WHERE WE BEGAN…
Eddie and I fell in love 18 years ago at the gym and are about to celebrate our 13-year wedding anniversary this May. For most of those years, neither of us thought we’d become parents. We just didn’t feel called to do it. We were happily focused on building our careers, having fun together, competing in the NPC/IFBB and raising our fur babies. We were so content, it never occurred to us that something could be missing.
From time to time, we’d talk about parenthood, but the conversation always ended with, “We’re not ready.” Looking back, I now know that you rarely feel “totally ready,” you just have to leap when you think you might be “kinda ready.” But, that’s a conversation for another day.
AM I EVEN MOM MATERIAL?
The truth is, up until recently, I never dreamt of being a Mom. I dreamt of being in love, building a career, traveling, writing…but never being a Mom. Maybe it’s because I was always the baby of the family. Maybe because I wasn’t around young children a lot. Heck, I think I babysat twice, and I didn’t like it. AT ALL.
And, for the longest time, I wasn’t comfortable around babies. I was always nervous when someone wanted to hand me a newborn. Now, hand me a dog and I would kiss it right on the mouth, but babies…ehh…not so much. I can’t explain why that was, but things have certainly changed.
As I got older and my friends were having their second, third and even fourth child, I really started to question what the heck was wrong with me for not feeling giddy about motherhood. I felt like less of a “woman.” It definitely messed with my head. I actually went to therapy about it to try to sort my emotions about motherhood. Perhaps there was something holding me back that I needed to address? But, here’s what I learned at that time…I just wasn’t ready yet.
Shannon M. Clark, MD, MMS is a double board certified ObGyn and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, and founder of Babies After 35. In her roles as a clinician, educator and researcher at UTMB-Galveston, she focuses on the care of people with maternal and/or fetal complications of pregnancy. Dr. Clark has taken a special interest in pregnancy after the age of 35, which according to age alone, is considered a high-risk pregnancy. In her role as a physician caring for high-risk pregnancies, she has counseled and treated hundreds of women over the years in her very own situation, and has found a whole new respect for the challenges and complications a woman may experience when trying to have a baby later in life.
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