Almost 40: To Kid Or Not To Kid
I’m turning 40 next year.In 519-ish or so days, I will get a certificate in the mail proclaiming proudly, “Congratulations, Stacey Price, on arriving at the halfway mark!”Now the easy question – do I have kids or not?
I’m acutely aware that not everyone makes it this far so I’m thrilled to be joining the club, I truly am. My almost four decades have seen me married to the man I’ve spent the last 10 years with, half of that with a piece of paper in our hands that says we’re legally Best Wedded Friends Forever.
Our wedding day in Tuscany, September 2014. Credit: David Bastianoni
Like, guys, I found my person! We got married! I’m a woman in possession of a working uterus and womb. So do you know what that means?!
BABIES. NOW. ALL OF THEM, PLEASE.
Or does it?
For my married/long term relationship friends out there, something happens when a) your trips around the sun start stacking up and b) you’ve shouted to the world you’ve found your forever person.
And it can be particularly frustrating in this modern age, this catch-22. To many, your happiness now hinges delicately on the ever diminishing timeline of starting a family and there are others, although in the vast minority, who will be equally quick to let on to the joys of the ‘No Kid Club’.
Having a cocktail or three in No-Mans Land
But what happens when you and your husband are stranded in the sliver of No-Man’s Land in between these two (albeit kindly) warring factions?
I’ve often found myself wishing we were so utterly broody that nothing would ever stand in the way of having kids – not money, time, or poor health. That we’d be so single minded in our pursuit of the family unit our decision was all but made.
Or, that we were so fulfilled by our luxurious life of travel, financial stability and overall freedom that we could, as easily, know in our hearts that kids just weren’t for us.
Instead we sit uncomfortably in the middle, finding fault and fact with both.
We were on a train heading to Baby Making Town…and then we weren’t
I know that anyone enjoying Mt. Maybe? with us is here for many different reasons and I could fill my word count laying them all out. For Mr. P and I, we got here via a rather circuitous route.
Not long after getting married, we were actively trying to get a baby going. Yes, friends! We had feet firmly planted with Team Pregs. A year went by and nothing happened but, hey, I was only 35 and not terribly concerned.
Our little baby making train was on the tracks heading for Sleepless Night Town…
As any pregnancy at this time would be considered ‘geriatric’ – shout out to Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s mum, Meghan, for making old lady pregnancies posh and thank you to media for unleashing that god awful term back into the world – we decided to make an appointment with a fertility clinic to make sure everything was working correctly.
Our little baby making train was on the tracks heading for Sleepless Night Town, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled.
Fast forward a few weeks and that train derailed, hard. As in, fully jumped the tracks, burst into flames, rolled down a steep cliff while on fire and took out a petting zoo of baby farm animals.
Sometimes the decision isn’t your own, and that’s ok too.
It’s a long story and one for another post but the sped up version is while I’d been waiting for my appointment at a pre-eminent fertility clinic I had a lump in my left breast biopsied and our worst fear was confirmed – Stage 2 Breast Cancer was just hanging out, causing all sorts of problems.
Team Pregs was going to have to put down their pom-poms and fight a different fight, one that didn’t have cooing babies in the future – if ever.
That was almost 3 years ago and since then, we’ve successfully frozen embryos on the advice of my oncologist. We’ve given them cheeky, pre-born names and like to think of them hanging out in their cryo-nursery.
But we may never use them; the evil twist being that I have years left of treatment that render me in medically induced menopause and very, very unable to carry a baby. Candidly, will we decide to go get them (because they live in Canada), even when we’re able?
(Please direct the pro-life hate mail here.)
Photo by W A T A R I on Unsplash
And the longer we live in this new reality, the harder it gets for us to pick ourselves back up, dust off the train and get it back on the tracks. I may never conceive naturally, even after I complete treatment.
So – do we want to be over 40 and new parents?
Our frozen babies may not survive thawing or implantation – if they don’t, do we adopt?
If so, when do we start that long process?
If we don’t adopt, are we saying we’re going to be a family of 2 forever?
Whip out that crystal ball and tell us if we’d still be happy in that reality!
How many options do we turn over, untangle and try to make fit? That, my lovelies, is this dilemma as I approach 40. We have a lot of questions that need answers and not as much time as we thought.
Crystal Ball – do your thing (or, you know, my husband and I can use effective communication to solve life’s challenges, whatevs)
2020 – ‘Pick-a-side’ time for the Price’s and it’s an ever-present conversation in our household.
We debate, we take long walks and speak about one side of the fence, then the other. We play out the made-up lives if we pick one path, then play out the alternatives if we follow the other.
It can be fun. It can be infuriating.
And it is a constant reminder we didn’t plan to be butted up against Time trying to make a hail-mary decision. But we will, and we’ll be happy because at our centre we have each other – we don’t need a crystal ball to tell us that.
Plus, we can always get more cats.
Join this Womanhood of Unsureness in the comments below!
Are you, or have you been, at the crossroads of to Kid or Not to Kid?