Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On babymaking

Right before we moved to Denver, I had really strong baby fever. I wanted a baby RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND. I knew it wasn't the right time, but oh, I wanted one.

And now? Well, I still want a baby, but not in the same insanely overwhelming way that I did. If I got pregnant now, it would be fine. But it wouldn't be the plan, and I'm happy with the plan the way it is.

I'm not quite sure what shifted. I think it's just because I'm so distracted. We moved, we're moving again, we're buying a house, we're adjusting to working from home, we're exploring our new city, we have a dog. There's just so much going on. And I'm loving it. It's very fulfilling and new and fun and exciting. So there's not as much space for me to be wanting a baby.

And plus, it's so fun with Torsten, and so nice to be able to just, you know, go to the dog park or walk the dog whenever, and go out for dinner whenever, and sleep late on weekends, and go hiking and... well, everything you do when you don't have many responsibilities. And I'm not quite ready to give that up yet.

Plus, we've only been married for just under five months. We're still newlyweds. And I want to enjoy that. A lot of stuff has happened for us very quickly, or at least it feels like it's been very quick when you read along, but for us it really hasn't been that quick. We'd been planning to move to Denver for about six months before it actually happened. We'd been wanting a dog for years, and knew that as soon as we lived somewhere that allowed pets, we would get one. We weren't planning to buy a house quite so soon, but it makes sense for our situation, so there you go.

But right now, that's enough for us. We want to take a chance to settle in to our new house and our new city, do some decorating, relax, maybe travel a bit more, just revel in each other and our dog a bit more. And then we'll figure out the whole baby thing. It won't be TOO long, but it won't be next month, either.

It's funny, though, because now that we're in a position where we're pretty much set, checklist-wise, to have a baby at any time, it's made me start thinking about what it will REALLY be like when we have a baby. Like, we talk about where we want to travel over the next couple of years, and then it occurs to us that oh, you know, all the different places we want to go while visiting Torsten's parents in Germany? Like Italy and Switzerland and Berlin and France? Well, we're not exactly going to cross all those off the list before there's a baby, at least not if everything goes according to the current plan.

But on the other hand, my parents traveled with my sister and me when we were very little, and while it's a daunting and often frustrating thing to do, it can be done. And given how far we live from both our families, our kids are just going to have to learn to travel from an early age. So yeah, maybe not so much with the leisure vacations a year or two from now, but we can still be us and do the things we want to do, at least to a limited extent, once we have kids.

So, you know. They say you never really know when you're ready, but I think that I will know, or at least have a general sense. And I think Torsten will too.

What about you? If you have kids, how did you know you were ready? If you don't have kids, do you want them? How will you know when the time is right?


  1. If I were to listen to the world around me, I should've started having kids the day I got married last year. Because I'm 35 and there's no way I could have a baby next year or the year after. But, quite frankly, neither my husband nor I are ready for kids. Do we want them, yes. But not now. And I'm ok if the rest of the world gets restless while they wait. That's their issue, not mine. =)

  2. We waited until we were married about 3 years before we decided to throw caution to the wind. About a year later, I was pregnant. It truly is a stress on a marriage and luckily, my marriage is very healthy. I say enjoy being a newliwed for as long as you can. :)

  3. Yes, we want kids but not right now. There are things we need before we even start to think about "babymaking" :) Like, a house, a solid savings, suitable vehicles. Of course if it happened right now, we'd make it work and be very excited. I'm grateful that we both have older siblings that are reproducing. Our families are focused on them and not us having babies right this minute!

  4. We've been married about three and a half years and will probably start trying for kids in the next year or so. We're both pretty young, so we haven't been in a huge hurry, and it's been nice to have a chance to be just us for a while.

  5. I'm not sure yet. I love my nephew, but I hate babies in general. WAY too much responsibility.

    I guess maybe in the future I'll be mature enough to take care of something, but not anytime soon.

  6. For us, the time got less and less right as it went on. Now...? Neither of us wants children at all. Sometimes things go the other way. Sometimes working to a place where you can make the responsible decision to have kids actually finds you in a place where you really don't want them. And that's okay. I have such a great time with my husband that the last thing I want is a baby getting in the way!

  7. Oh... you'll never KNOW that you're ready. There is always one more thing to check off the list, one more trip you *could* take, a few thousand more you *could* add to your bank account.

    I believe that having children is a decision that God puts into your heart. When you're ready, you just know. My husband and I have always known we wanted kids, but then in 2007 something just clicked - we'd been married just 2 years. Literally one night we looked at each other and knew it was time.

    We took the necessary steps, of course - the doctor visits, the finances, etc. Once we knew we took about 3 months to get everything settled. I was pregnant with Madeline after our first month trying.

    It will all fall into place, just as your house did.

    Enjoy this newlywed/new house time, though - if I could do anything differently with Maddie as the same end result I'd get the house decorated first. :) It's hard to paint, etc. with a little one at your feet!

  8. When you decide to have a baby is obviously a decision only the two of you can make - but I am glad that you and Torsten are going to enjoy being just two [plus Montana] for a little while longer =)

  9. Enjoy this time together, just the three of you. It's so exciting and wonderful. Not that a baby is bad, it just changes things so drastically.

  10. We had a "plan". Pay off this bill, pay off that one, travel here, do this...

    I had a medical scare that could have prevented me from having children at all. Immediately I realized I would not have wanted that to happen and our plan changed. I know without a doubt that we made the right choice.

  11. We don't have kids and probably never will. And we're both happy with this decision. But we have a standing invitation to immediately let the other person know if one of us changes our mind.

  12. Our rule of thumb was, when we're BOTH 80% ready to try for a baby, we're ready. Because we knew that neither of us would EVER be 100% ready.

  13. I think it's similar to baby-spacing decisions: there's no way to tell ahead of time if it's the right time or not, so we just kind of...JUMPED. We knew we wanted kids (or at least that we THOUGHT we wanted them---I guess there's no way to know that, either), and it seemed like if we were going to have them we might as well get started---especially because we thought we might want A Bunch.

  14. I was one of those people who used to publicly say, "Kids, eww." But internally, I just hadn't really made up my mind. It seemed...impractical more than anything else.

    Some things shifted in my life and then suddenly I wanted a baby, but it wasn't like it "fulfilled some sort of life-long dream." It was almost spur of the moment, although that 'spur' eventually took about 9 months to start and then another 9 months to gestate...

    We have no qualms about traveling, but it is harder financially and physically with a kid (or two). Plus the parents want to see them all the time, so prettymuch our vacations are eaten up with family travel. We figure when the kid(s) are in school is about the right time to start taking 'real' vacations - you know, not just to parents' houses.

  15. One thing you will see - at least, I do - about Colorado is that there's not as much "pressure" (if that's the right word) to have kids so young, like there is in the South. You'll also see that there are many, many more unmarried people here!

    The general lifestyle seems to be to spend your 20s playing and adventuring before settling down. I'm 33 and most of my friends here don't have kids yet....and the ones that do are just getting started in their mid-30s.

    As for me? Right there with the above generalization - I want kids eventually, but for now I am content with my fur babies :)

  16. For all of the reasons you mentioned, we've decided not to have kids. I have plenty of friends with kids, and they are happy to "loan" them to us. However, we both know that feelings change change and we might decide in 10 years we want kids. For at least the next 5 years though, we're focused on each other and having a strong marriage. Babies are hard on even the best ones.

  17. I really like the mental approach that you've taken toward having a baby. As in you are really thinking about it.

    I got pregnant with my first baby after we have been married ~6 months. A completely planned pregnancy. However, it was earlier than we had initially thought we would want to have kids. But as we looked forward to our lives we realized that things would just get busier and busier and it would be easier and easier to keep putting it off.

    The most important thing to realize about kids is that there is no such thing as a perfect time to have them. There will always be an excuse to put it off.

    But I wouldn't recommend trying before you feel ready. You need to be ready, but things don't have to be "perfect."

  18. We went from adamantly not wanting kids to wanting kids to realizing now is not a good time, to wondering when will be a good time. We're both really interested in adopting out of the foster care system now. In NYS alone there are over 4,000 kids who are completely free for adoption (meaning no one can reclaim custody of them) and need homes. It's not a good time for us, but if we decide it is a good time in a few years, I think that's what we'll probably do.

    We've been married almost 5 years with no kids, and I cherish the time we've spent together.

  19. If you'd asked me a month ago, my asnwer would have been, "no, I don't want kids. I am happy with spending time with my husband and if I ever feel the need, we can adopt one." Something shifted a month ago and I want a baby RIGHT NOW!!! I want my own, somebody who looks a little like my hubby and a little like me. funnily enough (or niot), now my husband's the one waffling voer the issue because the money's tight. But, hopefully, with my parents moving here this year, it'll take a lot of that stress off of us and we'll be ready to start trying.

    It's a feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's in my heart, when I think of our baby inside me, in my arms, growing up in our house. It's unexplainable. I have never felt it before.

  20. I don't really feel like I can comment here, but I am glad that you are happy and moving forward with life in Denver!


  21. I was never ready. No, not kidding, not even on the morning my WATER BROKE.

    I had kids because I knew I wanted them some day, and because I wasn't getting any younger. And then it became this THING I had to do to prove that I could.

    I repeat: I was never ready. I am not just saying that.

    I wasn't ready until I saw her face. I promise.

    And now? Best thing I ever did. Ever. I can't believe I waited so long.

  22. I've just recently admitted to myself that I do, indeed, want kids. The fact that I am weeks away from 36 makes this less and less a possibility.

  23. My little one was a surprise -- the best kind of surprise, of course -- and that surprise came just after my husband and I started thinking about talking about maybe, someday, possibly, having kids. So I really wasn't ready, and I sort of went through most of my pregnancy not realizing that there'd actually be a baby at the end of it. But then, he was there, and he was crying, and he's the best thing that's ever happened to me.

    You really seem to be taking the right approach to the issue of having babies. By all means, enjoy your time with Torsten and Montana, being young and in love in a new, wonderful city! Having a baby is amazing, but you're absolutely right that it really changes things.

  24. I knew I was ready when we'd been married about 2 years. I had a job, dh was finishing up grad school for his masters and he was getting job offers all over place. On top of that, we decided to move to an area that had a low cost of living and his salary was twice what mine had been as a Kdg teacher. SO I was able to realize the dream I had of staying home. Everything just fell into place.
    Emotion wise - I just WANTED a baby SO BADLY that I couldn't stand it. My biological clock was ticking so loud it kept me up at night.

  25. meh. i assume i WILL want a baby one day, but... there's no plan, there's no urgency, and there's CERTAINLY no ticking biological clock. i think i'm going to be one of those people that will have to just take the plunge without "knowing" for sure.

  26. We don't have kids and probably never will. I love being an aunt, but don't like the idea of being a mother. A. definitley doesn't want kids, and our reasons (there are many, and they are varied) match up. I think we are lucky that way.

    I honestly am baffled by people who "just know" they want kids. I have never once had that inkling.

  27. I remember that not long after we got married and our life seemed to be settling down a bit, at least geographically, I started really feeling like our house was too big, like we needed a third person, like we were incomplete. We were in our mid-twenties.

    Then I got a job, we bought a house, I started graduate school. We'd sort of agreed that graduate school would be a good time to start trying--until I started and realized that there was no way, NO WAY, that I'd be able to do all the things I wanted to do with a baby.

    So then I got pregnant. Right at the time when everything was going so well and I didn't want to mess with it--and mostly I don't regret it. Yeah, it wasn't the best time to have kids, but it wasn't the worst time, either, and it's worked out. I spent most of my first pregnancy DREADING having the baby, partly because of the whole birth thing, but mostly because of the baby thing.

    And now it's fine. We've gone to New Zealand and Ireland with kids--and yeah, okay, I did VOW after the Ireland trip that I wasn't going ANYWHERE with the kids EVER AGAIN UNTIL THE YOUNGEST TURNED TEN AND CAN CARRY HER OWN STUFF. But really, parts of traveling are MORE fun with kids (like, one or two tiny tiny parts)--you get to share cool stuff. And, you figure out how to travel with kids--less driving, more day trips, more finding a comfortable home base and exploring from there.

  28. Before we got married, we 'decided' we wanted to wait at least five years before we had kids - for pretty much the same reasons as you've mentioned.

    We celebrated our fifth anniversary when I was seven months pregnant. I can't recall when we finally decided we were 'ready' to have kids - I think we both just figured it was time. Sometimes we wish we hadn't waited so long, other times we're thankful we did because we had so much time to just enjoy being 'Us'.

    I think it doesn't matter when you have kids as long as you're both on the same page about it, without being dogmatic though. There has to be room for one person or the other to change their mind.

    Still, what I wouldn't give for a long lie-in on a Saturday morning.

  29. I'm 29 and I've never once thought to myself, I want a baby. Never. Not ever.

    I've come to joke that since most mothers seem to adore them once they're born, and since there are risks associated with having a baby over the age of 35, I should just have one sometime in the next 6 years and then once I have it, I'll probably want it.

  30. I always wanted to have kids. My husband did too. When we got together, and got married we knew the sooner the better. I got pregnant after at least a year of trying and a surgery to then start invitro. It was a miracle. The second time around was much easier.

    My advice is do what feels right. Take your time enjoying honeymooning. Fix and decorate your house. Enjoy eachother.
    My husband and I were married 4 years before we had my son. My kids are my little angels.

  31. I feel like everything is happening for you SO FAST! It would be (and will be) thrilling to have a child, but it also wouldn't be bad if you spend a few more months or years just enjoying being newly married. You're both on the same page is the important part.

  32. I have no idea what Ready is. I thought I was ready. Most of the time I think I'm ready. Then there are days like yesterday when I think, "Um, so not ready." Which is unfortunate as I have an ALMOST TWO-YEAR-OLD.

    I just knew I wanted kids. And I'm one of those people who think you'll never be ready if you're waiting until you feel Ready. I'm married, however, to someone for whom it is necessary to be Ready, so yeah. Have I used that word enough times? Okay, will now end this completely nonsensical comment.

  33. You should DEF enjoy being married first! Go places. Travel a LOT. Play with each other. Eat out. That sort of thing.

    Even when you are ready for babies, when you get pg, you will have an OH SHIT moment.

    and now I'm finally all caught up with you after being MIA for 4w. See what babies will do to you!?
    (contest on my site ... come play!)

  34. This is such an interesting topic, particularly among 20-somethings who are all at such different points in their lives, careers, relationships etc.

    I often wonder at what age/in what situation I'd have the baby if I accidentally got pregnant. I guess you never know what you'd do until you're in the middle of it, but still. A post worth thinking about, for sure.

  35. We got pregnant our first month in marriage. My husband was in law-school (yeah, um..didn't really think that one through), we didn't live together (or have sex for that matter) before we were married and so EVERYTHING was very very new for us. Throw in pregnancy hormones. Bitchin. We miscarried. And then accidentally got pregnant again the next month. For real yo, we suck at birth control apparently. Now we have two beautiful daughters (13 months apart) and live is peachy. Looking back I wish we'd waited a while, but only if we could have gotten the exact same babies. Hindsight is twenty twenty, but it all worked out in the end.

  36. Oh my goodness yes, yes I want kids. I can't wait! Except for that I can wait. First I have to find a suitable parenting partner. I don't need to get married but I do want to wait until I'm ready to give up being a competitive athlete for a while. I want to have a bunch of kids, so I'll do them all in a row and then get back to hardcore on the track/bike/etc. I also want to make sure I'm finished with school, first. I haven't decided if I want to do grad school. So, I'll wait until I make that decision first.

    I guess though the most important piece is finding that parenting partner. Then I can start thinking about a more definite time line.

  37. I kind of agree with both: You never really know when you're ready but also, you know when you're ready. I started picturing the two of us and a baby and getting excited about it but we didn't own a house and didn't have enough savings and blah blah blah. Ultimately one feeling overwhelmed the other.