The Prospect of Parenthood

The idea of parenthood has always been something that my wife Erika and I discussed from a (probably) abnormally early phase of our relationship.  We come from very different backgrounds and families, but that never shied us away from the similar dream of one day being parents.  Erika grew up with just one sibling-an older brother, and a few cousins within the same age range as her and her brother.  But only one of those cousins has gone on to have a child so far.  And ultimately, her second cousin is  basically the extent of her exposure to children throughout her life. That’s not to say she doesn’t like children-just that she has very little to no experience with children.   Until I came along, that was.  On the other hand, I have four siblings.  Two older brothers, an older sister, and a little sister.  There is an exceptional age gap of about 12 and 19 years between my oldest siblings and myself, and a slightly larger age gap of about 14  and 21 years between the oldest siblings and my younger sister.  My older siblings had children from arguably early years of their lives, making me an auntie by the age of 4.  I have always had children around my life, and I have always had a love for all of them.  In fact, my siblings and my parents used to call me “Mama Kate” from a very young age, as I was always carrying the babies around, assisting with potty training my niece when i was only 8 or 9 years old, trying to teach them to read and write, and we even have photographic evidence of me changing my nieces diapers at about 7 years old.  I love children.

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There I am holding the neighbor across the street.  Not sure of my age here.  Maybe 8?

By the time I was 16 years old I was a part-time babysitter for a family, while finishing High School.  I spent any free time I had “working” for this family.  I grew to love this family like my own.  Later I worked as a live-in Nanny for this same family when they moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico where I grew up, to Gaithersburg, Maryland.  I went on to work as a Live-in Nanny for a family in Texas with infant twins a few years following that, and my work in between consisted of hopping around different states, trying to figure out where to land, while also working as an assistant teacher for Pre-schools, and eventually running my own classrooms for Pre-schools, too.  Needless to say, I have quite a bit of experience working with children.  Because Erika married into my family, she also now has  a total of nine nieces and nephews.  She loves kiddos, too.  And I think it is safe to say that Erika is slowly but surely getting her practice in.

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All of my siblings with MOST of their children.

Like I said, the topic of having our own children is something we have discussed from the very beginning.  Having a family is so important to the both of us, and as we are now married, the idea of putting this conversation into plan becomes seemingly more and more real with each passing day.  Initially I was the more eager of the two of us to get the family train moving.  But it seems like each week my wife is becoming more and more anxious herself.  Throughout the years we’ve talked about basically every option we have for starting our family:  Adoption, IUI, IVF, At-home insemination, Reciprocal IVF,  using a known donor(you might be surprised by how many people have offered to donate their sperm to us.  That’s an incredibly generous offer!) , purchasing sperm from a clinic, purchasing an anonymous sperm donor from a clinic, purchasing an open sperm donor from a clinic…the list is seemingly never ending.  And that is not even the tip of the iceberg of this discussion.  If we go the IVF route, and we have frozen embryos after having x amount of kids, do we throw those embryos away? Do we sell those embryos?  How much sperm do we buy so all of our children could be (at the very least) half siblings (depending on whose eggs we use)? Which then leads to the question “whose eggs do we use?” From here we consider what fertility clinic we will use, what cryobank we might use, and that’s not even considering the TYPE of donor we might want to use.  Brown hair, blonde hair, red hair…blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes…tall, short…intelligent, musically inclined, or sport enthusiast?  HOLY CRAP!!!!

Seriously, the list is probably never ending.  And as we consider the prospect of parenthood more seriously each day, week, or month, these questions become more of a reality.  We have to make these decisions.  These are no longer hypothetical questions!  They are real life questions that WE have to decide on in order to get the process started.  With all of that being said, I have personally never wanted anything more than to become a parent.  I’ve known from a very early age that I was born to be a mother.  Sometimes the idea of it scares the crap out of me.  Will I be good at this parenthood thing? Will I be enough?  Can I possibly help create a decent, kind, intelligent, member of society?  I haven’t always had the best relationship with my own mother (not to say it isn’t getting better everyday, but still!), so whose to say that I can be a good mother myself?  But then the next minute I think about the overwhelming desire to be a mom.  Every ounce of my being was designed to be a mother.  I can’t explain it, but I can feel it(Can anyone else relate to this?!).  And if I fail, then at least I have my amazing partner. ;).   She will knock parenthood out of the park.  I have literally zero doubt about that.  image-1

And even with the inevitable stress and worries, we are so overly excited about all of it.  The decisions may seem daunting now, but eventually they will be a distant memory from the past.  These are all somewhat reasons that I chose to start this blog.  I hope these (what might seem like pointless) blogs might be available to our children someday.  Perhaps they can read about the calm, quiet, simplicity of our lives before they arrived, but just how much they were wanted.  Maybe our journey to parenthood will provide gratitude for their lives that neither my wife or myself can relate to, because we were brought up in families that did not have to try nearly as hard as we will to create a family.  Maybe these blogs will be nothing more than an annoying “mom thing” that we do that our children will not appreciate until much later into their adult lives.  Maybe these blogs will simply be documentation for my wife and I to look back on to help us remember the journey we took to make our family. Maybe in the years to come this will be the perfect reminder for us that it all started here-with just the two of us.

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Photo by: Cooper Rain Photography

I’m not sure where this will take us. I just know that for now, it’s a place I enjoy using as a safe outlet to store my current state of existing thoughts.  And maybe someone will be crazy enough to read it, too!  If that someone is you, then thank you for reading!!!  Please send some baby luck in our direction, as the upcoming months and years will certainly call for it!

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