Dear Naysayers

For some reason, in the past week, it has come to our attention that there might be a few folks who are of the opinion that the Knight and I are shall we say, off our rockers, for deciding to have children given our age difference, or rather, the Knight’s age. I have to say, this has taken me a bit by surprise, although it shouldn’t. I wish I could pretend that it doesn’t bother me, but it does.

I think what is bothering me the most is the implication, by the Knight’s son and apparently some of our teammates (we found out third hand), that that our decision to have children is somehow an impulsive, irrational, or uninformed decision. My words, not theirs. This really upsets me because nothing could be farther from the truth. It was a long, hard, and thoughtful journey for us to get to this point.

Without going into too much detail, I will share that the Knight and I spent a great deal of time overthinking our decision to be together and to start a family together. Like years. In fact, on more than one occasion we took time apart either because we were considering the issue or because we were fighting our instincts.

As somewhat of a side note, one thing that I have not explicitly stated on this blog, which is the number one question I get when I talk to people in person, is why we are doing IVF. The answer is that 20 years ago the Knight had a vasectomy. I knew about this before we even started dating and we discussed the kids issue very early on.

We seriously considered what it would mean to start a family together. For me, having children was non-negotiable and led us to seriously consider things. Meanwhile, we observed friends and loved ones dying, fighting cancer, and losing spouses way too young ages. The message seemed to be that you only live once and that you need to live each day to the fullest and not let the “what ifs” about what could happen in 20 or 30 years affect your ability to enjoy the present and appreciate what is right in front of you.

I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. I could have a heart attack. I could get cancer. Or the Knight could. I kept asking myself if I should stay away from this man that – other than being 20 years older than me – was totally perfect for me, because of the possiblity of what might happen far in the future. At one point my mom told me that I needed to stop fighting it. And I did.

So yeah, the Knight is 57 and about to become a dad again. That’s a big deal. But seriously, how many 57 year olds do you know who recently completed an Ironman and a few marathons? And let’s not even talk about the fact that he essentially has more energy than I do. I mean, come on. His zest for life and great attitude are infectious.  The Knight is totally serious when he tells me very well may outlive me. Just watch.

I don’t need to tell my blog readers that contrary to the opinion that the Knight’s son expressed last weekend (although he should know better because he supposedly has seen this blog and knows about the IVF) that our having a child was about..how’d he say it, oh yeah, enjoying the baby-making process, nothing could be farther from the truth. Geez.

I won’t even go into the financial aspect of this. We are fortunate that we could chose to make some sacrifices and use our hard-earned money for this purpose. I will say that the financial side of this was a consideration but by no means a deal breaker.

But as anyone who has regularly read this blog can guess, this was a difficult, invasive, yet absolutely worthwhile process for us. It is not something that anyone would offhandedly or impulsively undertake. So no, the process was NOT fun, thank you very much. If you subject yourself to over 200 injections, multiple medical procedures, and the cost of a nice luxury car, it isn’t because you’ve decided that IVF sounds like a good time. Ugh!

Thanks for reading. I needed to get that off my chest. Sometimes it is really easy to look at a situation and think you understand it and maybe second guess it. But as I’ve always said, you really never know what’s going on with others unless you’re in their shoes. That, and there’s a lot that goes on that you can’t see from the outside.

Yes, we’re really happy. No, it was not an easy road to get here. Maybe that’s why we appreciate things so much. We are truly excited to meet the little Olive and start a family together. We appreciate all of the support we have been given.

PS – Since I’m putting this all out there, to answer a question I know you all are wondering because it is the first question that people ask when they find out about the vasectomy… Yes, we considered trying a reversal. However, the odds of success were such (40-50%) that our doctor, who has since become our friend and then our teammate)  said that given my age (35 at the time), we had much better odds with IVF. This suggestion hit me like a ton of bricks and we took a few months to consider it before moving forward.

ETA: I’m not sure why this posted retroactively, but I’m going to leave it.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carrie
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 10:18:18

    Hey Cat. We support you guys 100% I personally witnessed the soul searching you did before you got married. I know that you both entered the marriage and IVF with your eyes wide open and after considering all options. You two are amazing people and are one of the happiest couples I know. Don’t let the naysayers get you down. You will be terrific parents!

    Reply

  2. belostinthought
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 10:30:13

    Oh Cat…do these naysayers even have a clue about how happy you are with The Knight? You are one of the few couples that I look at with envy, and can only hope that one day I’ll have something close to what you have. I know the thought you’ve put into this, and I think that you are both going to be wonderful parents…for many, many, many, many years.

    Reply

  3. Rakelle
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 11:22:52

    My parents had their second child, my brother, when I was 15 and people were constantly critical and saying things like, “why would you start over when your daughter is about to leave for college in a few years”. Plus when I took my brother out people would assume that I was a teenage mother and treat me badly. It shocks me that people feel that they are entitled to have (and express) an opinion about our decision to reproduce. The Olive is lucky to have the two of you as parents. Wishing you all the best!

    Reply

  4. Liz
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 11:32:05

    My Mom’s dad was 67 when she was born and her Mom was 38. I think people thought they were crazy too, but my Mom was the joy of both her parents’ lives. My Mom was totally crazy about her Dad, and his age didn’t matter to her at all. I’m sorry your friends are closed-minded, but you are one of the most conscientious people that I know. I can’t imagine how anyone that knows you could ever think that you would have done something like this without putting a lot of thought into it. You guys are a fantastic, loving couple and will be great parents. The little Oliver in definitely one lucky kid.

    Reply

  5. Jess
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 14:04:20

    Wow! What a thoughtless thing to say.

    This whole process is a long and difficult road – not to mention time consuming, and just life consuming. It takes people 100% dedicated and informed to make the decision to go for it! You both are so strong and dedicated! I really admire you both for going for what you want – in spite of knowing that it will be challenging.

    Reply

  6. Emily
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 15:54:21

    Cat, you have such great instincts, such a big heart! I just wanted to let you know that. The decision making processes you both have gone through (to marry, to have a child, to go through IVF) are as important as the decisions themselves. Those processes will no doubt hold you in good stead when Little Olive comes into your lives and wham! it will seem like every day requires new decisions. Don’t let the naysayers overrule your instincts and your hearts!

    Reply

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