Hey, some of us are not having babies!

A childless Facebook friend had a horrible experience at the dentist last week. Her hugely pregnant hygienist never stopped talking about her baby and she had to sit while doing the work, forcing my friend into awkward positions. But that wasn’t the worst of it. My friend was having an impression made of her teeth. The hygienist clamped a goop-filled mold onto her teeth. It was supposed to stay on for 15 minutes. The patient waited over 45 minutes while she could hear the hygienist talking to other people in the building about her baby. She knew it was too long but felt helpless to do anything about it. By the time the hygienist came back, the stuff had hardened so much it had to be painfully chipped off. The impression was ruined. I hope the hygienist was fired.

It’s not always that way. The last time I had my teeth cleaned, my hygienist was about to go on maternity leave. Once in a while her belly bumped against me, but she was completely professional and did not talk incessantly about the baby.

I know having a baby is exciting, probably the most exciting thing that can happen to a woman, but sometimes it’s hard to hear.

Another friend recently got pregnant via in vitro treatments. I’m happy for her and praying the pregnancy results in a healthy baby. But do we need a daily report of every symptom and every little doodad you have purchased for the baby? The rest of us are still back in no-baby land.

Today is my great-niece’s first birthday. She lives far away. I can’t get away to see her. My nephew posted a video of her first steps last week. So cute, but I’m missing it all. I will never get to experience the milestones of life with a little one, not my own, not a grandchild, not even my great-niece while all around me people are glorying in babies. Even at my age, that still hurts a lot.

Meanwhile, I’m torn between dog and dad. Annie got her stitches out yesterday. Her incision seems to be healing well. She is walking gingerly on her repaired leg. I’m still afraid to leave her alone for long, but this morning I slept in for the first time in weeks because she can finally take herself outside through her doggie dog. Before, the inflatable collar around her neck made her too wide to get through.

As for Dad, I’m heading back to California Monday for his next appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. Pray the doctor says he can start trying to walk. I don’t know how he’ll survive if he gets bad news again. He hates the nursing home, but we really don’t know if he’ll ever get to go back to living in his own house. Complicating matters, he was being taken to Kaiser yesterday for a bad cough. I’m still waiting to hear what the doctor said. What if it’s something worse? Sunday is Father’s Day. I won’t be there. What if it’s his last? I can’t let my mind go there.

Father’s Day. Childless male readers, I’m sorry about this stupid holiday which causes pain for everyone who isn’t a father or who doesn’t have a living father. Women get more attention for Mother’s Day, but Father’s Day is tough for men, too. As with the women, I suggest that you stay away from social media the whole weekend and get out of town if you can. Don’t expect your stepchildren to honor you. It’s probably not going to happen. Go fishing. Take a hike. Read a good book until it’s over.

So that’s what I’m thinking about this week. What’s on your minds?



10 thoughts on “Hey, some of us are not having babies!

  1. When people, mostly family, start ribbing me about not having kids, I tell them to take a hike. I can’t be bothered. I got lots of nieces/nephews/great nieces/nephews, etc.


  2. I think I dislike Father’s Day as much as Mother’s Day. My husband has a grown daughter from his first marriage; they aren’t close, but he is still recognized (to a small extent) on Father’s Day. I resent that a bit, because after we were married he decided he didn’t want more children. It’s just hard to celebrate Father’s Day for him when I’ll never have a Mother’s Day. Last year we moved to the same geo area as his father, so we now celebrate Father’s Day even more– and I’m not looking forward to it. I’d love to excuse myself from it, but the gathering is at our house– and I’d be a lousy hostess if I bailed out 😉
    So instead, I’ll remind myself that it’s just a day and that it’s nice for my husband to be able to spend it with his dad– and I’ll treat myself to a deliberately selfish indulgence that my friends and family members who have children cannot typically enjoy 🙂


  3. Thank you, Sue, for the book and the blog. I was beginning to think that my situation was a special case, but I am thankful, though sad, that there are others out there dealing with similar situations.
    I am 35 and my husband is 43. He has two boys from his first marriage, ages 12 and 15. He has had a vasectomy for about 11 years. Before we married this last October, we discussed children. While I was undecided, with no strong urge at the time, he did say that he would be happy to discuss the whole baby thing if I ever did make up my mind. Well after a few months and after getting married it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been helping raising his boys for the last six years and now I know I want an child with this man that I love so much. He doesn’t want one and pretty much thinks that having one would ruin his life. I have never settled down, owned a house or stayed in one spot until I met my husband. Now I finally feel I am in the right place and am feeling the emptiness of being childfree. He says that he and the two boys should be enough for me and why can’t that just be enough to make me happy? He doesn’t understand how much it is killing me and thinks it’s strange that I would mourn the loss of a child that was never born. Thanks to your blog and book, at least I know now that is a normal feeling and I am not crazy. But we have been seeing a marriage counselor and I was shocked that she recommended a separation since he isn’t going to change his mind and thinks that if I want kids, I should not hold myself back from that. I don’t want to get divorced and just have a baby with any man, but it is hard to stand next to a man who would rather live without me than give me a chance at a baby. I just want him to get a reversal to the vasectomy and then try it the natural way. Not asking for in vitro or anything, just want my chance to have a baby. It’s getting so bad I can’t look at pictures of him as a child or my stepsons when they were younger. Do the husbands ever come around? Had anyone else ever had a marriage counselor jump to divorce in the first session? I feel like I am too old to start over and would feel terrible abandoning my stepson but the counselor says that I can think about that or worry about them. Any help or insight would be appreciated.


    • Dear Adventure Girl, what a bummer. I see this happen so often. If you look at it from his perspective, it makes some sense. With his boys already at this age, having a baby would mean starting over just when he’s getting close to being done with active parenting. But he needs to look at your needs, too. And he needs to understand that stepchildren are almost never enough, no matter how well everyone gets along. It’s just not the same. It can’t be. They are not biologically connected to you, and they have an actual mother. Make sure your husband understands that. Now, that counselor was way out of line in my opinion. You’d think she’d try to work on the situation a bit before jumping to divorce. Do husbands ever come around? Sometimes, but I think it’s rare. {Readers, do you know of anyone who changed their minds?} One thing you need to be aware of is that a vasectomy reversal after 11 years may not work. The longer it’s been, the harder it gets. So you might have to resort to other methods. It’s going to be up to you to decide which you want more, to stay with your husband or to have a child. It’s a choice nobody should have to make, but that’s how it is.


    • I can’t really offer much advice, but I can relate. I can tell you that the resentment, that he would rather live without you than give you a chance at a baby, never really goes away. I’m not saying that I am angry at my husband every day, but that resentment kind of hangs there in the back of my mind always. I’m not completely surprised by the counselor’s response. The situation of one person wanting a baby and the other not wanting one is generally considered irreconcilable. Suggesting a separation sort of pushes you to examine how important having a baby is vs. the relationship. I actually am a counselor ironically, but I stopped practicing partially because as someone with no family I felt that clients wouldn’t really feel I could help them. I guess I thought the same. Anyway, I also felt it was too late to start over. Now, I’m nearly 40, so it kind of really is too late. When I first got myself into this situation I was still in my 20s, but it still felt too late. Looking back, I wished I gave myself that second chance. I guess it’s never going to feel like the right time to make a really hard choice.


  4. Wow, great article, Sue! I agree that people are completely obnoxious about their pregnancy announcements and symptoms and complaints! I’m at that age where everyone is having babies, and lots of growing children! First of all, it really isn’t too safe to post pictures of your young son or daughter in their swimsuits standing in front of your house for so many reasons! Come On people! But since I was childless by marriage in my first marriage, it really hit home and hurt so much to see sonograms popping up everyday.
    Now I am 9 months pregnant and haven’t done much more than announce I’m expecting, no sonograms, no symptoms, no dates! just because it pissed me off when they were “so excited and happy to have a baby” but never even once asked me how I was doing! Thanks for the post.


    • Crystal, today my friend who was constantly sharing her every symptom reported that she lost the baby. So sad. She went through a lot to get pregnant and says next time she’s going to keep things private. I understand your frustration and thank you for this comment.


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