Category Archives: Pregnancy

She Arrives

If you read my previous post, I can now confirm my suspicions were correct; I was in labor. From the moment I awoke I was having contractions. They started sporadically spaced between 8 – 12 minutes apart but over the hours they began to quicken and regulate. I spent the entire day laboring at home, waiting for my contractions to get closer together so we could go to the hospital to meet our little girl. We created a labor tradition by going to a local diner to indulge in one last yummy breakfast before the birth. With my son we stopped at a greasy spoon on our way to the hospital because I knew I wouldn’t be eating much of anything once we were admitted. With my daughter I was just tired of laboring at home and focusing on the pain so the excursion was a nice and tasty distraction. It was our last meal out together as a family of three.

And in an odd twist of fate, my mom happened to be flying in that evening for the birth. She had booked her ticket literally months before, choosing to fly in five days early because my son had been born early. Little did she know she had selected the absolute perfect time to fly in. We went to pick her up at 6 pm, with me now contracting every 6-7 minutes. We stopped to grab food, got home and ate, and were headed to the hospital by 9 pm when my contractions had jumped to every 3 minutes. I’m still amazed at how perfectly it worked out for my mom.

My labor coaches

This labor was so unlike my first labor I can hardly believe it now as I write about it. This go around I had a textbook labor, everything progressed on its own and in a timely manner. Since my son’s labor started with broken water but no contractions, I spent more than 30 hours at the hospital, mostly trying to get labor to progress. But since I was already contracting well by the time I got to the hospital this go around, my experience was so different and so much quicker. At 9:30 pm we were put in the observation room to monitor my contractions and by 10:30 pm we were officially admitted and shown to a birthing suite. The next hour was spent getting labs done and IV ports placed and then I was finally unhooked from all the machines and allowed to roam. While the nurses filled my labor tub I opted to walk around the room, stopping frequently as the contractions became harsher and harsher. And as soon as the tub was ready I climbed in and spent nearly an hour breathing and squirming through the contractions that were only 2.5 – 3 minutes apart by then.

Contraction support

Around 12:30 am the pain was becoming too much for me and I began to shake and lose focus of my breathing technique. I opted to get out of the tub and requested an epidural. Luckily for me the anesthesiologist was already in the vicinity and was in my room within 15 minutes.  Within 30 minutes I was feeling much better and was able to relax for the first time in about 20 hours. The epidural didn’t quite work correctly though and the right side of my body never fully numbed. I could still feel the contractions, albeit much less harshly. They offered to get the anesthesiologist back to try and fix it, but I actually preferred to continue to feel the contractions so I could tell how I was progressing.

And progress I did! Within 3 hours I went from 5 cm dilated to 10. With my epidural not being 100 percent effective I definitely could feel the pressure of my baby moving down into position. I contacted the nurse about 20 minutes before I was scheduled to be checked again because the pressure was so intense I knew I must be fully dilated. After confirming this my nurse told me we could do a couple pushes as we waited for my doctor to come in and she got me into position and had me bear down.

“Okay stop! She’s almost out. Let me get the doctor in here first,” she told me. My reaction? Are you kidding? One push and you’re telling me she’s already almost out? Both my mom and husband confirmed it. They were about as incredulous as me since they had both been with me for my son’s birth and struggled alongside me as I pushed for nearly 2.5 hours with him.

The doctor rushed in a few minutes later and literally one more push was all it took. I watched amazed as my little girl entered the world, overcome with emotion. This experience was something I never had with my son. The long labor and hours of pushing had left me so physically spent I hardly recognized when he was actually born. I was in a mental fog and just remember them placing him on my chest. With this birth I was able to reach down and help place her myself. I had no mental fog and just felt so in the moment. It was an amazing way to end my pregnancy and labor experiences.

Newborn

Our little girl, Theadora (Thea) was born August 17, 2017 at 4:38 am. She weighed 6 pounds and 10 ounces and was 19 ¾ inches long.

Thea

And as I write this I am happy to say the recovery process has also been completely different and so much easier. I didn’t need any pain medications after birth and although I won’t be taking any long walks downtown or running around the playground with my toddler anytime soon, I’m already weeks ahead of where I was physically with my son.

I feel so lucky to have had such a positive birth experience. And now my family feels complete and perfect. My son has taken to his little sister even better than we had anticipated and I can’t wait to see their relationship grow and develop over the years.

First family photo

The Time Has Come (I Think)

(This was written on August 17, 2017 during active labor)

To say I’ve been impatient for my little girl’s arrival is a severe understatement. I have actually found myself getting depressed the longer this pregnancy lasts. My son came early at 38 weeks so I never had to go completely full term and experience all the discomfort and pain that goes along with that.

I also didn’t have a “normal” onset of labor with my son. My water broke before I ever had any contractions and my 32 hour labor didn’t get painful until the last few hours.

So here I am, at 39.5 weeks pregnant and I think I am in labor. At least I am really hoping all these painful contractions are signaling the beginning of labor, otherwise it’s some awful false labor pains. Yesterday morning I awoke feeling, frustratingly fine. No contractions, no aches; just normal exhaustion. And because I am going insane in these last days of pregnancy I threw myself into a canning project to keep my mind and body busy.

After several hours of preserving blueberries and making pepper jelly I had my 39 week appointment where the doctor checked me and proclaimed I had not progressed (dilation or effacement) since the previous week much to my disappointment. I came home and took a nap, convinced my baby girl is going to come late just to spite me.

After awaking from my nap I realized I was a bit crampy, but figured that was a result of the cervical check that afternoon. Later in the evening, though after my shower I began having real contractions (or at least I think they are). Painful, somewhat frequent, and they didn’t go away by changing positions or drinking more water.

I managed to sleep about 5 hours but when I awoke the contractions were back. And now after being awake for a few hours they continue to strike every 7 – 12 minutes and nice and painful too. So although I know this might still be a case of false labor, I’m thinking it’s the real deal. And hopefully it goes a bit faster than my son’s 32 hour one.

before labor

A Reflection on Pregnancy

A comparison of my two pregnancies

Well I’m down to the last 12 days before my estimated due date and it can’t get here fast enough for me. I am very ready to meet you little girl and am definitely over the whole pregnancy thing. As your arrival looms so close, I can’t help comparing your pregnancy with that of your older brother’s three years ago.

This pregnancy has gone much smoother than my first did and has been all together healthier. I started off healthier and continued to exercise regularly and eat healthy (mostly) throughout which greatly contributed I think. In fact the best side effect I had with this pregnancy was my obsession with working out. For the first time in my life I awoke nearly every morning with the desire to exercise. I still have that desire, but the aches and pains have seriously limited what I can do in these last couple weeks of pregnancy. I’m not expecting my newfound love of exercise to stick around after you arrive, little girl, but even if it doesn’t it was fantastic while it lasted.

With your brother I suffered several ailments (kidney stones, broken toe, Bells palsy) and with your pregnancy I have had none of these issues. However, the biggest difference has been hormonal. I was completely even-keeled during my first pregnancy, but this one has been a whirlwind of emotions. I’ve been irritable, sad, angry, and even depressed throughout the entire pregnancy with no idea what each day would bring. Some days I was my regular old self and other days I hardly recognized myself. It has definitely been a long nine months for me and your dad and brother (sorry guys). Physically I feel much stronger and more prepared this go around, but emotionally it has been exhausting. I really thought the whole trope about pregnant women being hormonal was blown way out of proportion during my first pregnancy, but now I completely see where this notion comes from.

As the pregnancy comes to an end I am both saddened a bit by the idea that this is the last time I will feel a baby growing inside me and excited to be through with this chapter of my life. I think you understood my desire to soak up this last beautiful experience as much as possible and thus you moved so insanely frequently and violently inside me I can now say I am ready to be done. Seriously. You contorted my belly so much I had strangers in public give me horrified looks when my shirt began poking out at crazy angles and degrees. I looked like I was birthing an alien. I will always remember the way it felt to have my hipbone and ribs stretched and punched at the same time internally. You are so active, even in these last few days that I wonder if you will ever sleep once you are born. It definitely doesn’t feel like you sleep much now.

I don’t know what to expect from your actual labor. I pray it is much quicker than your brother’s (30+ hours) and at least this time I will know what to expect going into it. Your brother was born at 38 weeks so it looks as though you are going to make me wait a bit longer than he did. I do know I am just as excited to meet you as I was with your brother. I can’t wait to see what you look like and hold you in my arms for the first time. And when you look up into my face for the first time I know I will feel completely at ease and as if I’ve known you forever, just as I did with your brother. Just thinking about that moment gets me emotional. So be it a long and laborious labor or a quick and exciting one, it will be worth every ounce of pain and tear shed to finally have you part of our family. So not to rush you, baby girl, but you can come whenever you are ready because we certainly are ready to meet you!

A Unique Baby Shower

baby shower

So having a baby shower for your second baby is always a little different since you already have most of the baby gear you’ll need from baby number one. Since we are having a girl this time around I knew I could always have a “sprinkle”, a small shower intended to provide clothing for the baby. Or there is the always useful “diaper shower” in which everyone brings a pack of diapers and/or wipes so you’re stocked up for awhile after baby arrives. But we cloth diaper so we are already set on that end.

All smilesDecorative platebaby shower foodPainting funpainting baby shower

After thinking about it I realized all I really wanted to do was hang out with friends and celebrate the upcoming birth of my little girl. We didn’t need baby gear, or diapers, or clothes (because as I previously wrote I am sort of obsessively buying outfits for her already) so I decided to have it at a pottery painting venue and have everyone paint a small personalized item for her. And because I seem to be nesting a LOT with this pregnancy, but have very little that actually needs to be done it was nice to have something to put some effort into. I had way too much fun making the shower favors, lol.

baby shower favorsbaby shower candiesgift bags

It turned out to be exactly what I needed. At 32 weeks pregnant I’m starting to get tired easily and enjoyed having a morning of visiting with my girl friends, leisurely painting, and enjoying a few hours of toddler-free time. And my baby girl will have a collection of beautiful thoughtful unique gifts. Oh, and I got to pig out on yummy snacks and a most delicious raspberry lemonade cake (thank you SO much, Hilary) so this was one very happy and satisfied pregnant lady.

baby shower cake

It was also an amazing shower because my mom flew in from California to surprise me and be here for it. She wasn’t able to attend my first baby shower in Florida so it was so special to have her here for my second and last shower.

Me and momSmile

Cuddling my friend’s newborn baby girl today has made me all the more excited to meet my own little girl. I’m enjoying these last few weeks of pregnancy more so than with my first because I’m not nervous of the unknown like I was with my son. I don’t feel nearly as stressed as I did at this point last time and other than the regular last trimester aches and pains things are going surprisingly well and easy. This pregnancy has seemed to fly by much quicker and I can hardly believe I’m so close to the end.
Thank you to all the wonderful ladies who came out to celebrate with me today and to all those who couldn’t be here and sent me beautiful gifts and well wishes. I can’t wait for everyone to meet our little Thea!

Third Trimester

Third trimester is here!

I’m just a couple days away from week 28 of this pregnancy, so I think I can consider myself in the third trimester! We’re in the homestretch now. And as excited as I am to meet my little girl, I must admit I am also already beginning to romanticize this pregnancy and anticipate the sadness I’ll feel at no longer being pregnant. I know my first trimester was hell, but the second was so nice I’ve actually been able to enjoy the experience.

Things are progressing quickly now. I took my glucose tolerance test last week and have yet to hear anything from my doctor, so that means I must have passed. Yay! With the last pregnancy I failed the test by TWO points and had to do the 3 hour test which was no fun at all. I was also happy that this time around they had the fruit punch flavor, which was far more palatable than the orange I took with my first pregnancy. This drink was both dye-free and BVO-free also, which is a step in the right direction in my opinion.

third trimester glucose test

I’m at the stage of pregnancy now where I go every two weeks to the doctor for checkups which also makes the time seem to go by faster somehow. It’s almost time to start thinking about touring the hospital, packing a hospital bag, and washing all the baby clothes.

Speaking of baby clothes… I can’t stop buying things for little miss. I was not that way at all with my son, but I suppose I didn’t have to be because I was gifted so many wonderful hand-me-downs from friends. I mean I was given everything from newborn to 4T with him so I guess I never felt the urge to purchase much. And let’s be honest, there are just so many adorable girl outfits. I hit up the local thrift stores and rummage sales and walk away with a bag or two of adorable clothes for dollars. I’ve got clothing from newborn – 18 months so far, and have spent about $100 total. But as I sorted through them the other day, I realized it’s about time to stop shopping. I’d hate to have too many outfits on hand and end up not using them all. It’s also become a game for me because I’m not a huge fan of the color pink so I’ve been determined to seek out outfits with little or no pink in them, which is pretty hard with baby girl clothes, lol.

More girl clothing Baby swimsuit Baby clothes

As we get closer and closer to adding this fourth member to our family, my son gets more and more independent. I’ve been relieved at how well he seems to be handling the thought of a sister. I know the reality will be a whole other story, but right now he loves to kiss and sing to his sister every day and is constantly grabbing things at the stores he wants us to buy for her. It’s so heartwarming. And my little boy who used to cry if I left his side not more than six months ago is all geared up and excited to start summer school. He tells me he can’t wait to go to school “all by myself”. I can’t believe how big he is getting, but as much as it tugs at my heart to see my baby growing, it also reassures me that the spacing of our children is just right for us. A year ago he would have been devastated I think to have to share mommy with another, but now he yearns for more freedom and revels in doing things all by himself. I think he’s going to end up being a fantastic help with this baby and I can’t wait to see the two of them together.

Siblings

So less than three months on the countdown. Here’s hoping this last trimester is as smooth and enjoyable as the second was.

Viability Week

We have now reached an important milestone in this pregnancy; 24 weeks which is considered viability week. Of course, I would never want my baby born so early, but it’s reassuring to know we’ve reached the point that should anything happen, our baby girl would now have a fighting chance at surviving outside my womb.

As this pregnancy progresses I am struck by how different it is from my first pregnancy. My second trimester with my son included lots of backaches, strong cravings for sugar, and a horrible kidney stone episode that landed me overnight in my L&D. With this little girl, I have nearly no muscle pains (although the ligament pains are similar), I have very little desire for sweets, and thankfully there have been no kidney stones this time around (knock on wood). Of course I learned my lesson with my son’s pregnancy and have been extremely good about drinking lots of water to stave off the kidney stones which I’m prone to and have been religious about working out (once I got out of the exhausting first trimester) to help with back pain. The only big issue I’ve had in this trimester with baby girl is ongoing insomnia. But even that is manageable as I can usually get in a quick nap if I failed to get any sleep the night before.

This pregnancy also seems a bit easier because I know what to expect. The unknown with the first pregnancy was so nerve-wracking. I spent so much time reading and googling and questioning friends and family about every little thing, but this time around I use that time to read for pleasure or work on small projects around the house, or, let’s be honest, entertain my toddler son.

My favorite aspect so far though, has been sharing this experience with my son. He loves to yell at his baby sister through my tummy and asks me every few days if my baby is coming out yet. He also loves looking at the album I made for my pregnancy with him and pointing out all the pictures of my big belly and exclaiming “That’s me in there?” He also enjoys sharing his toys with his sister, which usually means he’s rolling a car or pressing a toy against my belly button. It is so fun to see the pregnancy through my toddler’s eyes. It truly does seem more magical.

Sharing Cars                                       Talking to his sister

 

And since this blog serves not just to share my experiences with friends and family, but also as a digital baby book for my children here are some observations I want to remember thus far in my pregnancy:

  • Baby girl is a mover! She twists and turns and throws punches or kicks all night long (which may be contributing to the insomnia)
  • Cravings: Mostly fresh vegetables and fruits. Tomatoes (which I never liked much pre-pregnancy) and cucumbers have become a staple breakfast dish. Anything spicy.
  • Aversions: Chicken, pork, red meat. I can eat them if someone else prepared them, but I don’t like cooking them myself. This pregnancy we’ve lived off of fish and vegetarian dishes mainly. I’m not complaining, it’s been a healthy several months around here.
  • Issues: Picking a name has been much harder this time around. There are far too many girl names and narrowing it down and selecting one is proving difficult. I think we may have settled on one, but I’m not convinced yet. With my son I just knew it was right, and I’m waiting to feel a similar emotion with this one. Shopping is my other vice now. We don’t need much since we have most the baby gear needed, but I can’t go by a secondhand store or rummage sale without buying some adorable girl outfit I see. She’s going to have outfits for the first year of her life by the time she makes her appearance at this rate.
  • Second trimester: Pros: Lots of energy, lots of nesting, no more morning sickness               Cons: Lots of ligament pains and pelvic discomfort (she’s already head down and very low), insomnia

So far this pregnancy seems to be zipping by. And although I’m excited to meet our little girl, I will miss some of these beautiful pregnancy moments.

It’s A Girl

It's a girl

Although I had been predicting a girl throughout this entire pregnancy, it was exciting to have it confirmed by ultrasound last week. Now I can start calling our baby “her” and telling my son about his sister. It was also nice to see a healthy and active baby bouncing around on the screen. She was so active in fact, we failed to get any good profile or head images from her. I was just happy the technician managed to get all the vital organ and structural readings she needed, although it took her awhile as she chased our little girl around my womb.

This pregnancy has definitely been different so far. The first trimester I was much more sick than with my son and for the first time I understood when people refer to pregnant women as hormonal. With my son I didn’t have any mood swings or depression, but with this one I have. I cry easier, I get upset over little things, and I have had a lot more anxiety. But it’s far better now in the second trimester. With my energy levels back up and no more morning sickness to keep me down, I’m feeling a thousand times better than I was six weeks ago.

My son was a very active baby, but this little one appears to be giving him a run for his money. She wiggles and kicks a lot and I began feeling her move in my 15th week. Now at nearly 19 weeks the movements are getting stronger and much more frequent. My son has enjoyed feeling my belly and laughing when she kicks his hand.

I’m also experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions already. These started around the 17th week. With my son I believe they began somewhere around the 20-22 week. We’ll see if I get them as frequently as I did when I was pregnant with my son.

This pregnancy seems to be flying by, whereas I felt like I was pregnant forever with my son. Part of this is the fact that working from home and caring for a toddler tend to make the days go by very quickly, but part of it also comes down to the bittersweet fact that this is my last pregnancy and I want to savor each moment of it, so it tends to feel like it’s flying by quickly. I’m trying to appreciate it all, even the days I feel miserable, because I know in the blink of an eye the baby I’m carrying will suddenly be a toddler and then in school and then a teen, etc. etc. Time does seem to go much faster now that I have children and I struggle with wanting to soak in every amazing moment and wanting to have a bit more “me” time.  I suppose that isn’t likely to go away until the kids are grown and moved out on their own.

As I approach the halfway mark of this pregnancy I am excited to start preparing for our little girl’s arrival. I was pretty set on having two boys, but now that I know I’m having a girl I am thrilled. It’s going to be a new and thrilling road for our family.

Pregnancy Insomnia

 

Pregnancy insomnia

Pregnant woman with insomnia

This pregnancy has been worlds different from my first. Not only was the first trimester plagued with awful morning sickness, but I’ve been dealing with pregnancy insomnia practically the entire duration so far. I had a few incidents of insomnia when I was pregnant with my son, but nothing like this.

About 5 days a week I fall asleep for about 3-4 hours and then wake up. Once awake I’m usually awake for 2-4 hours before falling back asleep for a couple more hours rest before the morning. It’s very frustrating. I have tried everything. Soothing yoga at night, herbal teas, relaxation techniques, listening to calming music. Nothing seems to make me tired once I’m up. The energy that I wish I had during the day is coming to me at 2 am when it’s not appreciated.

At least I know I’m not alone. About 75 % of pregnant women report issues with insomnia. I’m not sure how many of them are suffering chronic insomnia like I am, but most know the frustration of it at some point in their pregnancy. If I surf the pregnancy web boards in the wee hours of the morning I am always relieved to see posts from other insomniacs.

The good news for me is since I work from home I am able to rest a bit during the day. I try to nap at least 30 minutes a day when my son is sleeping and that helps rejuvenate me a bit. If I’m unable to sleep during the day I try to find time to engage my son in some solo activity so I can at least put my feet up and relax a bit.

Oh, and I have found a new remedy that has been working well the past few nights. I stumbled upon the classic PBS show The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross on Netflix and am happy to report it has been aiding me in falling back asleep when insomnia strikes. Between the hypnotic painting techniques and the fact that Bob Ross has potentially the most calming and soothing voice ever, I can usually drift into sleepland within 30 – 45 minutes of turning it on. I hope this continues to work and who knows maybe I’ll become a better painter too.

Pregnancy insomnia is just one of many pregnancy symptoms that drive women crazy for nine months, but I also know how fast those months go by. Like all the other annoying side effects, it will pass and in the end will be totally worth the outcome.

Do you have any cures for pregnancy insomnia? If so feel free to share them with me. Thanks.

Baby #2 Is On Board

Baby Heartbeat

We are happy to announce we are completing our family and I am pregnant with baby #2. I’d like to be a bit more enthusiastic, but you’ll have to forgive me as these past 13 weeks have taken their toll on me. I thought I was tired with my son, but that was nothing compared to the all-draining 24 hour exhaustion I’ve experienced this go around. And I won’t even get into the morning sickness aspect of it. Let’s just say I lost weight this trimester rather than gained it.

But as the first trimester has come to a close I have begun to feel more human again. The morning sickness is infrequent and my energy levels are returning. By returning I mean I have a great deal of energy for the first four or five hours of the day before the exhaustion sets back in. But at this point I’ll take any energy I can get. It means I can start cooking real meals again for my family, get the household chores accomplished, and even sneak in a quick workout if I time things correctly.

This pregnancy has been different not just physically, but also emotionally. With caring for my 2.5 year old, I am unable to obsess over this pregnancy the way I did with him every minute of every day. But, on the flipside I get to share the joy and excitement with my son who talks about being able to help dress and bathe the baby when it’s here. I am so excited to see him as a big brother and I love seeing him grow more and more independent every day. He’s also been the sweetest boy when I’m sick; constantly patting my head and saying “poor mama” and “you’ll feel better soon.” He’s already a caregiver so I know he’ll do wonderful with the baby.

I started this blog to chronicle my pregnancy and my son’s early life and now I am expanding it to include my experiences with our second little one. I look forward to re-experiencing some of the great joys of infanthood and seeing the differences between my two children. I’m also hoping that I’ll be better at updating the blog more regularly now. I love this blog and re-reading my entries always brings back so many (mostly) wonderful memories so I am hoping to get reinvigorated and return to my love of writing and recording life with my kids.

Why I don’t assume every woman I meet wants a child

not every woman wants a child

Now that I’m a parent my life has changed tremendously. My Facebook page is filled with my little boy’s grinning face, my social life has dwindled dramatically, my hobbies have been momentarily pushed aside to make room for diaper changes, feedings, playing and (if I’m lucky) sleep. Everything is a little more complicated now that I have a completely dependent little being attached to me. And I love it. I gush all the time about my kid.

But I can tell you one thing that hasn’t changed. Now that I have a child I am not about to start advocating parenthood to my friends (or new acquaintances) who don’t have kids. I remember all too well how many women glorified motherhood to me or offered unasked for advice when learning I didn’t have children. So I’m determined to not fall into that trap of the child-pushing friend, or worse stranger.

I waited to have my first child until I was 31. By today’s standards that’s not that old, but depending on where you live in the country it may be considered odd. We were living in the southern U.S. around this time and I was definitely treated by many as though I were rapidly approaching the dreaded old maid territory. I was very used to new coworkers asking how many children I had, taking for granted I must have kids at my age. It became normal for perfect strangers to ask about my reproductive plans. It’s almost on par with asking about the weather when chatting casually with a woman; “So do you have any children?” I was never offended by the question. Just the responses.

The offensive responses always came from parents by the way. If someone without children inquires about kids they generally are just asking to be polite. But parents find it to be a bonding experience (which it is) and thus often are unintentionally offensive in their replies.  Everything from “Don’t worry you still have time” to the always inappropriate “What are you waiting for?” (always said with a playful grin so as not to be considered rude).

I understand that the majority of replies do not come from parents who are aiming to insult or shame the parentless woman. It stems from the misconception in our society that all women want to be mothers. But just as I have no desire to own a home and live the “American Dream”, I realize motherhood is not the goal for all females. That is why these types of responses irked me. They annoyed me because they presumed to know what I wanted. It didn’t matter that I did want kids, they had no way of knowing that.

For the five years I lived in the south I often felt judged by my decision to put-off having children. One glaring example of this is when a couple months into trying to conceive I had to go to the hospital for potential strep throat. When the nurse taking my vitals asked the routine “Is there any chance you may be pregnant?” question I cheerfully announced we were officially trying so it was a possibility. I was excited to say this because for the past fifteen years my answer to that was always an emphatic no. It made the whole baby experience just a little bit more real for me to be able to say I could possibly be pregnant. That joy was short lived however when the nurse mumbled “how old are you?” and then seeing my age in the chart said “Oooh, yeah you should get started.” Here is a medical professional (not very professional) telling a healthy 30 year old that she needs to hurry up and have kids. I was so shocked I didn’t even respond. I have since come up with many responses I wish I had used.

The point is, I know what it’s like to have people you hardly know pry into your reproduction history and future. Even for someone who wants to have kids, it’s not pleasant. And for those who truly don’t want children, there’s nothing worse than hearing “you’ll change your mind” or “you’ll regret it.” It’s a bit pompous to declare you know how a person feels or should feel. And of course there is always the issue of infertility. For those who struggle to conceive, these seemingly “innocent” remarks and queries can be devastating. Why even take the chance of inflicting such pain?

And to be clear, I don’t think asking someone if they have kids is insulting or rude. It truly can be a casual conversation starter or create an instant connection. Go ahead and ask. But if the answer is no, resist the urge to give your opinion or advice. You have no way of knowing what their situation is and unless they ask they probably don’t want to hear about how life changing and spectacular your children are.

That’s not to say that parents shouldn’t take pride in their children or talk about their kids. My childfree friends and family are inundated on social media with my frequent updates and newest pictures of my boy. Trust me I completely understand how happy parents can assume everyone would want to have a child of their own. But that’s not the case. Nor should it be. I may be awash in new mommy pride but it hasn’t made me any less aware of the fact that not everyone wants to have this experience. In fact now that I have a child I am more aware of the reasons someone would choose not to have kids.

When I meet a woman without children I just assume she does not want them. It’s safer that way. It prevents me from saying insensitive things like “you might change your mind” or launching into the top ten reasons I am so happy to have had a kid. And if they do want children and wish to discuss children with you they can bring it up themselves. Leave the ball in their court because it’s not safe to assume every woman of childbearing age is dreaming of babies.