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The "Right" time to start trying

Posted by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:38 AM
  • 14 Replies
Hi everyone! I want to share an issue that has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. My husband and I have now been married 15 months and have known each other almost 4 years. I am 26 years old and he is 36 years old and will be 37 in December. Before we got married and even when we first got married we both said that we wanted to wait a few years to have children. But now I am not wanting to wait so long. I'm not sure exactly when or why the realization hit me that I wanted a baby, but it did. And hard. I tried to share my feelings with my husband about my new found baby fever, but he was extremely unreceptive to the idea. In fact, the conversation was a disaster. He did not even want to so much as discuss the topic with me. I know that we said we would wait a few years but the reasons that we had for waiting just don't stand up for me anymore.
My argument: he's almost 37 and not getting any younger. I don't want him to be 40 before we start trying. He is an only child with older parents. They would LOVE to live to see at least 1 grandchild and be able to enjoy some time with him/her. We are both healthy, financially stable, well employed, own a house, own a car, etc- do not have any of the issues that most husbands cite for wanting to wait. He currently travels quite a but for work, but in the next 9 months or so he will be taking a job with his company where he will be working M-F, 9-5. Home every night. To me, we've done so much together- travelled the world, eaten great things, practically run a hostel for friends out of our apartment, done pretty much whatever we wanted together and separately. You get to a point where things start to seem a little hollow. Fun, but meaningless. We live at full speed to the point where I have to remind him you can only do things to a point before they stop being fun and start being exhausting. I'm ready to make our next adventure together- having a family. I know he'll be a great father when the time comes, but he's so resistant to getting the ball rolling. My request to him was not all that crazy, I thought. I want to go off BC at the beginning of 2014 and just stop trying to prevent pregnancy. Not "actively trying" but not actively preventing either. Neither of us has ever tried to have a baby and who knows how long it might take.
His argument: i want to go on an African safari. I want 2 more summers before we try. I don't want to talk about this. The idea scares me.
Now, I understand that someone who lived as a total bachelor for 30+ years is going to have a hard time giving up his selfish lifestyle. He hasn't really had to, even for me (except being faithful obviously). I want him to be excited about taking this next step together, not do it grudgingly. I want to have a productive conversation about my thoughts and feelings without getting shut down. I understand that this is a decision that should be made together, but how do you navigate when you disagree? One person can't "win" without it being completely 1 sided. "He said no so I'll wait" doesn't work for me, but neither does "going behind his back." I have an issue with this especially because we are catholic and by getti g married in the Catholic Church you are consenting to one another to having children right there at the altar.
Anyone who has had a similar situation, please advise. What tactics did you use for trying to talk to your husband? What got through to him? I don't want to have another conversation about this again (the last one was in May) until I feel like I can sit down and have a conversation that doesn't sound like an emotional woman asking her husbands permission to be open to having a baby.
Please help!
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:38 AM
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Replies (1-10):
cecilyloring
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 2:16 AM

well mom's (not dad's) age is much more the factor in fertility so that's good. And I think it's great that you realize the importance of both being on board with the decision. Also I wouldn't stress about providing a grandchild to his parents. That's not really your problem. His parents and him were the ones that decided to get married/ have children late. (I'm saying this b/c I used to stress about giving my inlaws who are older a grandchild and then it turns out they are horrible grandparents so I shouldn't have wasted the time.)

   But yeah as far as talking to my husband about babies, the most effective communication device was just to talk about it early and often. I think it's normal for it to take months to talk about ttc before one actually ttc.

frndlyfn
by Emerald Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 2:42 AM

I was told the fathers age can play a part in fertility but not as big role as moms since mom would be carrying the child.  Our daughter was a happy surprised.   My guy was 46 when dd was born and she is very healthy.

Its.me.Sam.
by Gold Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:03 AM

dads age DOES play a role.  it is not as significant as moms but it does play a role.  in my most recent class i learned that "optimal" age for health for births is under 30 for woman and under 40 for men.  sperms structure does start declining after a certain age.. not only motility and volume, but the structure itself.  not as much as for women because we are orn with all of our eggs so they 'age' whereas men keep producing new sperm... bu the spem quality slightly decreases with age.  and a recent study indicated that sperm could contribute to downs syndrome significantly in older fathers (altho the risk is still greatest for women over 40)
and here is a recent article (a year old) about autism and schizophrenia. 
http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/23/older-fathers-linked-to-kids-autism-and-schizophrenia-risk/ 


Quoting frndlyfn:

I was told the fathers age can play a part in fertility but not as big role as moms since mom would be carrying the child.  Our daughter was a happy surprised.   My guy was 46 when dd was born and she is very healthy.



Kathy489
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:49 AM

Exactly how long is "a few years?" It doesn't sound like you defined it clearly in your pre-marital talk. Also, the part about the African safari and wanting two more summers sounds pretty lame. Wanting children is something in your heart. Even though it is good to plan, it is not just another task on a time table. It doesn't sound like he is committed to having children, or he would at least be discussing it in general, even if he wasn't ready. The part about being Catholic? I was born and raised Catholic for many years, and I don't remember anything about marriage being a consent to having children. Maybe I missed something? Either way, I would question whether or not he really wants children at all. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to start all over and find someone who does want a family.

Schniedersa
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your feedback. I know that the mother's age is more important than the father's age, but as it was mentioned, more studies are coming out with correlations to advanced paternal age and issues with potential children. Honestly that isn't even my whole reason for not wanting to wait til he is older. All of his friends are married and have multiple children. They all started "later" as well and then had several children in  a relatively few number of years-which even they admit was due to waiting and then trying to have the number of children they wanted in before what they saw to be an appropriate age for them. Now, they seem harried, stressed, and overwhelmed. They then go to my husband and say, "wait, wait as long as you can." and other unwelcome negativity. What they fail to mention is that they are in the predicament they are in BECAUSE they waited until their mid to late 30s to start and then felt rushed. I don't want to rush. The whole point of this for me is to not be making this an "issue" be open to it happening when and how it does. No pressure. Also, I can just see that if I waited the 2ish years my husband wants that he will be 40 and even more set in his ways that he is comfortable with the way things are going, he doesn't want change/kids at all anymore.

Also, just as a side note @Kathy489, in the marriage rite of the Catholic Church, near the beginning of the actual vows the priest addresses mutual consent to marry with a few items. This includes, verbatim, "Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?" You both respond "I will" -vowing this to each other (and God). Granted, I have been on BC which is also against the teachings of the church, but that was more for the purpose of a medical condition than BC strictly. I guess accepting children lovingly does not make me think, "beg, bargain, and fight about it until somebody wins."

The other problem is that his moratorium on discussing it is affecting how i feel about our communication and opennes with him in general. The lack of being able to discuss something so important to me with the only person this conversation even matters with makes me feel distant and resentful. He's coming home from a business trip tonight and we have guests who will be staying with us all weekend. This is weighing on me so much...I was only able to sleep a couple hours last night.  I think I have to talk to him about it at least a little tomorrow. He should not be completely caught out of left field. I was just home in Missouri to be with my sister who just gave birth to a beautiful babygirl (major tug there). If I can't get this off my chest to him, there might be bad repucussions for the weekend. And there will be an audience.


 

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by Emerald Member on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:32 PM

I agree with the others,
Why can't you wait til after the weekend though?
Hugs to you :)

Quoting Schniedersa:

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your feedback. I know that the mother's age is more important than the father's age, but as it was mentioned, more studies are coming out with correlations to advanced paternal age and issues with potential children. Honestly that isn't even my whole reason for not wanting to wait til he is older. All of his friends are married and have multiple children. They all started "later" as well and then had several children in  a relatively few number of years-which even they admit was due to waiting and then trying to have the number of children they wanted in before what they saw to be an appropriate age for them. Now, they seem harried, stressed, and overwhelmed. They then go to my husband and say, "wait, wait as long as you can." and other unwelcome negativity. What they fail to mention is that they are in the predicament they are in BECAUSE they waited until their mid to late 30s to start and then felt rushed. I don't want to rush. The whole point of this for me is to not be making this an "issue" be open to it happening when and how it does. No pressure. Also, I can just see that if I waited the 2ish years my husband wants that he will be 40 and even more set in his ways that he is comfortable with the way things are going, he doesn't want change/kids at all anymore.

Also, just as a side note @Kathy489, in the marriage rite of the Catholic Church, there is the portion where the priest reads the portion regarding mutual consent to marry. This includes, verbatim, "Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?" You both respond "I will" -vowing this to each other (and God). Granted, I have been on BC which is also against the teachings of the church, but that was more for the purpose of a medical condition than BC strictly. I guess accepting children lovingly does not make me think, "beg, bargain, and fight about it until somebody wins."

The other problem is that his moratorium on discussing it is affecting how i feel about our communication and opennes with him in general. The lack of being able to discuss something so important to me with the only person this conversation even matters with makes me feel distant and resentful. He's coming home from a business trip tonight and we have guests who will be staying with us all weekend. This is weighing on me so much...I was only able to sleep a couple hours last night.  I think I have to talk to him about it at least a little tomorrow. He should not be completely caught out of left field. I was just home in Missouri to be with my sister who just gave birth to a beautiful babygirl (major tug there). If I can't get this off my chest to him, there might be bad repucussions for the weekend. And there will be an audience.


 


Schniedersa
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Thanks for the hugs! The feeling surrounding this are really acute right now, due in part to several things (especially being there when my sister had her baby- he didn't come home with me to see the baby). I cried myself to sleep at 3am last night. I'm feeling really raw about it. Also, this is something we get asked about by others all the time now (think 2 different groups of guests staying with us) and it's getting increasingly harder for me to not get upset and more resentful when it gets brought up. We've even been that couple that gets in a passive agressive fight at dinner in front of friends over this. I just want to at least have a productive conversation- i don't need some kind of final answer. I just want to be heard and understood and to have him actually say what his concerns are and give me something better than becuase i said so for consideration on my part. I'm really tired of feeling so disconnected from him and I know how hard it will be for me to put on the happy face until we're alone again. I do have self-control. I haven't brought this up at all in 3 months- even with my sister and best friend being pregnant. *Sigh*

PrimalMom
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM
1 mom liked this

I can't relate to you only in the situation you are in but the vibe I get is the conflict between living for yourself and going on adventures vs staying up all night listening to a baby cry and no more round trip flights...

I just want you to know there is a large of amount of families that travel the world and have babies on the road. The children of these families say they wouldn't want it any other way. I particularly think you guys would give a great life to your kids and the fun times don't have to stop. Instead of teaching your children about African elephants vs Asian elephants, you could take your child to see an African elephant in person. Talk about national geographic come to life! Anyway, maybe the focus of your argument could be adjusted to your non stagnant life being exactly what you want for your kids. You could give them so much doing the things you already do. I have barely tickled the list of things I want to do and already my 5 and 2 year old have seen and done more than most of the adults in my life. My adult friends are jealous of my kids and their experiences. :)


Also, have you had the chance to even talk about Mom vs Dad roles? What you would each be willing to do just to bring a child into the world? I think the thing he needs to understand the most is your desire for this. Not a nagging desire but a sincere desire to be a parent with your one and only partner. Good luck in your journey!

AngelPies_Mama
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 2:49 PM
1 mom liked this

I had a similar situation with my husband. However he already had 2 boys from his previous marriage. I wanted my own biological child, it did take a while for him to consider it. I asked him " What are you so afraid of?" That really made him stop and think and really consider my feelings. Now he has an adorable little 3 year old girl who looks just like Boo from Monsters, Inc. 

Try to be patient he may be wrangling with his own fears.


hugs*

Schniedersa
by on Aug. 28, 2013 at 7:17 PM
1 mom liked this

@ Primalmom-

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this. I feel like you have helped me put my finger on something that would be really effective in discussing this topic with my husband. My desire is a sincere desire. And everything you said about having children and sharing the world with them is important to me. I had a pretty adventurous childhood with my family and I am 1 of 7 children! Now that I am on this train of thought, I know from experience that you can have children and travel etc because that is what my large family did. His childhood experience of having 1 sibling and not having an adventurous family may cause him concern. Reassuring him that we can still be adventurous and teach our children through experiences would be impactful to him. We are both in the sciences and continuing to learn and learning by experience is a very important part of life to both of us- it's what really brought us together.

Thanks again!

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