"Cheer up. Remember what the Monty Python boys say."
"Always look on the bright side of life?"
"No, 'Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.'"

Monday, January 21, 2008

I Feel Numb.

The dictionary defines numb as:
  • 1. incapable of action or of feeling emotion; enervated; prostrate
  • 2. lacking or deficient in emotion or feeling; indifferent
  • 3. Emotionally unresponsive

A friend asked me when I was going to test since I am about 10-11DPO. I can't say that I am excited about it. I am not even feeling anxious. I can't say I am totally numb. I still feel complacent about this cycle; to everything else, I feel numb.

Another one of DH's cousins is pregnant. This is the 4th pregnancy in about 2 years.

The first one was his 16 year old cousin, G. Her parents let the boyfriend move in and became the second set of parents to the boyfriend and the new baby.

The second one was another cousin, J. She was married for about a year. They moved back in with her parents so she could finish college and so they could afford to only have the husband working. The child in now almost two, J and her husband are divorcing and he wants nothing to do with the child.

The third pregnancy is from G again. She is 18 almost 19, same father as the first one, still living at home and (unfortunately) the father was killed in a car accident because he fell asleep at the wheel. They never married.

The final one is, L, J's sister. She has been married a little over a year and her hubby is in seminary. She is three months along and he still has 3 years left. They may move in with mom and dad.


How long should a couple wait before they try for a baby when they are young? (No offense to my younger friends that are ~old souls~). Would it not make sense to at least get through your bachelor's degree before starting a family? What about waiting until you are stable enough to not need to live with Mom and Dad? Better yet, shouldn't high school graduation be more important? Even better than that, is adoption not an option for teen mothers anymore?

I know what I am about to say could be very controversial but I don't really care. Since when is it ideal to raise a child on your own when you are a teenager? Would it not be better to have a couple that is financially and emotionally grounded raise the baby? Would that family not be able to offer the child an easier life (in theory)? Or are we as a nation making it entirely too easy to rely on government assistance to raise a child? (I am not refering to the single women who are already on their own, have a career and want a child before it is too late. I am talking pregnancies due to irresponsibility.)

While I may sound riled up and that I am in midst of a rant, I am not. I am very calmly and unemotionally looking at the whole picture. I wasn't even moved when I heard about L's pregnancy last night. Seriously, MIL could have been saying, "The sky is blue." for all the emotion it stirred.

So in a moment of introspection, I must ask:

  • Am I that jaded now?
  • Have I lost the ability to feel emotion when I hear someone (any + that is not one of my girls) has achieved what I haven't been able to?
  • Will I keep asking myself, "Why didn't they wait until______ (fill in the blank)?
  • Have I finally reached that point of TTC when I don't care anymore?
  • Have I finally lost that fire in my belly for TTC?
  • Do I even desire to have a child anymore?
  • Will I always feel this indifferent?

I wish I could answer my own questions but I don't think I can. I think I just need to let it stew for a while.


nancy said...

I'm so sorry you feel like this right now. I feel that you are stuck right now. But once things get moving again, you'll be able to feel again. Right now, it's just that - you are stuck.

I'm definitely with you about the young parents. While it ~can~ work out by having children young, on average, I don't think it's a good idea. My own views on how long someone should wait before having children ... (and of course, there are always exceptions)

~ They should be an adult. And I don't mean an "I'm 18!" adult. I mean a real adult. A self efficient adult. Be on your own. Know what it's like to make your own decisions. Some people hit this stage by the young age of 21. Personally, I didn't hit it until 25.

~ They should be financially responsible. Now, rarely is most people in a place where they can say "We are now ready", but you should be in a place you are self-efficient. If you have had to BORROW money from your parents (or anyone) to pay for things like rent, utilites or food in the last 12 months, you are not ready for a baby. I'll admit that while we weren't living paycheck to paycheck, we were living paycheck to every other paycheck. And hell, we almost still are. But we are making it on our own.

~ You should have health insurance. No ifs/ands/buts. NOT state support health insurance. Real insurance that you have earned.

~ Education. I don't think it's necessary to be completely done with education. In fact, I think people should educate themselves throughout their lives. But I do think enough education should be completed so someone could support themselves with what they have currently, before having a baby. I was one of the most professional students out there. I just kept going back to school, getting degree after degree. I had already completed 2 Bachelor of Science degrees (Business Management, Computer Science) and I was into my 3rd new field (Nursing, which looked to be turning into a Chemistry degree). When I got pregnant, I was taking a course load which focused around 2 stright semesters of classes, which would have put finals after my due date. I dropped the classes with complete intention of going back. And I did NOT go back. And I'm GOOD in school. Yeah, I already am working in a field I have a degree in, so maybe if I wasn't, I'd of gone back, but knowing the limitations, I wouldn't of wanted to have kids before I was done with my first degree.

I could go on and on here, but since this is your blog, I'll stop here. But I did want to offer my opinions, in support of your own.

jenn said...

I'm also so sorry you are feeling this way- I hope that a ray of sun comes into your life very soon.

I actually could have been one of those "before finishing up school" girls. Tom and I have been together sonce I was 16. I worried so much about getting pregnant before we were 'ready'. I waited to finish school. (23) I waited to establish myself in a career (25) get married (25) and have the house fixed up a little. By the time 26 came around we got slammed with the kidney-health issue & waiting was mandatory, not a choice. Which is part of why we decided that it wasn't worth waiting anymore once I was deemed recovered.

While we may not have the most stable perfect financials right now- we don't have to borrow money to live month to month. Yeah- we got creative & had a roommate, but even without him we will make it through just fine. I think the lessons I have learned about strength, budgets, & resourcefulness will only help me (us) when we do become parents. And I am ironically enough glad that we've had this year to learn what we needed to. Even though we were adults before that- I think we are only more ready now.

As I look back- if it had happened those first few months trying I don't think we'd be as good as we will now. If that makes sense... While I know we still would have been great parents- we may have gotten overwhelmed by the financials. Now we know that money is easier to live without than we ever thought before!

I don't know if that answers your question- but I think that it's only fair to your children that you are happy parents. You should have sone everything that you had wanted to do before children cam along. I can't think of anything worse than feeling like you have 'lost' something by having a child, it should be about completing & adding- not losing. Whew- enough from me!

tammy said...

After talking to DH last night, I think I realized that I am just guarding myself emotionally.

Nancy, you are right, I am stuck. I can't move forward but I am not moving backward. I am just in a holding pattern.

I agree with your assessment on how long to wait, too. I think that being an adult varies with each person. I wasn't ready for kids at 25. I thought I was but I thik at 28 I knew I could do it.

Education is important and I know many girls get pregnant in college but I would never think of putting myself in a dependant situation just so I could go to school and have a child.

Jenn - I think that there is a difference in your situation. You had been with Tom for a long time. If you would have gotten pregnant at 23, it would not have been as big of a shock to your relationship (at least I would think it would after 7 years). You both knew each other. The girls I mentioned all married within 1.5 years of dating their husbands. I am not even sure they knew theirselves let alone their spouse.

I look at it this way, of our group, all of us have been with our spouce for a while, whether married or living together. We knew each other and we were self sufficient, like Nancy said.

I am trying to look at it this way, DH and I would have had a really hard time if we would have had a child 5 years ago, even 2 years ago. I know I don't liek to admit it, but I think that I will have that + when the timing is right. I just wish I knew when that was. It doesn't make their announcement any better though.

VA Blondie said...

I understand how you feel about younger people getting pregnant. My husband's cousin got pregnant before graduating high school and ended up dropping out and marrying the father.

I felt stunned that she was as stupid as she was. I also felt really jealous, and I mean almost green with jealousy. Here was something Hubby and I have tried for years for, and this little teenage idiot gets pregnant without trying.

After the family calmed down and accepted the baby, they were pretty happy and excited about it. They did not understand our lack of reaction to the birth of a child. We had a hard time being happy about it, I think, because we felt that should have been us.

I hate the fact that, for some of us, something which should come so easily and naturally just doesn't.

Amy Paden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Paden said...

Financially stable and home-owning. I don't have anything against people that live in apartments.. but part of my mind says if you are living in an apartment, then you are still almost living month by month, or contract to contract.

A degree is not necessary for both, but as long as one parent has it (better job opportunities) but if one is planning to be a SAHM/D or WAHM/D, then its not necessary for them to have it, but it would be a good thing to fall back on.

It's a good thing to guard your self emotionally. just as an observation, it seems that you have been happier lately ( at least on the "outside" anyways)

**The deleted post said the same things, except with typos.**

Tammy's Thought Pattern said...

Amy - I am happier. I think I needed to step away from my own ~pain~ an dfocus on others and in the process, I kind of put up a wall. It helps.

I agree with you on the living situation and education, for the most part. I just don't understand their (his cousins) rush to get pregnant; unless there is a medical history that could be of concern.

nancy said...

I have a comment to Amy's comment.

Even if one is planning to be a stay at home parent, I don't think that should be a reason to not get an education. So many parents who stayed at home with their children end up with very unfulfilled lives after children - because they have nowhere to go.

Amy Paden said...

Nancy- that's why I said it would be a good thing for them to have to fall back on. OTOH, higher education isn't for everyone. Some people try it, struggle with it, and end up flunking out.

I know quite a few "empty nesters" that have gone back to get a 2nd or 3rd degree because they don't want to continue in field they originally went to school for. During my past 5 years of pursuing a Bachelor's degree, I would say close to 40% of my classmates have been 45 or older. I'd say probably half of them where in school for the first time because of choices they made earlier in life.

Personally, I'd like to have my degree before I have kids, that's why I take an annoying little pill at approximately the same time everyday. I like taking bigger pills than the tiny ones. lol


On tv a little bit ago I saw something that surprised me, there's a reality show starting on Feb 18 called "The Baby Borrowers" It looks like the show originated in England. They are taking 5 teen couples (it looks like they range from 18-20) and giving them kids in a controlled environment, so let them see if they are "ready" to be parents yet.


nancy said...

Amy, I saw what you said. :) I just wanted to point it out as something that was really important.

Since I'm a career mom, I read a lot of research about mothers who take time out of the workplace, only to not have a place to come back to. You are right - many HAVE to go back to school if they want to have a career since their old options have sunk away.

I also agree with your comment about higher education not being for everyone. But when you don't have it, it's even harder to get back into the workplace. Not only do you no longer have any experience, you don't have a degree to back yourself up.

I have been utterly shocked over the statistics I've read about women who have put their careers on hold to raise their families. I'm not going to lie and tell you I remember the numbers, but I can tell you I was jaw-to-the-floor SHOCKED at what a high percentage lost all abilities to get back into a career they once shined in. Even going back to school to refresh their degrees have a harder time. Which is a known and obvious fact - we already know it's harder to start at the beginning of a career at an older age, even with a brand spanking new degree.

Just thinking of my own journey, no way could I start over. It took me 11 years to get where I am. If I left my career to stay home with the kids, let's see ... Let's pretend that I get pregnant with my last right now. My oldest is almost 4, but my new one wouldn't be born until end of this 2008. Due to school age cut-offs, it would be Fall of 2014 before my youngest would get into kindergarten. And most SAHMs stay home until 1st grade is started, due to full time school. That would be 2015 - seven years from now.

In the fall of 2015, I will be 42. Imagine if I could start where I started before, when I had my brand new Bachelor's degree. I would be 54 to get where I am now. Add in 4 years of full time college if I needed a new degree and I'd be 58! All that work just to get where I am at 35 - nevermind the leaps and bounds I should make in my career in the 19 years between 35 and 54. And just in time to retire.

I'm a strong proponent for mixing career woman ~and~ mother. IF that is your thing. That doesn't mean I'm against staying at home. If beind a SAHM (or father) is your thing, then that's awesome too. I just want to warn a woman what staying at home really entails and what she may actually be giving up to stay home. And for many, many, many women - it's worth it. And I'm cool with that!

tammy said...

Nancy, The school thing got me.

DH was out for 10 years and hadn't taken a math class in 13 years. When he had to take a college Statics/Dynamics class this past fall, it nearly did him in. Amy's husband helped as much as he could (he is younger by 5 years) but it was still more work than he thought it would be.

His B.S degree in Areo-technology. As of now, he has been out of that field for 5 years. If he tried to get back into it, he would have to start at the ground level again and probably take refresher courses. If he had been a SAHD, he would have been screwed finding a decent paying job. I completely get what you are saying.

Amy Paden said...

Nancy- sorry for not responding earlier, I took a break from the blog world today, due to just me being in a b*tchy mood.

I do understand where you are coming from, and I appreciate the fact that you are so open with the way you feel.

Honestly I don't know what I'll do when I have kids, right now I'm leaning towards being a SAHM, but we aren't planning on trying for at least 2 years(after I'm done with school), then who knows how long it will take us to conceive. So who knows how I'll feel about it in 2-?? years from now.