- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA
Parenting can bring a lot of joy, and I have all the respect in the world for men and women who choose that. I have no interest in, or desire to, judge people who make that choice. You’re continuing the existence of our species and we’re all grateful for that
But for me? For a bunch of us? No thank you. I feel like I’ve heard a lot of versions of the story “When I was 17 I thought I’d have kids, but then when I was 30 I realized I just didn’t want to.” So bees, what about you? How old were you? Or did it just kind of “happen”? Was it a tough call at all, or did it feel natural? Did you have doubts? Do you still have doubts?
The progression of my story is very personal, so it feels kind of scary to put it here, but here goes …
I’ve never wanted kids. I’m a nurturing person and I love my friends’ kids, but the idea of that kind of commitment has never appealed to me. Not since I was a child myself. I love my spontaneous life, I love moving around and working crazy hours, I love the fact that I can save for trips and renovations instead of diapers and college. I’m not worried about having someone to take care of me when I’m old. The nagging biological imperative has just … it’s never been a really strong pull for me. Rather than go with the flow and risk regretting it (which would unfairly ruin my child’s life too, who didn’t ask to be born) I happily adopted the CBC label and have done my best to stand up for myself when my family harangues me. They’ve learned they will get no traction on that front. The in-laws are another problem, but we don’t talk to them very much anymore (long unrelated story).
For me, DH and I being on the same page about the CBC thing from the very beginning was crucial. It’s one of the reasons we were able to move forward and get married (I was never one of those women who dreamed of a PPD/being The Bride/all that kind of stuff; was never super sold on marriage as a required social institution until it happened to me.) In kind, we took reasonable preventative measures to make kids were an abstract question. I’ve always been very careful with birth control, but after I came home from our “honeymoon” (we went to Fiji for a week a couple of months after our wedding) I had incredibly sore boobs and was nauseous all the time. Even walking past the food trucks near my office – delicious havens of culinary magic that they are – made me want to violently hurl.
I was having drinks with a friend a couple of weeks later when he asked, “How hilarious would it be if you were totally knocked up?” Not funny at all, dude. Also, highly unlikely, because as I said I was on the Pill. But I’m guessing that in amid the timezones, the international dateline, and the lack of my usual “Take your pill!” phone alarm (phones turned off), I guess a couple were late (although none were skipped). As I’ve said a million times, if you’re a sexually active pre-menopausal woman, the answer to “Could I possibly be pregnant?” is pretty much always going to be “YES! It’s possible.” I’m on a very low dose AND a larger person (18/20) so I guess I drew the statistical short straw on that one.
The night I had drinks with me friend, I stopped by a pharmacy on the way home from that brewhouse (I must’ve been a pathetic sight, freaked out and tipsy, wobbling up to the cashier late in the evening with a sangria spill spot on my skirt and a three-pack of HPTs in my hand. Luckily I’m sure the cashier has seen it ALL living here.) Took all three at once as soon as I got home, didn’t call my DH into the bathroom or explain what I was doing until I saw a bright bushel of pink lines. My DH and I always told each other the whole length of our courtship: no kids. Neither of us want kids. Ever. Ever ever ever. It was part of our respective package deals, and I wouldn’t have married him if he’d been wishy-washy on the subject. Still, that had all been in the abstract, right?
To have that tested like this was quite the conversation: did we both really mean “ever”? If there were a time (finances and career-wise), now would be a good one, right? We’re about to expand into a 2-bedroom apartment, I’m not looking at any immediate projects that would force a move overseas, and DH got promoted and is making much more money than he was a year ago, so wouldn’t it be now? But. No kids. We had made that decision long ago.
We stayed up all night talking; first we decided, then we probed our decision, then we spelled out in elaborate nitty-gritty detail the life we saw for ourselves in 2, 5, 10, 15 years, then circled back to our decision. It was a somewhat raw discussion – no matter how well you think you know each other, there are always more layers to find. He was prepared to support whatever decision I made. But I just felt this incredible calm … I knew with more certainty that no kids was the right life for me. It felt like an inalienable, unquestionable absolute, and I was super ok with it. I just kept coming back to that calm, resolved headspace of knowing what felt more right than it ever had. We split a bottle of wine and fell asleep on the floor, curled around each other (fully clothed) at about dawn. We came out realizing just how deeply compatible we are on *every* level, not just the kids question.
We opted out of the pregnancy, and I’m making an appointment for permanent prevention in the coming months (leaning towards Essure now, but finding a doctor who will do it for a childless 29-year-old is tricky.) And while I have moments of wondering, “If we did have kids, would it have his dark eyes? My crooked teeth? His brilliance? My laugh?”, I don’t doubt for a second that a) I made the right call and b) we are meant to be together, exactly as we are.
It’s not the first time we’ve hit an unexpected speed bump in our relationship (see also: drama of us getting married at al!) or the last time we’ve had to ask hard questions, and I know for certain that The Universe will not allow it to be the last. Our marriage isn’t perfect because we, as humans, are not perfect. But every obstacle and difficult conversation has made us stronger. I feel more secure in myself as an individual while I’m one-half of this couple than I ever did when I was single, which is a bit of a shock. It’s amazing.
So yeah, that’s how I got to where I am. 29 and making preparations to be permanently CBC. It’s a good call for me, and if you think it’s the right call for you too, I want to hear your story!