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The Rush to Have a Baby (and a Baby…and a Baby…)

Guess what? In nine days, I turn thirty. Finally. I’ve been telling people that I’m thirty since I turned twenty-eight, so it will be nice to actually make it official.

 

I’m quite happy to be turning thirty, because I’ve heard almost nothing but good things about your thirties. I liked my twenties, but that was a long and exhausting ride spiked with lots of self-doubt and a crapton of charging things I couldn’t afford. My first days of thirties will be spent on vacation with my husband, my daughter, and the tadpole in my tummy that’s currently making me look fat and not pregnant. (But I don’t care about that because I’m all evolved and stuff now that I’m thirty.)

 

I have been doing a little bit of reflection lately about getting older. It’s stunning to look back and realize how many hours were completely wasted worrying about things that didn’t matter, didn’t happen, or weren’t in my control. The top worry nugget was money, which is amazing since I spent so much (…Oh God…so much…) on shoes and cosmetics when apparently the answer all along was STOP BUYING STUFF, MORON. The other worry nugget that really ate a ton of time was the baby thing. When was I going to have a baby? Should I have a baby? Did I even want to be a mother? What if I couldn’t have a baby? Would Kyle leave me if I couldn’t have a baby? What would happen to us in old age if we never had a baby?

 

Holy crap, past self. Shut up.

 

I have been rushing towards having a baby since I was about 24. Kyle and I had been dating for a couple of years and I was quite preoccupied with getting engaged because I knew that I wanted a year to plan the wedding and then I wanted to be married for a year before we had a baby and I wanted to have a baby before I was too old to have a baby. Truth: “too old to have a baby” is a phrase that scares the hell out of young women everywhere. Women’s lib has pushed the idea that women can have careers and wait to have kids and take advantage of all the medical advancements, blah blah blah, but if you know that you want to create and carry a child of your own, there’s always going to be that “too old to have a baby” cloud hanging over you, shriveling your ovaries into raisins. It’s completely ridiculous, especially when you look at all the healthy babies born to moms who wait, but it doesn’t matter because It. Will. Make. You. Crazy.

 

Side note – my personal journey to crazy was probably heightened by the fact that I grew up in Utah and most of my best friends were married by the time we were twenty-one. High school graduation immediately turned into weddings and then baby showers and by the time I left for law school and started dating Kyle, most of my girlfriends were moms. So being 24 and not being engaged was kind of like being 64 anywhere else. But I digress…

 

We got engaged, mostly because Kyle wanted me to stop bugging him about it. We planned a big wedding. We got hitched. We were pretty happy about it. And then, because I was on a schedule, we started working on having a baby about four months into marriage. (Remember, 1 year of marriage before baby = 4 months of not trying + 8-9 months of pregnancy.) I wasn’t kidding when I said I was into schedules and timelines. I like plans.

 

Of course, most of you know this part of the story. I lost a baby in May. And then at the beginning of August. And then in November. And then in February. And outside of the frustration and the loss and the sad stuff was this growing panic about being 26 and 27 and there being no baby. Time stretched out and it felt like we had been trying forever and it was never going to happen and there was this cutoff of thirty-five because that’s when you have to see the “high risk” doctors because it’s a freaking medical miracle that you’re giving birth. (Which isn’t true…except that it is true that they make you see the scary doctors at that point and I just think that’s crap.)

 

And then, I was pregnant and it worked and we got our baby. It was amazing and wonderful and our house filled up with soft pink objects and things that smelled like “new” and Kyle and I agreed that it was the best part of ever. So, yay!

 

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However…

 

I preface this with full disclosure that I wouldn’t (couldn’t) change my journey because everything brought us to Eva and Eva needed to be here when she was here because that was perfect. What I will say is that I am now twenty-nine, almost thirty, pregnant with my second child while raising a toddler, and I am mystified (MYSTIFIED) at all the panic I used to feel. I worried all that time about getting older and there not being enough years left and now I look back and realize that I traded in my old life for motherhood so lightly and so quickly. Again, I wouldn’t change anything even if I knew that Eva would be exactly the same because I want her here now, but Kyle and I would have been fine for a few more years. It would have been OK. I just want to put a cool hand to the forehead of myself four years ago to let her know that she needs to take a deep breath because everything happens when it happens.

 

And now, having rushed into parenthood, Kyle and I are on a trajectory that is forever changed. It isn’t only Eva, either. We knew that we wanted our kids to be fairly close in age (mostly for convenience so we didn’t have to do wildly different stages of parenthood at the same time) so Eva’s birth triggered a whole other schedule of having kids and now when Eva turns two, she’ll have a sibling in a couple of months and after that there will be more conversations about adopting other children and growing our family and how long do we wait because (really) do we want to be raising kids through high school for the next 25-35 years?

 

It’s just huge and even though I love it, I wanted to express to the universe that I recognize how lightly I took the change and how silly it was for me to feel that it was now or never. I also wish that I had spent less time crying about it and more time just enjoying the freedom and possibility that comes with being an adult without children. I wouldn’t say either side (parenthood or not) is better or even that one is harder than the other because they both bring their challenges, but I think the worst thing you can do is to do what I did: stand at the fence and look at the other side and spend your days wishing you were over there.

 

Seriously, motherhood? I highly recommend it, but don’t rush. If you want it, it can and will wait for you to get there and in the meantime try not to miss the awesomeness that is being with someone you love and not having kids. It’s the one thing I really feel like I missed in my twenties.

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply Jensey

    I needed to read this today more than you know.

    January 22, 2013 at 5:18 pm
    • Reply Carly

      I coveted your fancy purse today more than you know. 🙂

      January 22, 2013 at 10:55 pm
  • Reply Amber

    Wow, you said everything that I have been thinking as far as planning a baby and how it impacts your “schedule”. I had an ideal timeline like yours, but ended up with a surprise instead! I really enjoy your posts like these that are so open and genuine.

    January 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm
    • Reply Carly

      Thanks, Amber! I popped right over to check out your cloth wipes thing, btw. We did cloth diapers but ended up buying tubs and tubs of disposable wipes. You’ll have to post an update after you’ve been using them for a couple of months so I can see what you think.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:56 pm
  • Reply Hope

    Aww Carly, I love your posts. :)I think I’d be more freaked out about the big 3-0 than about anything else. It sounds like such an “adult age” and like everything would be figured out by then, but like you said everything happens when it happens. We’re all on different schedules so enjoy your view from the fence, but love the life you live too. 🙂

    January 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm
    • Reply Carly

      I’m psyched because I’m hoping I wake up in 9 days and I will have magically transformed into an adult, Cinderella-style. I want there to be an audible *poof*.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm
  • Reply Jennifer

    Thank you so much for writing this, I needed it.

    January 22, 2013 at 6:12 pm
    • Reply Carly

      🙂 You’re welcome.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm
  • Reply Nate

    By the way, that nagging voice that told you to stop buying shoes…
    that was me.

    thanks for the shout-out

    January 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm
    • Reply Carly

      You haven’t read my blog since I stopped blogging about how much I hated your car. Oh wait, are you here because you’re looking for your bday post? Because I don’t do those ever since you got me into trouble…

      January 22, 2013 at 10:59 pm
  • Reply Eve

    It’s actually scary how much I feel like you were speaking directly to me as you wrote this….I SO needed to read this. My husband and I have been together 9.5 years (married a little less than 3). I’m beginning to freak out about the “when when when” of motherhood as thirty looms over the horizon. I’m not sure quite when it will happen for us, but I really will try and enjoy our unique twoness for as long as we have it. Thanks so much for the reminder:-).

    January 22, 2013 at 11:07 pm
  • Reply Christine

    Great post, Carly! It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. My bff and I both got married in 2011. A year after their wedding, she got pregnant, and just a couple weeks ago she had her baby girl! I’ve always been really bad with kids, but holding my friend’s baby, for the first time I thought, ok, these baby things are pretty cute, lol

    Last year, my hubby and I turned 30 and I suddenly felt SO OLD. I feel like among the Disney Brides, especially, everyone gets married pretty young. I knew I wanted a couple years to enjoy married life before kids. Well, that 2nd year is coming to an end this Sept, and our plans have not included a baby yet. And as I march steadily to 35, I get worried that it’ll be “too late” as I’m waiting for the “right time.” :\ And it all just gets very daunting……

    January 23, 2013 at 2:39 am
  • Reply J. Humenay

    Man, when I was in my mid 20’s, I had a biological alarm clock, and I had JUST GOTTEN DIVORCED! So I was NOT in a place to have kids, even though my body SCREAMED about it. (That clock is not a “ticking”. It’s a very real SCREAMING!) Well, the clock went silent all together – and THEN I married My Sailor. Go figure!

    This is just want I needed to hear/read though. Even though we’re neck deep in the adoption process (homestudy here we come), I’m slowly processing what it really means for hubby to be a submariner – and what being GONE 6 months out of the year means. I mean, when it’s just me, it’s super simple. (Well, just me and 2 dogs.) With 1 (or 2) little ones, all that changes. Not for the worse, but just – changes. Am I ready for that to change? Most times yes, but I’m not sure I’m ready for a newborn. I’d like to adopt around 2-4 years old… we’ll see! Right now, we’re open to 0-5, but I know hubby would like to start w/ a newborn. But then, he’ll miss a lot of “firsts” since he’ll be gone and that will be a whole knew kind of pain.

    Man… adult decisions are rough!

    January 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply J. Humenay

    Oh – and for the record, the big 30 is pretty awesome. 😉 I’m 3 years into my 30’s now and feel JUST like you. I can’t believe all the stuff I worried about when I was younger!! And I’m surrounded by women in their 20’s – and all I can say is “just wait, it’ll get better”. 😉

    January 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm
  • Reply Dana

    So true! I am almost 30 too.. I will be turning 30 a mere two weeks after our wedding this summer and we are in the same boat- we want kids, but we want to enjoy our time together (my fiancé is in the Air Force so our past two years have been long distance). We want time to enjoy each other before kids but then…dun dun dunnnnn…what if I’m too old? But you’re right, it will happen when it happens, and everything happens for a reason!

    May 31, 2013 at 6:28 pm
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