I have had this post brewing in my head for a little while. It says in my "about me" pic that I am an aspiring mother. This post will elaborate on it a bit.
As I have alluded to, I was married. I got together with him at 19, having never been in a serious relationship before. We were married when I was 25. 2 years ago, when I was 32, I got divorced.
Having been married for nearly 7 years the pressure was on us to have children. During the painful but necessary marriage counselling that we had, I found out that he had a lot of resentment towards me, because we had not had children. He pined for a child. We never discussed this in a lot of depth during the time, so finding this out was surprising, and explained a lot of what occured in the latter part of our marriage.
To be clear, having children was always on my agenda. But first, there was medical school. Then being a junior doctor leaves very little time for anything else. Then add study for specialist exams to this. Add a couple of bouts of depression to the mix.
Also, at the back of my mind, I had increasing doubts about his usefulness as a potential dad - insofar as I could not even get him to pay attention to me. I could not get him home from work. This I shared with him in marriage counselling. He stays away because he is resentful. You can see what a vicious cycle this would have caused, I know that now.
All of that considered, though, we weren't acutally that compatible. We were/are 2 good people, but not that good for each other. Our personalities and ways we react to things are completely difficult and increasingly at odds during our relationship. It eventually got to the point where I dreaded spending the next 30 years with him, and I had to get out. He was very upset and wanted to get back together, initially, but after a 3 months of separation he started going out with his female friend. I have heard he is happy, and I am happy that he is happy (really I am).
A lot of the people close to me did not agree with what I was doing. There were many things said to me that I had to deal with. One of the most difficult things was "you will never meet another person as good as him" and "you will never get to have children".
This played on one of my deepest fears. Fear of being alone. I had to face that fear headfirst. I knew deep down that fear is not the right reason to stay in a relationship. A common reason, but not right. I knew that having children in that relationship would have been a disaster.
From very soon after the separation, till about 14 months after, I put a lot of energy into trying to find a new relationship. Mostly to offset my loneliness, but, in one's thirties, there are biological imperatives.
I met lots of nice people, and some complete fuckwads (there's my favourite word). I met a man who had a couple of kids. His wife died very young of breast cancer. The warning signs were there; he had not really been single for any length of time since his wife died. I quite liked him. I asked him if he wanted more kids - he said yes, if he met the right person. That was ok by me, but later he told me he'd had the snip, but no worries, it could be reversed. Then, after a fairly short but intense period, and the very same day he told me that things felt very right with me, he said "I don't want more kids". I never saw him again. That happened a year ago to this day.
That was painful, but it made me have good hard think about what I wanted. I did want to have kids, or a kid. I wanted them in a functioning, honest relationship. Not long after that, on Mother's day last year, I acutely felt the first tick of my biological clock.
I went through a bit of a rough time after that, no marathon training to keep me from acting in a feral manner. Meanwhile, though, I was trying to make peace with my future. If the relationship/children thing did not work out, there would be other things I could offer the world. I tried to relax.
And as you might have read, the moment I relaxed, I met my lovely fella.
After previous experiences, I told him right upfront: "if you don't want children, you need to tell me now". He is a bit older than me, no children, and I was scared that he didn't want them.
We have revisited this discussion a few times. Well, I have. Just to make sure. Because, increasingly, I am getting clucky. I just want a little bubba to hold. One of my own.
Perhaps it is because this relationship feels good and right.
Perhaps it is because I am much more emotionally ready to have children. This is because (through tens of thousands of dollars worth of therapy) I am now able to attend to my own emotional needs; I am in a much better position to give to a child.
Much of it, I think, is biology. "It's not logical, it's hormones" a work colleague said to me.I would be inclined to agree.
Over the last year or so, there has not been a week go by without one of my friends, or somebody I know, telling me that they are pregnant. Or I find out on facebook. I am not exaggerating.
Just before Christmas, I found out that my ex and his new partner were expecting, they are due at the end of this month. I was with the fella in New Zealand, about to meet his family. I had a little cry in the airport toilets (that was where we were when I heard). The fella was so good about it. I was so glad I was with him in New Zealand.
I am happy for every person that tells me they are pregnant. I fully and wholeheartedly share in their joy.
But I can't deny that it is becoming a bit wearing. I wonder when it will be my turn. This may seem a bit weird to people reading, I am in a good relationship. There is no reason why I should have problems (other than that my age is slowly creeping up). Yet the talk of poor fertility all around scares me.
Part of it is a bit of a desire to escape the grind of work, and the PhD. To do something different. Again, sounds weird, right?
And I know that no good will come if I push things before they are ready (no pun intended). It is quite early in our relationship. We need to move in together first. I need to get a bit more done of my studies, ideally.
I try really hard to be happy in the present. It always helps, though, for me to be a bit mindful of what is going on in my own head.
Thanks for reading.