Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Babies, babies Everywhere

And not a one for me.

It feels like everywhere I look these days, someone's having a baby. My husband's cousin, my friend from college, Alison from the blue blog, and now my sister.

Yes, my sister.

The unmarried 20 year old with no health insurance. That would be the one.

I have talked about babies before and my desire to have one, but lately, the issue has become so painful, it's practically intolerable. It's been on the back burner for awhile now, quietly simmering and rising up every so often as a deep pang in my ovaries everytime I saw a newborn baby or a pregnant woman (figuratively speaking, I don't actually get pangs in the ovaries). Now, when I see a newborn baby or a pregnant woman, I want to weep. I think my sister's pregnancy has pushed me over the edge and now the desire to have a baby is at a rolling boil (never let it be said I can't mix metaphors). It touches everything I do. "I may as well have a glass of wine, it's not like I'm pregnant." "Maybe I shouldn't get rid of these fat pants, they might be good for when I'm pregnant." I looked at some knitting books for baby patterns on Saturday and it put me in such a funk not even going out with my friends could raise my spirits. And this happens every time I look at a baby pattern book. Which I've been doing quite a bit lately because I want to make something for my sister's baby. But, I can't quite bring myself to buy a book because in my dreams I envisioned myself buying said books when I got pregnant. Not when somebody else got pregnant.

I'm not sure where this all came from exactly. It's definitely been a progression. When I was in college, when everyone I knew was romanticizing pregnancy and how wonderful it would be, I was adamant I did not want to have children. Ever. When John and I got married seven years ago, both of us said, "Well, if you really want to have children, I'm not opposed to it." Then, I turned 30. Suddenly, I had this epiphany. My eggs were old! They were 30 years old! Would you eat a 30 year old egg? They are going bad. They are just asking for meiotic non-disjunction. And I realized, hey, if I want to have children I should probably do that fairly soon (like in the next few years). Especially if I wanted more than one child. And just in case there are problems. And I'd really like to have them out of college before I hit retirement age. And all that. I mean, sure, women in their 40s have children all the time but medically speaking, the earlier you can start, the better (within reason, of course).

So, the tension has been slowly rising. When we got our apt. in California, I thought of it in terms of how long we could live there after having a child. I thought about school systems. When John and I eat, I correct his table manners so that our children don't have a bad example sitting next to them.

I don't understand what has happened to me. I've become someone I used to look down upon. A woman who seems to be just gagging for a child. A woman who is obsessed with having a baby. A woman who is wondering if it would be crazy to go by a basal thermometer to see if I can pinpoint when I ovulate (the answer to that is yes, it would be crazy).

So why, oh why am I not trying to get pregnant? Well, there is the small matter of living half a country away from my husband at the moment. But, we could try to time things a little differently. We could, you know, stop using birth control. But we're not doing that. Because I need to get my PhD. I need to finish my program. I need to have my degree. And then I can get pregnant. At least, that's been the plan.

Only, lately, I've been thinking, "You know, is it really inconceivable (haha) to be pregnant and finish my PhD at the same time?" It's not like any of the stuff I do in the lab is actually harmful, so I don't have that to worry about. And would I really get pregnant the first time I tried? I mean, I only see my husband for three days out of every month. The odds of them being the exact right three days are pretty low (unless I buy that thermometer and start taking my temperature and seeing if I can define a good ovulation window, but to have good data for that [let's remember I'm a scientist], I'd have to do it for several months and even then I might not be able to predict an ovulation window accurately enough to buy a plane ticket at least two weeks in advance and anyway I'm hoping to be out of here in several months).

Basically, I'm beyond caring.

I don't care if I've finished my PhD, I don't care if it might get complicated, I don't care that my husband is hundreds of miles away, I don't care. I just want a baby.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I don't know why I'm posting this. I just need to talk about it or explode, and while talking to my therapist is great, it's not enough. And I think, there must be people out there who feel the same way, and maybe one of them will read this post, and they'll say, "Hey, I feel that way too," and I won't feel like some sad, pathetic fool of a woman who is being dominated by hormonal urges. That's all.


  1. Well, I'm sorry to say that I don't understand, but I do sympathize. (Babies are cute when they are far away from me.) I watched one of my fellow grads here go through this a couple of years ago and she finally just said screw it and got pregnant. She's finishing a couple of years later than she originally thought, but she's fine, the dissertation's good, she's happy and she's got job offers. Of course, she and her husband are in the same house, which makes a difference.

    At the same time, you are well set up to graduate soon and providing you don't have horrendous morning sickness, if you get pregnant now, you'll likely be graduated before the baby arrives... Plus you have the benefit of having doctors you already know in Chicago at least for the first half of the pregnancy.

    I'm not saying it will be easy, but it is feasible. So, talk to hubby about giving up the old bc and letting the fates have a hand in this one.

    Big hug for you!

  2. I agree. Go ahead and get off the BC. There will never be a perfect window to get pregnant. (Since you are yearning so strongly, there will be no complaining during morning sickness.) Also, stay away from watching Children of Men and I don't think I'd eat a 20 year old egg either.