You be the judge!