There it is… the picture of a beautifully glowing pregnant Beyoncé, and twins no less. My first reaction is, “that’s exciting for her”, I am always happy for someone adding a blessing, or two to their family. My second reaction is jealousy.
I’ve given birth to two daughters of my own, so mine is not the jealousy of not being able to conceive. I certainly feel for anyone who faces that struggle. My jealousy is meeting the man of my dreams at an age where we didn’t feel it was the best choice for me to have another pregnancy.
When my husband and I started our relationship I was almost 43 years old, he was 38. He has two beautiful children as well, my bonus daughter and son. Together we made a beautifully blended family of 6. We also were blessed to have a granddaughter who was 2, now we have 2 granddaughters. I now having a baby well into your 40’s is beginning to become more of the norm. Heck, Janet Jackson just had a baby at 50. But there are so many more factors to think of when you are starting a second marriage than just having a pregnancy at an older age.
At the time of our decision, our children spent 50% of their time with us and 50% of their time with their other parent. How would they feel if they had a new sibling that got to spend 100% of their time with their parent while they couldn’t? We wouldn’t want any of our children to feel like they didn’t deserve the same thing and unfortunately that choice isn’t ours alone. Their other parents deserve time with them too.
There were medical concerns to think of. My husband was born with a heart defect requiring open heart surgery as a baby. His two children’s pregnancies were closely watched for any heart issues. Happily, there were none, but another child may have had a different result. My two daughters were both born with visual impairments, one with Optic Nerve Atrophy and one with bilateral congenital cataracts (for more information read my previous blog, Remember, When Life hands you Lemons…). There was the concern that a third child for me may have a visual impairment as well. There were also the concerns of being “advanced maternal age” that increased the odds of too many birth defects to mention. I would never be able to terminate a pregnancy due to defects and I was working full-time, what would we do? If I had known I would be a stay-at-home Mom two years later that might have changed this part of the decision.
We were also Grandparents already. The age difference from our oldest child to a new child would be too significant, 18+ years, for them to ever really enjoy a true sibling relationship and certainly never be able to grow up in the same home.
Based on those concerns, we decided that a child together was not in the plans for us. We have struggled with that decision ever since because nothing would please us more than to have a child that was a piece of both of us. Even though we struggle and wonder “what if” we know it was the best decision we could make for our family. What we didn’t know at the time was that blood doesn’t make you feel like children are yours. The bonds my husband and I have with all four children are amazing. They are ours in every way.
So now I get my baby fix from my granddaughters. I’m certain with four children between us there will be many more grandchildren to come. Our youngest child is 9 so we have many years to enjoy new family additions.
Beyoncé, yes I am happy for you, and yes I am still jealous, but I have an amazing Blended Life and that makes me a Happy Wife.
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