These days, people DECIDE whether or not they are going to pitch some of their own DNA into the ocean of humanity. I never wondered IF I would procreate; the question was how many times.
My husband and I both grew up in a family of four kids, more for me if you count the step-siblings. The concept of NOT having a collection of our own was inconceivable.
We got married and pregnant right out of college. Apparently, we skipped the class on “How Babies are Born.” So much for higher education.
By the way, the first pregnancy came as a complete “surprise,” kind of like when you add the activating agent to your science experiment and it explodes in your face.
Ryan’s grandfather, a parent of 9, used to say he wasn’t quite sure how it happened.
We had our suspicions, so just to be sure, we “tried” for baby #2 when Grace was just starting to boss us around.
It wasn’t much of a “try,” given my penchant for getting pregnant when Ryan sneezed in my direction.
I have never struggled with infertility, so I don’t know the frustration of having to wrangle insurance claims, finances, medications, doctors, emotions and hormones. Well, I DO, but not in TRYING to have a baby. For me the wrangling came AFTER the pregnancies.
We were thrilled when #2 turned out to be a boy. We had a matched set, and could stop there, according to current social standards. Nobody actually had FOUR CHILDREN on purpose these days.
Well, except for people who DON’T KNOW HOW THAT WORKS.
We had a “Sister” and a “Brother,” just like the Berenstain Bears. We thought it might be wise to wait a while for Ryan to finish his Master’s degree and for our family to find a town to settle in. THEN we could DECIDE whether we wanted a #3.
By the ages of 2 and 4, Grace and Amsden had ALREADY convinced us that we did not need a #4 to feel like a complete family.
So I gave away all my baby clothes and gear, knowing we would revisit the topic in a couple of years. AND PROMPTLY GOT PREGNANT.
Don’t roll your eyes at my foolish failure to use contraception. We WERE, but if you have lived long enough you know: “Man plans, God laughs.”