Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not an ache, exactly...

Here's the email I sent to my friend M who asked about the ache:

Hmm, lot's of questions. I certainly don't know how to answer them, but I'll take a stab.

I also find rude kids really annoying, and would hate to have one of those. I don't think kids are born rude. I think they learn it from their family, friends, and society. So we won't raise rude kids - we'll raise really good ones. I think most of the problem is they way people parent these days. A lot of parents are afraid to be strict with their kids. They need discipline.

I also find suburban kids really annoying, so we won't be having one of those either. We also find suburban moms really annoying. We live in the city. We can walk to many things we need, including close friends and a playground. We only have one car. If we don't have a suburban life, we can't have a suburban kid.

You develop the kid the way you want. It takes thought and effort. I think many people just go through their lives and get really busy and don't think about it, but we will. Community service is very important to us. We volunteer now and we will continue to volunteer when we have children. Spiritual foundation is really important to us. We attend church, and we celebrate rituals at home, and we'll continue to do this, and probably do it more when we have children. We will do our best to make sure they aren't snot-nosed brats.

As for ache, I don't know that I would describe it like that. I know some people have an ache. We don't have an ache - we have a desire, but it's not an ache. We both always wanted kids. K had some young cousins born when she was in high school and college and she just really loved spending time with them. We both always envisioned ourselves as mothers. We love spending time with our friends kids - very fun to be with but also very well behaved. And just very cool - the 8 year old plays the drums!

As for the timing, we are at a good place in our lives now. We are both in stable jobs with decent income. We love our neighborhood and have developed strong bonds with friends in our area. We have a good church to bring them to. We own our home. Things could certainly be better - it's always nice to have more money, it would be great to be more advanced in our careers - but these things will always be there. You always feel like you need more money and you always want to keep advancing in your career.

Age was a big factor for us. Adoption was something we always talked about, but it's becoming harder and harder to do international adoption these days as a same-sex couple. Many countries ban adoptions by same-sex couples, so you have to lie and pretend you are single, which is really difficult with home visits and financial checks and everything. And many countries have started requiring people to be married because they've realized that all of the same-sex couples are lying. As for domestic adoption, generally I've heard that many places will work with same-sex couples (not all - for example, Catholic charities runs a major adoption agency) but the person placing the child up for adoption often has an 'ideal family' in their head regarding who they want to raise their child, and same-sex couples don't fit that image. So we decided that adoption was out, also because it is is super-expensive ($30K +).

So if you aren't adopting, age become a big deal. It's already hard to get pregnant using frozen sperm. Fresh sperm and sex with a man have much higher rates of pregnancy. As you get older, your ability to get pregnant goes down. So if you are older and using frozen sperm, you just really don't have great chances. We know many 35+ women trying to get pregnant using frozen sperm and trying for years. I know one woman who started trying in her late 30's and took five years to get pregnant. This stuff is not cheap - we were spending $1500 a month and I wasn't even taking any fertility drugs or doing anything very aggressive. These older women spend thousands per month and still have no baby to show for it. It's emotionally draining and financially draining. We didn't want to go through that, so we started early when I was only 29. This way we can squeeze in one more before I turn 35.

How do you know it's the right time? You never do, really, because where is life taking us? But it can't be the wrong time. K and I are strong together. We support each other very well. Neither of us ever feels we do more around the house, or that we work harder than the other. We've struck a true balance, a true partnership, and we'll be great parents together. That much we know. So whatever we do, as long as we're doing it together, we'll be great, and we'll love it. I certainly would never want to be my mom or my dad, and raise a child. My mom did all of the housework and child care and worked. My dad worked even harder at work and didn't have a strong relationship with his kids. But that's not the relationship we have. Do you know what I mean?

As for what kind of woman you are? I'm not sure I can answer that one. Fiercely independent. Not willing to be tied down. Skeptical. You love your job. You work hard. Do these things sound right?

So what are these pictures you've attached? You didn't tell me anything about them. I'm attaching a picture of my big belly. I already had a big belly before, so I look farther along than I am. But now, instead of looking like fat, my belly has gotten hard and well formed. I haven't gained any weight but haven't been able to button my pants in over a month. it's strange. I'm learning a lot about the female body.

So that's a lot of stuff about me, probably more than enough. So I'm signing off now.

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