How I got from TTC to DE, Part 1: The Conversation

September 16, 2009

I call this The Conversation. However, it’s really an amalgam of many conversations, dare I say arguments, that my husband and I had for about a year. They were really all the same conversation, though, and it went like this:

Him: How long can you be a fine diner, copious drinker and all round party person without getting bored? Eventually we will tire of going out and going out and going out…. As our friends move on, we’ll be in stasis….

Me: That’s the whole point! I want to keep going out and living a fabulous life. Besides, how can you get tired of Manhattan? There’s something new every week.

Him: There has to be more challenging stuff to life. You can enjoy kids, really! You know, kids are a shared project. It will bring us closer together.

Me: Ha! What about reason number eight?

Him: We are not going to be One of Those Couples. We will have babysitters, a nanny if you want. It didn’t do you any harm to have a third caregiver in the household, and it freed up your parents to continue to enjoy life with friends sans children. Believe me, it can be done. I mean, look at your own family.

Me: But it will totally disrupt our lives – and definitely at the beginning. Who knows what opportunities might come along while we’re busy babying.

Him: Neither of our careers will be hurt by children. You’ll eventually move on and maybe do all the things you’ve been wanting to do but can’t right now because you have to earn a living.

Me: I think you’re being totally unrealistic. Do you know how much work babies and teenagers are? Do you? They will own us; claim us like we never existed without them. You’ll have to cut back on work hours; I won’t have a minute to myself to do anything. And what about our fantastic trips? We won’t be able to go on those anymore. It’ll be Disney World and cheesy hotels and overcrowded beaches in Yucatan.

Him: Okay, I’ll concede that travel might be a bit difficult, but only for the first few years. In fact, you can take a baby almost anywhere. They just need a place to sleep, and they need to eat and shit. They have very simple requirements.

Me: But what about us? What about couple only travel? Time alone?

Him: We’ll ask my mom to come and spend a week with the kid so we can get away. Don’t worry; we’ll find a way.

Me: Well, congratulations, you’ve solved all the problems. But. I am not. Going. To get. Fat.

Him: Christ! You are NOT going to stay fat. It’s impossible. You’re the skinniest thing I know and you don’t even have to work at it. You’ll lose all the weight within weeks. And if you really have a problem, we can book you for a nip and tuck. Besides, you’ll be a sexy mummy, he says and slaps my bum.

I harrumph.

Him: Besides, I don’t want to spoil other people’s kids. I want my own kids. Why can’t you understand that? Do we have different goals, or something? This may surprise you, but I want the responsibility of raising kids. It’s the one inherently challenging thing about life and I want to experience it. Kids are the only way of having your genes live on. It’s the only eternity there is.

Me: Well, if you’re going to pull that on me… Listen, how come I didn’t know you felt so strongly about this?

Him: Maybe you weren’t listening. I thought I was clear that kids are the only reason to get married. Otherwise, why not just live together and change partners whenever you get bored?

Me: You know why we got married… it didn’t have to do with kids.

Him: Look, I can understand your fears about pregnancy; it’s a pretty scary and unbelievable thing to go through. But you Will Not Die. I promise. I want us to have kids – our own – not adopted, not surrogate. Ours.

So I try one more argument, knowing full well it’s easily solved.

Me: We live in a fifth floor walk-up. With no storage. How do you expect us to have a baby up here, hauling it and the stroller and diaper bags and bottles and clothing up and down these freakin’ stairs? If it’s just me, am I supposed to leave the baby unattended upstairs while I do the stroller thing, or take the baby and leave it alone downstairs, then run back up for the stroller? And what if it’s birth by C-section? I’ve heard that women can’t even walk for more than a month after that.

I’m out of breath just thinking about it, never mind expressing my worries.

“You know we can move,” he says.

And that’s the discussion that led me to stop taking the Pill. I figure I ought to give it a try, for my husband’s sake.

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One Response to “How I got from TTC to DE, Part 1: The Conversation”

  1. Jem Says:

    Wow, your conversation with your DH sounds like many I’ve had with mine/the inner dialogue in my own head.

    Thanks for leaving a message on my blog. I am really enjoying reading yours. You’ve inspired me to start writing the “why I’m ambivalent” post, which I’ve been composing in my head for quite a while.

    Jem


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