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09/16/2009

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Who says you can't do both? I always kinda thought you would.

You know, zillions of other women get pregnant all the time without justifying it, worrying if they can afford it, worrying if the planet can handle it, worrying if they're ready or if it's the right thing to do. I overheard a conversation yesterday between a nurse and a young, giggling pregnant woman who didn't know -- even approximately -- how far along she was. And she's probably the norm. We educated woman are so hypervigilant about issues relating to reproduction and their impacts -- and that's mostly a positive thing. But for goodness' sake, don't loose sight of the fact that you have every right to reproduce, experience motherhood, and pass on your "youness" -- just as most women have tried to do since the beginning of humans!

If you someday adopt a child, that will be a great thing, too. But in the meantime, this blog is here so you can express YOUR unique point of view -- not put your life decisions up for a vote.

Ok, rant over. Really should get back to work now...

I love love love the line: Do I weigh in on your reproductive choices?
It made my whole week.
Your post was such good timing for me. I have been on what the books call a "fertility journey" for some time now, which sounds a lot more like a vacation than it actually is. And of course, a whole bunch of people have asked me me whether I have thought about adoption. I know women who feel no need to have a biological child, and I kind of envy them. I love the idea of adopting. I may also adopt. But there is something compelling about passing on the physical characteristics of people you love--your parents or your partner or the other people who came before you. There is something important about how my mother tells me that sometimes I look like her mother, who left this world when I was only two. It's a big thing to give up, a big thing to grieve, and I, as an intelligent, sensitive woman, will make the decision in my own time. That said, while planning the next step in my less-than-spa-like fertility journey, last night I also started reading those books on adoption. In my own time.

Hi. Waving a white flag here. I did post a "please think about adoption" comment - but to be fair it was on a post where you were still thinking about both for this first baby.

That said, you don't have to justify your thought process or your decision to anyone except yourself. And wanting a baby, any way you decided to do it SHOULD be selfish. It should be something you want more than anything you have ever wanted. That's what will push you to be a good parent. I have 2 kids - 1 adopted, 1 not. In my mind, both were absolutely selfish choices. Because I WANTED, Oh, how I wanted. And that wanting is still there all these years later. I wanted to be a mother and I get to! YAHOOO. And it's hard and sometimes I don't do it as well as I'd like. But still, if I hadn't started with the wanting, it would all be oh so much harder for them and for me.

So, congratulations on your choice. It's the right one for you and your family. The first of many hard decisions you will make as a parent. Don't let anyone make you feel badly about making the decision that is right for you.

Thanks, Rebecca! I love the idea of "youness." The problem has been that I'm seriously ambivalent about whether a poor child should be saddled with any of mine!

Well said, Z-- That's what it all comes down to. In your own time. I cried almost every day for a year when I first started thinking about these issues. It's huge and scary and frustrating and complicated. But eventually things become clearer to us. In our own time.

Hi, Sandy-- You totally cracked me up, you and your white flag. No flag necessary. This is all so complicated because you're RIGHT, people should be thinking about adoption! I just obviously feel a little guilty about the choice I'm making-- although you made me feel better by pointing out that there's selfishness on any road to motherhood... and that that selfishness is actually an incredibly powerful force that binds us to our kids. It really is all about THE WANTING.

I have to say, you commenty folks pretty much made my day.

Sarah, I love your blog! Been reading for a couple of months now and am really appreciating hearing more about your journey.

I'm 31, single, not at the 'baby on my own' point but glad I can be learning from someone else's experience before I get there. If I get there.

I'm adopted, was when I was 6wks old. So, obviously, its the only thing I remember. I didn't have the perfect life growing up but it was good and I was looked after and I was loved.

I have always been a proponent of the goodness of the adoption option - both the giving up of your baby if necessary and adopting someone else's. But I am even more a proponent of people's right to choose. And I'm actually not specifically thinking of abortion here!

We're in the middle of a debate here in Australia about legislation coming in that would mean that independent midwives would be the only independent medical practitioners that won't have government assistance in accessing insurance cover. Which would effectively make it illegal for them to work with mothers outside of the hospital system. So mothers wanting to choose homebirth would only be able to do so without the safety net of registered midwives.

I have been blessed to have been asked to be present at two births for friends of mine. One was a standard hospitalised experience and the other was a planned homebirth with 2 midwives in attendance.

I don't know what I will choose when I [hopefully] get to that point but I absolutely want to have options to choose between.

Thank you for your willingness to share with us. Particularly in your humourous, well-written, honest way!

May you feel peace about your decisions, whatever they are, and may that peace encourage those around you to feel it also...

I, for one, hope this is the last time you feel the need to justify your decision. Here's the thing. You DESERVE to get pregnant and have a baby just like every other woman on the planet. (Same goes for falling in love, btw, whenever that happens.) This is going to be incredibly exciting -- and anxiety-producing -- and there's no need to cloud the process with doubts about whether it's "right." You're gonna be a great mom. Period. However you get a baby. And I'm incredibly excited to follow your story detail for detail. Whee!

I had to comment on this. Women who get pregnant the "regular" way never have to justify their decision. They want their biological child and that's that. Why should those of us who go through IVF or other fertility treatment have to justify our desire to experience pregnancy or have biological children.

I believe I can love an adopted child as much as my biological child but this is not something we should have to justify!

You are absolutely right. Your getting pregnant would be just as "selfish" as a married woman doing so. I say go for it and I hope you get pregnant with ease. I'm 35 and am planning to do the same in the next couple of years. Adoption is absolutely wonderful but it is not the same, and anyone who tries to tell you it is, is full of shit. It is equally wonderful but totally different. (I am adopted so I can unapologetically say that it is not the same, and I am dying to get pregnant now, and adopt some day, just like you. )
Who is to say that meeting a man/partner will happen before having a baby? Who made that rule? You could meet him tomorrow, you could meet him at 50, you might never meet him. Having a baby is not to be missed. Good luck!

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