----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: Baby Boomlet

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Baby Boomlet

Many of my friends are now parents, pregnant, or considering pregnancy. One friend has a 3-year-old. Another has a 3-month-old. Two more are pregnant. A college friend emailed me to tell me his wife is pregnant. Two other friends may be prenant within a few months. Even my Pilates teacher is pregnant! It's like fecundity has just erupted all around me.

I, on the other hand, am definitively not pregnant. I don't even have any baby urges yet. I think kids are cute and I like being around them (usually), and I am fascinated by the details of pregnancy. But I just don't want any children of my own right now. I know that there's never a "perfect" time to have children and I know you don't need to own a home or have a pile of money saved up before you're ready to have a child. (I think that the pile of money would probably come in pretty handy, though.) Eventually, you just have to jump in, but for some reason, I'm not ready to take that jump.

My mom says that having kids was the best thing she ever did, and she and my dad were, and are, great parents. But back then, she says, you never even thought about whether or not you would have kids. It was just expected. You got married, and then you started a family. Now, we have all these choices. Have kids. Have kids when you're young. Have kids late in life. Have kids when you're married. Have kids when you're single. Have kids with your husband. Have kids with donor sperm. Have kids with your lesbian or gay partner. But no matter what, it seems like the emphasis is on "have kids," not "don't have kids."

My biological clock isn't ticking yet. Luckily, that's just fine with Mr. Pink. He's not ready for kids either. It shouldn't be that big a deal right? I'm not even 30 yet! (Well, I won't be 30 for another few days, at least.) The only thing that worries me is, what if my biological clock never starts ticking? I mean, I've always thought that of course I would have children, but lately, I'm not so sure. It just seems so overwhelming! I still think I would like to have at least one baby, but what if I change my mind? What if I don't want any at all? What if I don't want to pass my disease-ridden genes onto another generation? Or, what if I can't have children? It's been nearly four years since my last bout of chemotherapy and radiation, and everything seems to be fine, but do doctors really know the long-term effects of these things?

I've started thinking about all these hard questions because of the baby boomlet around me. But ultimately, I'm not ready to make any decisions. Right now, I am content to focus on my life and my marriage. I worry that having a baby now would upset the delicate equilibrium that allows us to function--Mr. Pink doesn't like his job, I recently changed careers, we may not even stay in Northern California. It seems like having a kid would force to us solidfy some of our plans, while right now, we're better at keeping it loose and just seeing what happens next.

Let's hope what happens next is a good thing. And here's wishing healthy babies to all my pregnant and soon-to-be-pregnant friends. I'm happy for you. I'm just not ready for that path yet.


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