(originally written on February 5, 2009)
You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better. ~Maya Angelou
Now that I've reached an age where 40 no longer seems old, I've sometimes had cause to reflect on things I've done and said in the past. At no time has this been more true than since MM and I started actively trying to have a child of our own. As I've written here before, I naively thought that this endeavor would be accomplished in a relatively short time. Certainly no longer than six months. I was even concerned for a while that I'd get pregnant before we were married. (This seems laughable to me now.)
When I was younger, I used to routinely ask couples who'd been married more than six months when they were going to have a baby. It never occurred to me that the mere question might cause some of these people pain.
Likewise, I used to have no qualms about asking a couple whose only child was at least 2 when/if they planned to have another. Again, I never realized that there might be reasons that this wasn't part of their plan.
I used to think that women who were willing to put their bodies and minds through all sorts of stress with fertility treatments were missing the point and that they should "just adopt." I used to think that I would never subject myself to all that "unnecessary" poking, prodding and stress.
I used to think that when the day came that I decided to have a baby of my own, I'd have some fun, passionate, unprotected sex and get the job done in no time flat. I figured I would even have the luxury of deciding which month of the year might be most convenient for me to be giving birth.
I used to think (though, thank goodness, I never said to anyone) that maybe people who couldn't have a baby on their own "weren't meant to be parents."
I used to think (though, again, I never said to anyone) that people who were trying for a while to get pregnant should "just relax and stop trying."
I have learned a lot in the past several months.