The baby elephant in the room

The million dollar question I get asked most often is, "So when are you guys having children?" This is usually followed by me staring up at the ceiling, feeling sheepish and uncomfortable. If Nate is present, I then stare awkwardly at him, praying he answers for the both of us. When you've been married for a couple years and when you reach a certain age (hello 32), it's to be expected that this is a genuine concern. And not only does it come from my mother and in-laws, but also from friends. Hell even strangers ask me, as if my uterus is public fodder. Most of my friends do have children, and I think they would like us to just get it over with already and join the married with children club. In that sense, I would love to be a member. My friends are wonderful parents and I want nothing more than for our kids to grow up alongside theirs.

But there's just one little problem, as is most problems I face in my life - I'm scared beyond belief. Like the kind of scared that gives me nightmares almost every single night. The kind of fear I used to get before giving a speech or presentation in my college classes. That kind of irrational fear that makes zero sense, but that feels SO real. Even now just typing this, I have a pit in my stomach (not a baby might I add).

Why am I so terrified? Who knows. Maybe it's because I'm an only child? Nah, that doesn't stop most only children. In fact, I think only children go on to have larger families. Don't quote me on that but I'm sure if I bothered to research I could look up some study. Maybe it's because I saw some horrible examples when I was working with foster youth? Nah, I wanted to adopt each and every one of those kiddos. They broke my heart.

I think I'm afraid of the actual pregnancy. I know some women say they loved being pregnant, but I'm almost 100 percent positive that will not be me. I'm also afraid of giving birth. Yes it is life's greatest miracle and I truly believe that. But considering I can't even deal with a migraine, my childbirth might actually look like one of those romantic comedies where the woman is sweating, swearing, and screaming like she's dying and the husband is running around like a chicken with his head cut off. I mean that doesn't really happen, does it? That's just the movies?

Then there's the whole losing your identity thing. I know it's possible to be a loving, present parent while still maintaining a semblance of who you were before children. I just know it's difficult at times. Priorities shift, as they naturally should! But I'm also afraid of being a crazy neurotic parent. I already struggle with worry, so it could get even worse after having a baby. Or it could get better! I guess I won't know until I'm a mother. These are all things I think about a lot, but keep my mouth shut for fear of judgment. I don't want to offend anyone. Many women can't have children, so I don't want to sound like motherhood is some sort of obligation.

Back to the question, when are we having kids? Not sure exactly. But probably next year, God willing. Just don't quote me on that either ;)

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