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I always said I wanted a dog, not a puppy. Lots of people want puppies and they grow up into dogs. I wasn't giving into baby blindness. Then one day, I was watching a tv show, involved in it, and I realized I could parent a teenager. I tend to put the cart before the horse in preparedness. I had to be ready for the big picture. For me, it wasn't so much wanting a child, but finally at age 34 after 10.5 yrs of marriage, I wanted to try for the whole picture.

I wanted babies and children (notice the plural - I wanted more than one!) to be able to share something with my husband that would be a little bit of him and a little bit of me and a whole new something else. But, I unexpectedly got pregnant at 17 and was not married. So my view shifted a bit. I, then wanted my baby, my child, because I knew that something great was going to come from something that might seem to others as a mistake or a misfortune. No, I had not planned to be pregnant at 17, but I planned to continue being pregnant and delivering my baby and raising him into a man some day. He will be 14 on Thursday and is closer to being a man than I'd like, thankyouverymuch. The other two beautiful children I have birthed I had because I married a wonderful man 9 years after my first child was born and I wanted to share pregnancy, childbirth and parenting with someone who I knew loved me and would be there for me through all of it. I also have two bonus kiddos that I did not have to birth, but get to love and raise because I am married to my incredible husband. I want all of these children so I can daily see the miracle of life grow, change and form five little people into adults that will better the world and give me beautiful grandchildren!

I want to love and nurture a child--baby, young child, teenager...the whole package--with my husband. That's the reason. We are DTC 9/16 for our first child from China after doing a comparatively short stint in infertility hell compared to what you and Marco went through, Tertia. Congratulations on your beautiful babes.

ok, i am going to be lazy and link you to my blog, because i have written about it here and a little bit more . (even if these links don't work in the comments, you will get them in your email, tertia).

I've always said I do not want to have children and as you are a gorgeous and divine person, i'll tell you why:
Children are forever, as you said. That's a hell lot of responsability. That means there will be no time you won't be a mother. Ever again. I do not think i can live with that.
I want the best for me, and if i had children i would want the best for them. Not the most expensive things, just the best. That would mean the best education possible, and the best care. But i want the best for me too. Those 2 desires would be too much to handle at the same time. I'm an effing overachiever. That would be too hard.
If i had children i would want them to grow up in a nice environment, with parents in a good marriage. and the possiblity of that, at least on my mind, it's pretty slim.
In the end, i do not want to have children because I aim to high. I wouldn't be able to handle the overwhelming feeling of not being good enough.
I think I'm afraid and i think i won't be able to overcome that fear. That's why i read this and other parenting diaries: you are outstanding persons to me just for the fact that you were brave enough to face those fears every day.

oops, that didn't work quite right. don't tell anyone i'm a web designer in real life! that last bit was supposed to say ...and a little bit more here.

Wow. Great question. I think I really wanted a family. And what's a family without children?

I had a wonderful childhood. We had fantastic holidays by the beach in a caravan every year. I loved going swimming with my Dad out past where the waves broke. I spent my childhood riding the streets on my bike with my friends and spending days in the pool playing Marco Polo. I read books by the hundreds. I sat next to my dad and we watched the football together.

I suppose I want to give all that to other children so they can see how amazing life is. I want to see my husband watching the football with his children. And teaching them all the cool stuff that he knows.
And of course, I would prefer that genetically they came from my husband and I, but I have not ruled out adoption or other methods to have children.

When I think I want kids (which usually goes away after a while), it's because I want my family bond to continue after I'm gone. Or I want to make sure I have someone to care for me when I'm old. Since those are both selfish, I continue to choose not to have kids.

It seems simplistic, but I had children because I could not imnagine *not* having them.

I spent my formative years storing away bits of information about parenting: "When I have kids I want to be like this", "I want to show my children this", or "I want to explain xyz better than my mother did" ect. I always assumed I'd have kids someday.

After I had a baby at 20 and placed her for adoption, this desire to "be a mother someday" solidified into making motherhood a real goal. I'd had enough of a taste to know it's something I *really* wanted, and enoguh of a taste to know I had a lot to do to get ready.

I guess there's no short answer to this question. It's not something I ever decided, more something I always knew that I'd do.

I volunteer for an animal rescue. The pound is full of wonderful dogs that once belonged to people who wanted cute little puppies. Glad to know at least one person knows the difference.

Ok kids. I want them very much. Don't have them yet. Haven't started trying yet for many reasons. I think the moment that made me realize I was emotionally ready to be a parent happened 3 years ago when I volunteered at a summer camp for inner city kids. I met this 14 year old girl there who is still a very important part of my life. We had a talent show on the last day of camp and I had helped her prepare a routine for it all week. When she was up on stage I started weeping because I was so proud of her. When she was finished she ran off the stage and jumped into my arms. It was such a happy moment. I imagined that was just a little glimps into the relationship I would have with a daughter some day and I knew I was ready. That was the moment when I saw the difference between wanting a cute little gurgling baby to dress up and wanting to be a parent...forever! I also think seeing my relationship with my parents evolve as I've gotten older plays a huge part in it as well. I love them so much and want to experience that relationship from the other side. Oh and my husband is awesome and will be a wonderful dad. We share all the same values and the same sense of humor. I think we will raise kick ass, cool, smart, socially responsible, wonderfully sarcastic children. Can't wait.

It's what people do. Have kids. And we have done it forever.

It's really hard not to read everyone else's answer first! But I have to say, I love this question. I am not even trying yet, but here is what my heart, head and gut say:

The only thing I've ever always planned on is being a mother. I just feel parental--like it's a part of me. I seem to play that role even with my friends. I've been babysitting regularly since I was about 12. My job involves working directly with teenagers. I love watching people learn and grow and I love being the one to guide and teach! I think I have good genes and good values to pass on. I also think I will be an excellent parent!

And more selfishly: I want to extend my family. Even if I never get married (not that I don't want to--but my baby making years are running out so the baby may come before I find Mr. Right) I want a family. My only sibling is gay and will not be having children or adopting. He and his partner live several states away. My parents won't be living forever. I have a lot of love to share and I'm the kind of person who is very close to my family but I only have a few close friends. I can't imagine my family just ending with me and my brother.

And I do love children. Babies, children, teenagers...

Actually I never wanted kids when I was growing up. I hated most kids, except the cute few I babysat every once in a while.

Met my now husband, he wanted kids before we were married, but seeing how I was about 22 at the time and TOTALLY not ready for kids I said no thanks, check back when we're married and I'm over 25.

A friend of mine had a baby. And he is a demon child. I thought if this is what kids are like, holy hell, NO WAY. Pure evil in Grranimals. (however you spell it)

Then my best friend had her first baby and she is SO CUTE! The whole "aaw, I could do that" thing kicked in and I've been ready ever since. That was about 3 years ago and hopefully once we are done building our new house we're going to start trying.

I have no illusions that it will be hard, but as I don't have my own kid I don't know HOW hard. But I'm excited and ready for the next phase of life.

I think it would be fun to have a little piece of me and my husband on the earth. As long as it looks like me and has his brain :)~

Most difficult question I have ever been asked. And one that I have tried to answer 6 million times before.

For me, it all boils down to instinct. I have two beautiful boys. One I nearly lost due to a high risk pregnancy. Logic tells me that it is not wise to attempt more. I have two, they are healthy, they are beautiful. My head tells me that I should be satisfied, no longer want. That the risk of attempting another pregnancy should lead me to the reasonable conclusion that I do not want any more children.

But my heart does not often listen to my head. It defies logic and reason. Despite all my reasoning as to why I should not want more children, my heart says that I do. The only explanation I have ever been able to come up with is that I am preprogrammed to be a mother, to want kids. Instinct. That's the only explanation I have.

I didn't know how desperately I wanted a 'family' until it started to look like I couldn't have one. I started to think about the future without a family of my own and it actually frightened me. I know this might sound selfish and maybe, to some, a bit sad, but the thought of not having a family made my future appear very bleak and lonely. I've got a lovely husband; a good career; a nice house and I've travelled, but it all means nothing if I can't have a family. I don't want life to be all about me, me, me...
I have a daughter now. She's 5 months old and it just feels so right. I didn't want a 'baby', although having a baby is simply wonderful. No, I wanted a FAMILY.

I was a baby lover from the first day I stopped identifying myself as being one. When my little brother came home from the hospital I was enthralled and totally smitten. I was 4 years old.
By the time I was about 15 I had forgotten all about that stupid baby stuff and had even tired of baby sitting.
When I was 28 and married my sister was pregnant and my sister in law was pregnant and I decided I needed to take a rest from birth control and then I sort of spaced out on the rhythm method and voila! I was pregnant. Once I had one I wanted another. The third one was a diaphragm baby a.k.a. a happy accident.

I guess the answer to why I had kids is because it was time and the circumstances were right and I just grew up figuring I would have kids some day. I'd like to claim that I was more purposeful or thoughtful but I don't recall that I was.

For the record I don't take my ease at getting pregnant and having babies for granted. I never really did but I am especially thankful now that I have a window into the heartbreaking stories of infertile women all over the world. To all of you - thank you so much for sharing.

I did not want kids actually. I was a youngest child and I was never around young kids/babies so I was extremely uncomfortable around them. I tried babysitting a few times as a teen and I hated it. Then I fell pregnant unexpectedly at age 20. It was a huge shock and I was very scared. Luckily the guy who knocked me up turned out to be a standup man, a great husband(albeit 2 years after our first son was born) and a kick ass daddy.
But I'd have to say that as soon as I held my son and nursed him something just clicked for me, I knew I was meant for motherhood- for the first time in my life I felt at peace in the world. It came so naturally to me and I never once doubted myself...well not til much later on;-)
We went on to have 2 more kids. Our second child was our only planned pregnancy and if I had to give a reason for wanting a planned child it was a few things- I wanted a sibling for my son, I wanted a daughter and I found I really enjoyed being a mom.

I've just always wanted to be a mom, for as long as I could remember. I don't know how to put it into words..there are so many reasons..some selfish..some selfless. I just always wanted to be a mom.

I try to keep that in mind when this adoption thing gets too hard to take.

I have wanted to children for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to be able to share the world with others.

I have a darling husband. But I wanted to be able to show a proportion of the next generation the good, and sometimes the bad things in life.

I don't do babies that well. I am used to precision. I'm an architect. Babies are the furthest thing away from precise. I managed though. They grew into toddlers who were keen to learn and explore the world around them and then into teenagers, who don't care about anything but themselves. Most of the time.

I wanted three. I don't know what is so magic about the number three. Two just didn't feel 'right'. Three took a long time coming but I don't want more now. My love has been divided into four segments. Love, Time, Energy. I wouldn't be able to split it up anymore. Not at this point in time.

I wanted children to have responsibilities. I wanted to know that these little beings depended on Aiden and I. That makes me feel important. In a very selfish way, I longed to feel 'needed'.

I also wanted to do the biological passing down of the genes. I wanted to make my mark on this planet. Since adopting I've realised that the child doesn't need to have your genes (or half of them) to make a mark in their life. They will do it anyway. Each child does in their own special way.

Genetics mean they'll look like you. Love, devotion and time are what make them special and unique. I only realised that after adopting which is very sad.

I also wanted to be able to do that really loud 'IF you don't get into your beds in the next three seconds' yell too. Aiden just didn't fall for it, unless of course I was naked.

There's lots of things I wanted I guess. I feel like I have used my children after writing this.

Strange to say, but I can't even remember not wanting children. My favorite book as a toddler was the family medical guide section on pregnancy. (It was also my booster seat) I am told that I insisted on breastfeeding my dolls.
I married at 23 and proceeded to try to get pregnant at 25. I knew I had PCO and that it probably wouldn't be easy. After just a few months of trying to ovulate on Chlomid, my doctor laughed and told me that the last patient he put on that dose had quads. That was so scary to me that I got up and left and never went back.
I found a career and through myself into it. My husband learned to be a work-a-holic. We both worked and worked. For 15 years we never even talked about babies again except in vague maybe someday when we don't have to work terms.
Then this summer we both turned 40 and the company that we both worked so hard for went belly up. Our whole lives were in the air. Funny when we started grasping for what was important to us for the rest of our lives- having a family was first. So here we are, starting over again together. Totally different people than we were at 23. Finally we are both ready to take the next scary step. We made the decision to adopt. We are hoping to adopt 2 grade school age siblings. We already mourned our babies long ago and our new dream is for a family to love and nurture.

Here are some of my reasons (in no particular order):

-- to have the privilege of watching a person become whoever he or she will be (what an amazing gift to love, nurture and support a human being as they make their way in the world).

-- to re-experience the world in all the new ways that my child will -- as a baby, child, teenager, young adult and adult.

-- to learn and be challenged by another person in the most intimate of settings -- a family.

-- to give love (and be loved) and guidance to someone else.

-- to share the things that I love and value.

-- to see my husband, parents and grandparents experiencing all of these things, too. And to share all of it with them.

This isn't very articulate (I'm tired and man, is this an emotional subject) and I know I've left things out, but those are the basics, I think.

Tertia, thanks for asking the question and for encouraging those of us who might be stuck in that place without hope, when you just wonder what's the point? It's a sad and lonely place to be. What a wonderful thing to be reminded (and to remind ourselves) of what it's all about.

Can't wait to see everyone else's responses!


Two reasons... First, I think the love between a mother and her child is totally unique and *for me* to never have that would mean missing out on a huge chunk of the human experience. Second, I just do. It was almost a primal thing - many times I wished I could just switch it off and get on with my life, but in the end it was just a base instinct. I always knew it would be worth it in the end, and I was right.

That's a hard question to answer. I always knew I wanted children. I wanted a big family, even when I was a kid myself... I just couldn't imagine going through life without having many children.... It's like this deep down instinct that had to be fulfilled.... Before we had our own kids (while going through our infertile stage), we would borrow our nieces and nephews, so we could go do those fun family type things.... Everything is so much more fun with kids around... And now that I have them, I feel more complete.

I don't know if that's what you were really after, but it's the best I could do... Now to read the rest.


It's really really hard for me to separate why I wanted kids (from the time when I was child-less) and why I am so happy that I have them now (that I am mother to two). I can't imagine a life without them, so it is difficult to imagine why I wanted them in the first place--I can't remember what it was like without them.
When I was younger (say, 20-29) I didn't want kids. I didn't want to get married either, but there I was at age 28.75 vowing to spend my life with one man. I would always tell people--oh, I'm too selfish to have kids, I don't want to give that much. And I think that was true.
I really really enjoyed my twenties, and all the time I had to figure out who I was, to date a million different types of people, to work at different kinds of jobs. I was busy, during those years, being selfish,and figuring out who I was, and what I needed and wanted to be happy.
When I met my husband, things started to fall into place.And after a few years I started wanting something more--something bigger than me, to share with him.
And I'll tell you what, these kids are the best things that ever happened to me. I am so glad and proud that we have them, no matter what it took, or didn't take. I feel like we waited the right amount of time and experienced the right amount of life and they are just the perfect addition.

Delurking because for once I really feel I have something to say :) I want kids because I loved being a child, and I want to experience it again through adult eyes. I want to watch my kids learn to read, and I want to read all the stories I loved out loud, and discover a whole new generation of children's books, and games and hobbies. I want to teach, and I want to give assvice, and I want to watch them blossom. I love to cook for groups, and I want family dinners, and kid movies, and footed pajamas, and a house full of wild kids for sleepovers. I loved, loved, loved being a babysitter in high school, loved being a big sister, and have just always wanted to have kids be a major part of my life in what ever way that ends up happening. Why a mother rather than a teacher or a fantastic aunt? Probably because I'm a little selfish. I want to see it all. I want to be the one who makes their face light up when I come home, who gets sloppy kisses and mother's day cards, and grandkids.

Excellent question! About 8 years ago, when my husband and I decided we were ready to try for children, I hadn't really given it much thought. It was always assumed we would have children one day, the question was simply when would we be ready. Fast forward 8 years later, infertility hell, numerous ivfs, 4 losses ... I didn't even know why we were putting ourselves through it all. It seemed that because our goal was difficult to reach, we wanted it all the more. But I do have an answer to your question - I wanted to be a mother and I wanted to right some wrongs from my childhood. Now that I have my son, I'm realising there is another more compelling reason - to love someone unconditionally.

I always knew I wanted children. I really enjoyed them. I babysat so much from age 12 to 16 that I had the chance to take care of many children at various ages. I also was a day camp counselor for a community program a couple years in a row. I liked playing with them and even had some experience with children who were difficult to handle due to various circumstances in their lives. The mothers of the children I babysat all told me that I'd be a wonderful mother. After getting married I think I was attracted to babies (prob. a biological thing), but I can honestly say I like kids better. I also wanted to see how my husband and I would blend - how our children would look, act, etc. As for teenagers - well, I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. We'll see how it goes in about 10 years.

I'm 28, been married for 2 years, have 3 degrees, a good job, promising career and this is the one big issue I face: To have or not to have children.

At the moment children will just mean more work and I don't have enough time as it is. But on the other hand I don't care that much for my career and would absolutely love children, having and caring for a family. But then again, I'll demand equal effort from my husband in raising them, because I'm stuck on equal rights for all, and that makes the question of having children 100 times more difficult to answer. As a mother you end up working yourself into a stupor for everyone else and I don't think I'm ready for that, yet.

I envy all of you who never doubted this question.

i got myself pregnant by my boyfriend so he'd force to marry me. and he did... heheheh... pretty bad of me. and the baby making activity is just wonderful! =)))

Motherhood is a calling for me. I've always known I would raise children, I've always felt the desire to have a family with kids in it. It's what I do, who I am... Ingrained, I guess.

It's funny, 'cuz one of my friends from high school (A few years ago *ahem*) always knew she didn't want kids. I've known her for 20 year and she's never waivered.

I think the fundamental reason I want children is a basic, biological urge.

I have lots of good, logical reasons, too, including the fact that I think my partner will make a great dad, but they don't explain the depth and extent of my determination to have children that took me through all that fertility treatment. All I can really say is that when I thought of not having children, even though I had a very good life, it just seemed there was not point in going on, my life seemed so pointless and empty without that possibility.


As someone who does not want children, I can't answer that question personally. But I can tell you what my BF, who dearly wants children, says: He just does.

It sounds simple and actually a little silly, to me. But it's much deeper. It's a calling for him, a calling to be a father, that is very deep inside him. It is connected with what he considers his purpose in life. It's not about cute babies, or fun toddlers, or any of those things. For him, it is about being someone's father, someone's rock, someone's hero, and in turn bringing a new and unique person into this world who becomes *his* hero.

I'll be quite honest, I have tried every "rational" argument to dissuade him - kids are messy, cause a lot of pain, hard to take care of, expensive, end up hating their parents in the end anyway, blah blah blah. And while he can rationally understand where I might be coming from, he never waivers because it is not an intellectual thing for him - he feels the urge to be a father as much as he feels the urge to breathe every day.

i never really had a reason for wanting to have children.....i was 20, had been married for 7 months and found out i was pregnant. we werent trying, we tried for a year before i got pg and nothing. so we took a break from counting, measuring, waiting. we werent protecting ourselves from getting pregnant either. it just happened. once it did, i was thrilled. i was thrilled i was going to make MY parents Oma and Ompa. instead of just mom and papa. i was thrilled that my husband and i made a child. hopefully it had my complection and his build. my second child....thats a different story. it was like a need. i had to procreate. I HAD TO. the urgency was overpowering. i wanted to hold that little baby to my breast, i wanted to smell that sweet child and know, hey, i made this. i carried this. i created this in my very own body, with just one little sperm from my husband. i guess i got kind of selfish with the 2nd! maybe i just wanted to say hey, look at what i have done! isnt it fabulous?!? oh, and because i love children!! ;)

Right after I got married it was suddenly foremost on my mind. But it wasn't the right time to try yet. I first had to wait until we shipped the big pain-in-the-butt software project at work (what can I say; work had brainwashed me to the point that my priorities were screwed up). But I couldn't explain why I wanted children (and it bothered me that I couldn't). We just did. but we knew we wanted two because my husband and I are both the older of two, and it's good to have a sibling.

and I hit the jackpot that first time 'round: easy conception, easy pregnancy, easy delivery, healthy baby, wonderful child.

I knew I was lucky, but I didn't know *how* lucky. Of course, between the blogs and my own experience with pregnancy loss, I've had to learn the hard way how lucky I was. It boggles my mind every day that things were so easy. I wish I could have that back again.

So now I'm asking myself, as my miracle child gets older and I worry that she won't be as close to her sibling (assuming I don't give up trying in disgust and cowardice) as she would have if I'd had one sooner, why I'm trying again. and I don't know.

I'm stubborn: "damned if I'm going to let a miscarriage get me down, when folks like Tertia put up with so much more before getting her kids" (yes, you are a role model, you gorgeous and divine lady!)

I'm afraid: "what if I give up, and then on my deathbed I regret not having another?"

and my husband and I just haven't formally come up with a new plan.

So I don't know how many miscarriages I'll put up with before I give up. I may be gorgeous and divine, but my eggs and I are getting older so I'll have to make a decision at some point.

I hesitate to write my answer because of its cruel ignorance, or let's say, naivity. I could never picture myself as anything else but a mother. I simply wanted to be a mama. I have a wonderful mother and beloved grandmothers, so for me the thought of never being one was simply non-existent.

I prepared myself for having children, I looked for a husband who would be a good and loving father, I chose a profession that would allow me to raise children and be close to them (I'm an art teacher), I looked for a place where I could raise them the best possible way, and when the conditions were right, I tried to get pregnant. And was very very lucky because I had no problems at all. Back then, I thought this is normal but since then some IF friends and the world of blogging have taught me one or two things I didn't know before. I was simply dumb lucky.

(In brackets: I think much of the cruelty and thoughtlessness displayed by fertiles towards less-fertiles is based on the old voodoo belief that it happens only to "others". Disease, bereavement, dismissal from job, whatever. "They" must be different from me, otherwise it could happen to me, too. And this pushing-away effect is so hurtful to those who suffer without deserving it. You know it anyway. But I want every infertile to know that not all fertiles are like that.)

The highest goal of my life was motherhood, and I enjoy it immensely. I did understand in the course of years that bad things also happen to gorgeous and divine mothers like me, I did live through difficult times with my kids but never through tragedy. Until now, fate has been good to me. And I'm very grateful.

I wanted to have a house full of children, my magic number was seven. I've reached four and think that's it. We have boy, boy, girl, girl. Four is a good number. I enjoy the noise, the shoes in a row, I love them when the big boys protect the little girls, when they play cards together and tell each other their troubles.

This is what I wanted in life: to have a happy group of siblings growing up under my care. I'm a horrible cook and even worse housewife, my perfectionism is more emotional than organizatory or practical. But to have arms full of children, that's my fulfilment and my pride.

I feel very humbled by the fact that I've been granted this happiness without effort. When I walk from bed to bed at night and pray over each of them, I pray also for those who lost children, for children in need and for those who want children and find it difficult to have them.

For me, this is part of being a mother. To care about others, not only for my ducklings.

I wanted a child, more than I wanted a baby, I totally agree with the distinction. Why?

I think part of it was to give her/him the childhood that I did not have. To redress or erase the past by reworking it the way that I wanted it to be. Yet, I know from the experts, it is very difficult to give a child something which you are still angry for not having received yourself. Am I still angry? That is one of the fundamental questions of my life, but I believe the answer to be no, at least not enough to make it impossible for me to give to my child what I was not given.

Other than that, to do the fun things: create treasure hunts, hold a Mad Hatters tea party, watch their faces while they unwrap their Christmas presents, while they listen to The Wind in the Willows for the first time. Then, later, to watch them learn about the world and form opinions and conclusions. I imagine doing a trip down the Nile with my husband and our adult children, seeing the sites together, talking, relating as adults.

Those are my images and my desires.

I wanted a child (note: Child) because I wanted to experience what every mother does: Unconditional Love. Well, at least till they hit their teens (or is it 'tweens now?).

I wanted that adoring smile (even if it IS at 3am), those small arms around my neck, that sloppy kiss, the little fibs she'll tell me ("It wasn't me who crayoned the wall!!"), the truths she'll tell me ("I love your kisses and cuddles, Mummy").

I wanted it all.

I'm now the mother of a nearly 3 year old (angelic! lol aren't they all? - when they're asleep!) girl. Every day is hard, long, serious, joyful, happy, loving, unbearably long, too fucking short to possibly enjoy every moment of unbearably sweet mummy-ness she gives me etc...

I don't want to be alone when I'm old. That's the long and short of it.

I used to know why I wanted kids. Now I can't really see the point. I mean I see the point for kids - just not for me personally to keep going.
So here I am sitting at the crossroads of whether to return to the joys of ART or give up on the life I had always wanted and assumed I'd have and worked towards.
I think all the reasons I wanted a family were because I could see all the good things in it, all the things that Anna H said above.
But now, after IF, and other medical issues (one of which effectively rules me out for adoption), I just can't seem to see those things anymore. I only see the potential for things to go wrong, because that is what seems so much more likely now than those dreams I used to have. I feel like a fool for ever falling for them and acting on them.
And I know that I can't cope with more things going wrong. I'd rather stop now than have things get even worse.
Yet I know that my judgement is clouded by my experiences. That just because all I can see NOW is the potential misfortune doesnt mean that is all there is. That last sliver of hope means I cant quite give it up and walk away.
So I sit here and dither and whither away.

I don't know that there is a way to articulate it. I immediately came to the comments all, "Oh!Oh! I have the answer! I know!"
And then I sit here, and can't say it. Or I can, but it sounds feeble.
- I want connect to another soul that will grow and change and evolve
- I want to see life from a new perspective, be taught even as I am teaching
- Nurture, nurture. I am a caregiver by nature - gardens, pets, people...a child seems the ultimate expression of one's nurturing side

How do you describe something that pulls you so hard even before it exists? I used to hate it when people would say women are biologically driven to have kids (and I don't believe that all women are) - but I am now. It feels hardwired for me to want a child.

Like I said, not very articulate but that is the best I can do!

I have always wanted to be a mother. We (my dh and I) always knew, even right from the very first date, that we wanted to have a family toghter. We didn't even care how we got our children (I knew about my endo from about 16) just so long as we had a family to love. I think in a way it comes down to the relationship with my own mother. Irespect her like crazy and we are very close and I want to have the same sort of relationship with my own daughter someday. In pausing to consider a definate reason, I don't think I can really pin one down. Maybe because I wanted to experience that 'ultimate' love that you only give to a child? I think that might be my answer...

That's a really good question. It's just what I should be thinking about at the moment. I really want children but my husband doesn't. He's said he'll be willing to have children if I really want them.

So do I want them...

I'm not sure why I want them really. I remember having a wonderful childhood, and I guess part of me wants to go through that again - the only way I'll get to do it is from the mother side :)

I just want to explore the world again, be back when everything was so wonderful and new. and help someone else see why I love it so much.

I guess I can't imagine not having children, or a child.

I know this sounds cheesy but I wanted my first child because I wanted to build a relationship like the one I have with my mom. I thought I could never love anyone as much as I love her. I was wrong.
Now I want this second child because I want to give my daughter a sibling, which is the best gift I could ever give her, and because I feel I have enough love for these 2 children. Children make me complete and they make our family complete.

I wanted children because I love my mother and all my sisters (there are 11 kids in my family). I wanted that kind of adult family, I wanted a relationship with an adult child and I wanted to watch the adult relationship between siblings bloom. I couldn't imagine a life of growing old and it just being my spouse and I. The idea of having a baby scared us off from having kids for a long time. When we finally had one, we realized we were right to be scared, but having a baby is loads of fun anyway.

Good question T...hard one too...

Being a mother is primal for me. I can't totally put it into words. There is a primal urge inside of me. I know I will be a great mother (if I can just manage to get myself a kid). I have the love, I have the desire, I have the know how...I just don't have the child.

When I think of not being a mother, there this deep, dark, TOTAL pain inside me. There is a "wrongness" when I picture myself living a life childless.

I was born to be a mother. I am a mother without a child. Everyone always tells me that I have the special something it takes. Animals and children sense it. They come to me. They hang by me. They bond to me instantley.

I have so much love inside of me. Love that is meant to be given to a child.

I know this all sounds so wishy washy but there is not one set reason why I want a child. It is just what I feel is meant for my life. I just can't imagine my life without one.

I've always seen myself as a mother. I never questioned whether I would be one or not. Now that's not an answer to your question.

I wanted someone to nurture. Someone to call my own. Someone who would love me unconditionally (at least while they are young) I wanted to experience the awesome and overpowering love one has for your children.

Ok, your question isn't quite directed at me, but you said earlier you liked comments...

I can imagine wanting a child in an abstract kind of way and there are things that I think would be cool about being a parent (teaching them about the things I love doing etc) but right now I just don't want kids. Frankly most of them annoy the crap out of me. It's not a matter of the awesome responsibility, although that is part of it, but more that I couldn't bring a child into the world that I know I'd resent. I'd be a terrible mother to a baby/infant/toddler - I have no patience, no time for dirty snotty little children that just will not stop whining and crying. Toddlers in the "Why? Why? Why?" stage drive me mad. I don't understand little children at all, I can't empathise with them. The only bit I want right now is the shopping part - I love decorating and I'd love to decorate a nursery, research strollers and the rest. But that's not a reason to have kids, more the reason I have a horse to shop for and decorate my friends houses! I get broody over other peoples babies but only if they're happy and smiley. As soon as the whinging starts I recover from delusional cluckiness about how great babies are and hand the kiddy back. That said, watching my boyfriend with his baby niece has been kinda cool - it's very sexy watching a guy who knows what to do with a baby. I know he'd make a great Daddy someday.

I really admire parents, since I really don't think it's a job I could do.I honestly wouldn't trust me with an infant, I'd probably chuck it out the window within a week ;) You have my utter respect Tertia for managing not one, but two babies. And looking great on it too!!

As for why people want kids, I have absolutely no idea what drives people to the lengths they go to have children - I can only assume it's an instinctive thing that I either haven't got or it hasn't shown up yet (I'm only 21). I have a lot of sympathy for infertile people in that you can't have what you really want and that sucks, but I cannot grasp why you would want it so much. I can totally imagine my life without my own kids and it truly doesn't worry me. Maybe that'll change as I get older. I guess I can envisage a situation where I change my mind and have some children, although I cannot see me ever going to the lengths some people do (although I guess everyone starts off saying that). No disrespect intended to those who do go through hell to have their children, I just don't think it'd ever be *that* important to me.

I wanted to be a mother. And my husband wanted to be a father. We both had good childhoods and felt like we had a lot of love and other good stuff to give to children.

On a more basic level, people have instinctual reactions to things. We wanted to wrap our lives around children. Going to Europe together held very little appeal. Loading up a car full of kids and driving to visit family held great appeal. We wanted our home to be joyously chaotic.

We started trying to get pregnant on our honeymoon. Three miscarriages and two years later, a baby. Finally. And 12 years on, he is our only. No more conceptions, no adoption. We're beyond grateful for the child we have but I think we'll always miss the children we didn't have. Our house is far quieter than we dreamed it would be all those years ago.

Because I need someone small enough to get into the crawl space and get out the Christmas boxes.

I want to experience all that life has to offer, and raising kids is a part of that. I want the relationship with them when they are adults, I want grandkids someday, I want someone to miss me when I die. I agree with the distinction between "baby" and "child" -- when people say they want a "baby" they never mean a six year old throwing a tantrum at the store. And in a weird way, I do. I see myself making playdough with the kids, and eating it (ew!), and teaching them how to drive, locking myself in the bathroom when they are teenagers and tell me they hate me, and then crying when they leave for college.

I want it all.

I actually spent most of my life saying I didn't want kids. But then, and I know this is Cheese To The Max, I met my husband. Then I wanted to MAKE PEOPLE with him. Now, six weeks into parenthood, I'm loving the infant stage, but before our daughter was born, I was far more interested in the age where Chemistry Sets and Easy Bake Ovens would be appropriate toys. I am so looking forward to seeing who she is and also, looking forward to the next one (although MAN pregnancy is hard on the body).

Also, there's this scene in The Hotel New Hampshire. The majority of the family is at the dining room table when two of the kids come barreling into the room, mid-fight, and dive under the table to beat the shit out of each other. It's bedlam. And I'm oddly looking forward to that.

Also, an added bonus: parenthood has calmed me down already a great deal.

I'm an elementary teacher, so I know kids. And I know good parenting and bad parenting. I've seen a lot. And while I can give a lot to the children I teach, that only goes so far. There are so many things that I want to expose my children to, so many places that I want to go (with children). I want to see my husband playing with his child, teaching his daughter to drive, cooking with his son (yes, my husband cooks!), walking his daughter down the aisle.
I don't want to be just the aunt. I love my niece and nephew and my cousin's children. But at the end of the day, I want what my brother and my cousin have.
After miscarrying my first at 10 weeks, I didn't think I could do it again. But at the same time I knew I had to. I had never felt ANYTHING like what I felt for what I called my "parasite." And if I could love something that made me feel sick most of the time that much without ever seeing him/her? I can only imagine the amount of love that will exist when a child is actually placed in my arms. And at this point? I know that I can't live without that kind of love.

Because children are fascinating.

Children are totally new to the world, and they see it through fresh eyes. They don't take anything for granted. They _really_ enjoy the good bits, because they aren't jaded. They're curious and questioning about everything. When I'm with a small child, I get to share in that - to see how amazing this world really is when you haven't been around long enough to start taking it for granted.

Having a child means watching a totally new small person, who didn't even exist not so long ago, develop into a big person and learn all about the world and how to do all sorts of different things. You get to watch a new life unfold and develop. There is nothing cooler or more interesting than that, apart from reading other people's blogs.

It is so not about having a cute baby. I have an incredibly, breathtakingly cute baby, and I adore him and his cuteness, but I do still find that one of my most common reactions is "This cuteness stuff is all very well, but when are you going to start doing the _really_ interesting stuff, like talking?" I see this whole baby stuff as just a necessary, though fun, prelude before I actually have a _child_.

The only certainty in my life was that I was to have children, to be a mother. I knew it to the very marrow of my bones. Somehow, I knew intuitively not to reproduce with husband #1, who turned out to be an abusive ass, but I still knew I had motherhood in my future.

When I lucked into husband #2, I knew I was finally on the right road to parenthood. Then male factor infertility crashed our party and trashed the house. Through the crappy dx, the failed treatments, the miscarriages, everything, I still knew in my heart I'd be a mother somehow. I knew with more absolute certainty than I knew anything in my life. And I was right. And it is good.

This is kind of a painful exercise for me, one I have been wanting to do but have been putting off for quite some time. I may write a piece for my blog. Deep breath--

Well, I have always wanted to be a mother, since I was very young. I have always wanted to be pregnant since I was very young. The desire intensified in college. It is irrational, primal, and not given to explanation, really. Thank G-d I was able to have one baby, thought not under the best of circumstances.

I encountered infertility shortly after that birth, when trying for #2. With each failure, my desire intensified more. Fast forward 18 years or so--there are days when I wonder if I really want the experiences of pregnancy, birth, and parenting for the original reasons I had, or whether my desire has just disintegrated into a "damn you infertility--I am GOING to win against you if it kills me."

But to the original reasons for wanting to be pregnant and give birth (which are different from the reasons for wanting to be a parent). I like being involved in the miracle of life. I like feeling something growing inside me and knowing it is a new human being. I like having a link between the past and future, in my child.

Reasons for wanting to be a parent: Again, to have a link between the past and the future. To see myself and my husband blended together in a new human person (likely to never happen now, though, so donor egg will not give me that piece that I wanted). To teach a child about himself and about others and about the world, which is really pretty remarkable and marvelous if you think about it. To rediscover the wonder of the world through the experiences of a child who is seeing things for the first time. To give love and receive love in that especially intimate way which is unique to family. To be able to pass on what I have learned in this lifetime.

I don't know. That's for starters. Good question though. Infertility, especially the extreme kind like what I've got, certainly does make you ask the big questions.

I grew up with a mother who had her children late, by the standards of the time (she was 30 when she had me and 33 when she had my brother), and thoroughly enjoyed motherhood. She'd worked long enough to know that she enjoyed it, but it just wasn't the same as being with your children every day and watching them become who they were meant to be. I know so many women whose mothers felt trapped being at home in the 70s and 80s, but my mother was absolutely thrilled to be able to stay home with us. She wrote a lot, for herself, and volunteered for things she was interested in, but mostly she played with us.

So I grew up with this idea that being a mother was a life-changing, transformative, worthwhile experience. Not fun all the time, but absolutely worth it for the person it makes you and the experience you get to have. It never occurred to me that I wouldn't want to experience the growth and love of being a parent, and I knew I would become a mother whether or not I ever found a partner. It's funny that I was completely emotionally prepared to be a single mother, and then found a man who is my perfect match who is also the best father I know.

We knew before we were married that we wanted to be parents and weren't particularly concerned with how our children came to us. We started with the low-tech method and were actually quite surprised when we got pregnant. However, I am 80% sure that if we end up with more than two (I'm 33 weeks pregnant with our second right now) they will be adopted. I feel so so lucky to have the chance to experience both adoption and giving birth to my own children.

I had children because I wanted a big family. I couldn't imagine not having a bunch of kids around. Yeah, it's loud, and noisy, and more than a little crazy. But I wouldn't trade it for nuthin'.

Life just wouldn't be complete without family.

(not reading any above comments, per your specifications)
All my life, when I would dream about the future, I pictured it with children. Every choice I have made in my life has pointed toward that goal - including my choice to be 100% smoke/alcohol/drug free (couldn't bear the potential guilt if something was wrong with my child because of my carelessness), my course of study in college, my cars (always a family-friendly vehicle), where I live, the church we attend (must have young families and places for children to be actively involved), heck... even my HAIRSTYLE!

When we were blindsided by infertility, the thing that was hardest for me was envisioning a new future - one without children, ever. I simply couldn't live with that possibility! I saw no point in my life. All my choices seemed meaningless.

Thankfully, we had always intended to adopt, so IF merely caused us to fast forward those plans to the START of our family, rather than the COMPLETION of it.

I am incredibly grateful for all 3 of my daughters, and humbled both by being chosen two separate times by young women wanting me to be the mother of their babies, and by eventually being given the opportunity to experience pregnancy and childbirth myself. Children are truly amazing gifts, Tertia, and I'm glad those first hellish weeks are behind you, so that you can start to really enjoy your two precious blessings!


Okay- I did as instructed and didn't read the other 54 comments first, so I don't know if I'm repeating what others have said.
I have always wanted kids- from as far back as I can remember. My mother's mother died before I was born, but both her sisters (my great-aunts) were alive and part of my life. One was married, one wasn't, but neither had kids. They were close to all their nieces/nephews but I always thought it was sad that they didn't have their own children. I couldn't imagine getting to my older years without a pile of kids and grandkids. The need to have children intensified after my brother died, losing people close to me made me long for additional family connections. (It is also part of my drive to continue the IF quest after having one child- I want my child to have a sibling relationship because mine was so important to me.)

When we first found out about IF, we were told it was hopeless and we saw a counselor. At one point, my husband thought about child free living, but I wouldn't even consider it. So we began this IF path and have a 4 year old to show for it. He is so worth everything we went through.

Adopter here. I want a child because I want to build a family. I want that closeness and feeling of "us against the world." I want to watch my daughter learn to appreciate the good stuff like Janis Joplin and coconut cream pie. I want the day-to-day experience of watching another person grow into a functioning human being. I want to be a grandmother someday. Although I'm mostly OK with it, I do occasionally grieve the loss of the biological connection.

I wanted a child to share my life with my husband and me. I wanted us to see all our little cute (and not so cute) features propegated into the next generation, and to show her the world and how to hopefully make it a better place. It's really amazing how much influence you can have over a person. It's like having your own little experiment in nurture vs. nature. I always tell my husband that between the two of us we can take on the world. Our daughter is our way of putting the best of us together into one human being.

BTW, we're thinking of adopting for our second child. We haven't had any luck having our second one biologically. For those who have or will, we seemed to have noticed that nurture is much more powerful than nature in our daughter.

I guess to sum it up, we wanted a child because we wanted to add another person to share our daily lives with. My DH and I married each other not because we had to be married or some other kind of obligation, but because we truly wanted to share our daily lives with each other. It's the same thing for us in having children.

I've always known that I wanted to have children. Always. It never was a question for me. My husband and I talked about it when we first started dating, and when I discovered that I had found a warm, loving, intelligent man who also wanted to have children, I knew that he was The One.

We started trying five months after we were married, and I got pregnant almost to the day of our anniversary. That's when the real soul searching began (great timing, eh?) and I starting freaking out about the responsibility and the plain ol' hardships that children bring into your life. After about a week of that, something in me realized that all of the good in children, the Christmas mornings and the little strange songs that they sing to themselves and the things that they learn and accomplish on their way to becoming adults, it far outweighs any bad that comes along, like financial issues or having to discipline them when they do wrong.

I spent this morning watching my twelve week old son stare at his hand and attempt to jam it into his mouth so that he could suck on his thumb, and it occurred to me that he has only recently learned how to do those things: focus on his hand, pull it towards his mouth, and comfort himself by sucking his thumb. It's so much fun to watch him learn things, and I get to do this for the rest of my life! I can't imagine anything better.

When I was much, much younger, I wanted to marry young and have lots of kids. It was romantic, to have all these little beings who loved you unconditionally. Now, at 32, I'm sort of on the fence. I love kids. I love my neices and nephews. The years I spent actively helping to raise my godsons were...sometimes hard, but always fulfilling. It was hard work! But...the best thing I ever did. Being involved with them, even though they've now moved so far away, is still a huge priority for me. They are such awesome kids- and I like to think I've played a part in that. They are absolutely my heart. My life is better for them. My heart is better for them. They provide meaning to my life. So, I have no doubt that having kids would enrich my life immeasurably. But, I'm also okay with the idea of never having kids- sometimes. I know how much hard work it is, and I've got a lot in my life that makes me happy and fulfilled.

Aren't you just going for the most-responses-in-a-week award!?

I'm not sure if I've ever put down a coherent reason why I was willing to put myself through all this for kids. So this may ramble and I apologize.

At least a part of it was wanting children - I come from a family of four girls and I"ve seen how much joy my parents have gotten from us. There are so many things that they would ahve never done if they hadn't had kids (band concerts, school trips, field trips to places they would have otherwise missed, etc - not all necessarily great stuff, but stuff nonetheless). They did the kid thing over a period of 13 years and I think it's kept them young, having kids around (not an option for us thanks to my late start and difficulties).

And babies/children give us a piece of immortality. That sounds pretty trite too, but somehow it's important to me. My children will be here after I'm gone, and hopefully grandchildren and so on. For a while we looked into adoption and the same feeling was there, so I don't htink it's a genetic thing. More of a someone-will-remember-I-existed and maybe pass on some of my ideas/traits/quirks/recipes kind of thing.

Somehow it doesn't seem like those two reasons cover my total reasoning very well, but the bulk of why I wanted kids is very indescribable. I wanted them because I needed them and I can't seem to explain it any better. And it's a terrible explanation because it sounds so selfish!

Sorry, not terribly coherent yet this morning - eating and shitting dog got into the mud while chasing deer in my backyard and then jumped on my freshly laundered bed and wallowed around. Have now bathed a dog and started rewashing sheets, etc. Still no shower yet for me of course. Definitely smart to not go for the "I like puppies so I should get one" plan!

I am not sure this is my complete answer but here goes...I wanted children because that is what I imagined my life would be like, especially after marrying my DH. I had images of us eating pancakes on Sunday morning, running around outside catching fireflies on summer evenings, holidays with lots of wrapping paper everywhere, and crayoned pictures on the refrigerator door.
I wanted a child to experience some of what I did growing up, to me it was pretty darn special.
I also think I wanted to hear someone call me 'mommy'. I wanted someone to depend on me, to give me hugs with their little arms, to love me if only for the reason that I was their mommy and I loved them, someone to look past what I see are my numerous faults.
And now that I have my DD (she's a marvelously hilarious 4 year-old) I know why I am a mommy.

Thanks for asking.

Most importantly, I want kids because I enjoy spending time with them. Babies under the age of 6 months (unless they're yours, presumably) aren't that much fun to hang out with, but kids are wonderful. I have always felt more at ease around kids than adults. If a kid does something socially unacceptable, I can deal with that; if an adult does I'm not sure what to do.

I love to do crafts, to make things with my hands, to cook. I want to teach these things to someone else. Teaching other people's kids is fun, but I think teaching my own kids would be even better.

I think I'm also developing some kind of biological itch for having children, but I don't think there's any rationale for that besides the fact that I'm over 25.

I think I'd be a good mother.

My parents are getting old and sick. I hate to think what would happen to them if they didn't have us. I certainly wouldn't trust GW to take care of them. I want to know that when I grow old there will be somebody to pick up things.

And a silly reason -- I study evolution and genetics, and at the game of evolution you win by passing on your genes. Of course, you can also pass on your genes by helping raise relatives (kin selection) and I'm not planning on having as many kids as possible, but it's an idea that flits through my mind when I start listing these reasons. Probably mostly jokingly for my colleagues, many of whom believe that children and a scientific career are incompatible.

I always assumed I would have children, but didn't think, until I was in college, that I was any good with children. Then I got a job at a daycare center one summer and discovered I was a natural at childcare. I went on to do a great deal of babysitting and became a nanny. Those things made me *want* to have children, not just expect that I would because, well, that's what one does.

That said, today I am 28 years old and unmarried, and I feel like marriage might not be in my future (another thing I just expected would happen). Which causes me to think about the possibility of choosing to become a single mom one day. My best friend is a single foster mom, my age, and has two kids (14 months and 12 years) right now, and I don't know how she does it. I've done overnights/weekends with other kids before, but recently had her two overnight and the baby screamed all night and I thought, "There's no way I could do this on my own! Not and go to work everyday!" Then I read your posts about how hard it is for you sometimes with the the twins and ... well ... I don't know anymore if I want children. At least not if I have to do it alone, or if I have to work after I have them, while they're little. I don't know if I could do it anymore.

At the same time, I am planning to change careers, to become a child therapist. Because I do love children. I can empathize with them easily. They connect to me as well. And maybe that means I should adopt a little bit older kids one day. I don't know.

Funny how something I always thought I *knew* about me would become something I now question. I'm happy with my dogs and cat. They let me sleep.

I honestly think a lot of this has to do withthe way you were raised. My husband was never raised to think of family or children as paramount goals. He was an "accident" (something openenly complained about it his family) and was never really taught that children had any intrinsic value.

I, on the other hand, was brainwashed from day one that *family is everything.* Career, education, money, etc. can and do all fall apart, but family and children are forever. Even the Darwinian sense of carrying on the gene pool and finding a husband "appropriate to have children with" was stressed. My parents live and die for their kids (and also went through a nasty 12 year bout of secondary infertility.) and they, and therefore I, can not even imagine a world in which people don't do everything and anything possible in which to reproduce.

OKay, reading this I realise that I'm describing my family as a little cultish, but we weren;t at all. Textbook normal really. Just really, really family oriented.

My husband and I did not always want children. We had an unexpected pregnancy after we first met which we decided to terminate. The termination colored my view of pregnancy, labor and children. It was very painful emotionally and physically and I NEVER wanted to experience anything remotely related to "labor" every again.

Four years later we moved into our new home and I met a wonderful woman who lived next to us. She had 2 little ones (20 months and 6 months) and we became best friends. She got pregnant a few months later and I learned all about pregnancy, childbirth and newborns from her. I watched her children grow (they are now 8, 7 and 5).

One day we were in her car and her then 3 year old said "Mom, can you turn up the radio, I love this song". It was my moment. She had PEOPLE in the back seat that had opinions and personalities. I decided at that moment that I had to have "people" of my own.

It took a few more years to put the plan in motion. I always said I wanted to lose weight before going through a pregnancy, but I used this as self-sabotage. I was still very, very afraid of the pain of labor (associated it with the termination).

I am very in tune with my body and know when I ovulate. I told my husband "Today would be a good day to make a baby" and I was right. This was in December 2002. We had been married 7 years.

Strangely enough, I never had to experience labor as I had a C-Section. My fears went unfounded.

My Little Guy is now 18 months old and has become his own person. He's amazing. I love seeing life through his eyes and experiencing everything for the first time again.

I write a lot about motherhood on my site and reading other people's blogs help put it all in perspective.

Thanks for the great question. I think I'll make my own post on my site from my comment!

About 10 years ago I had a miscarriage. Up until then I had been ambivalent about children. I came away from that experience knowing that I wanted to have a child. I knew just like I knew my husband was the one. I was completely certain. It took me several years to gather my courage and try to get pregnant. When I became pregnant I fought for my pregnancy harder than I have ever fought for anything in my life. My daughter is now almost 4, and she was worth the wait.

You know, I honestly don't know if I can put it into words. I never imagined a life without children. When I was younger, before the infertility days, I wanted four children -- an entire house full! Then after working so hard to get Seth, I decided one child was enough. My son completes me in a way I never knew possible. He is the best of me and the best of my husband, and he is the most incredible kid. Our second son, who we lost at 24 weeks, was a total surprise -- I had revamped my childhood dream and decided an only child was just fine for us. Once we got over the shock of being pregnant, we became so excited about having another child in our family. Now I don't know where I stand -- whether or not I want to try again. It's such a risk -- knowing how much we stand to gain if all goes well but also knowing all too well how much we stand to lose, if we suffer another tragedy.

I know now first hand that there is no other love in the world like the love of a parent for a child. I absolutely cannot imagine living a life without ever experiencing that love.

Coming out of lurking because of how this question hit me. Let me start by saying I have been reading your blog for a long time and really enjoy it. I am not an infertile and actually, quite the opposite - extremely fertile. Anyway, back to the question.

I'm ashamed to say that at first I wanted children because of the dysfunction I came from as a child. At first it was completely selfish reasons - to prove to my mother how 'easy' it was to be a good mother (a perfect mother, a demon I fight everyday), to have something that had no choice but to love me. Then, when I became a mother a whole new world opened up to me. As cheesy as that sounds, that is the truth. I realized that this is what I was put here to do. The bond with my first daughter was unbelievable. My experience, even through colic, was wonderful. I was incredibly lucky to have the same experience with both of my next two daughters. I fully understand that this was b/c I didn't have to battle infertility, was lucky enough to have 'good' babies and blessed with a wonderful husband. Don't get me wrong - this post sounds like I live in 'la-la land', there were the moments when I had to step outside and scream from the stress of having small children - but overall I discovered that this is who I was. Now, when I try to ask myself the magic question "who am I?" This is the answer. I am a mother. Now my daughters are 8, 10 and 15 - they are such great kids, not perfect and believe me sometimes I want to throttle them - but such great kids. But, of course, a mother's worries never end - now I fear the day they are all gone!! Who will I be then?
Again, I really enjoy your posts and your babies are absolutely adorable. Finally, some assvice - take a deep breath and try to enjoy even the hard times. Not easy, I know, but it makes the great times even sweeter.

Wow, I sound like a cornball - sorry for the cheesiness, just a post from the heart.

Such a hard to answer question. Hard in the "how do you put it into words?" way.

If you spoke to me in my teens and early 20s I would have said "I am never having children." It is too much work. Something has changed in me. Something crazy. I sometimes yearn for a child. I ache to the center of my core. I haven't quite figured out why yet. All I know is I do.

I never wanted kids, ever.

Then I got pregnant. And I LOVE being a Mom.

Other kids still annoy the hell out of me though. ;)

Being a good poster and following directions to not read what others have posted first...Quoting T.: "It’s a self-protection mechanism that infertiles employ, either to help them to decide to stop treatments, or to deal with the negatives. [...] I see it so often, the person starts doubting themselves, often when the pain becomes just to much." This is exactly where I am at after ttc#1 for 4 years, trying to convince myself that I no longer desire children, that I am content with my life as it now exists without the parenting responsibility. Within the past month I have actually said to a close friend that maybe I have only wanted to be pregnant and have an infant all this time...I haven't been longing for teenagers, just a bfp, a pregnant belly, and a baby.

But you're right, T., I am only deluding myself, trying to preserve myself. I do want babies, and the terrible twos, and their first days at kindergarten, and sullen teenagers, and then adults. And I want it because I no longer have a mother (she passed away when I was a teenager); because I want a little bit of my mother to live on through a grandchild; because DH would be an amazing father; because I feel a hole deep inside of me without them; and if I am honest with myself, I want children because I have invested so much in the pursuit of one, to give up now would be the death of hope and faith for me.

Going to read the other responses now...

In my case, I have lots of siblings: an older brother (31), a younger brother (23), myself(29) and an "oops" sister now aged 15, my parents conceived at age 39.

My world came crashing down after I discovered I was infertile but that only fueled my desire even more. I guess I could not imagine not having with my DH what I had growing up: a big, loud happy loving family.

Why? Because I had such great experiences and lovely memories growing up: I helped my mom change the diapers of my baby sister, take her out, buy her cute little outfits, see her growing, watch her learn from you, laugh with you.

So, I guess I got a taste of that very early on and I was hooked forever.

After 3 failed IVFs and much heartache, I finally have my baby home and I just couldn't be happier. Cannot imagine life any other way. Now onto FET, more IVF or adoption, whatever it takes to continue building my family, that's for sure.
Thanks for letting us share!

I sometimes wonder just how many hits you get on your blog!!

I want to be a Mother because I want a family. I want to raise a child or children with my husband. I want to be a Grandmother - I learned SO MUCH from my own grandmother. I want the family holiday gatherings to finally include MY child too.
The baby stage would be nice but after no success with IVF I have learned that the "baby" stage isn't nearly as important as the child.

I lost my first pg to miscarriage. Since it had been easy to get pg, I hadn't valued it as much as I should have. It had happened when I wanted it too, but it didn't stay like it was supposed to. That shocked me out of my complacency, my belief that things would always be like they were supposed to be for me, that I wasn't one of those lucky ones who would skate by without any losses or pain or trouble. (I must interject a thought here to say that I totally appreciate all of you who blog about your infertility issues, it has certainly opened my eyes to all new levels of reality, and pain. I am so sorry you have to go through all of this, and wish all of you success, however you define it.)

It also made me fiercely want a child, when previously I was kinda, "eh, wouldn't it be nice to have a child". Suddenly I was on the prowl to get pg again, but decided to take a step back first. I put my plans on hold for a year, lost 100 pounds, and only then went back off of bc and then within two months got pg again.

This time all went as planned, but this time, I didn't take it for granted, and I never forgot the lesson I learned, that life isn't all rosy and Hallmark. The lesson also made me realize that I wanted a child with my husband so we could raise it together, nurture it, share our values with it, share it with our families (and boy do our son's grandparents love him!), and just simply know that we made something wonderful together.

We are not likely to have other kids for several reasons, chiefly that my husband, who stays home with our son, has pretty bad ADD, and sometimes has trouble just keeping up with one child. Our son is a very easy child, and even when he gets older, I am still not sure my husband could handle more than one. I am kinda sad and regretful about this, but I am also finding peace with it because it also allows me to plan on a lifetime for just the three of us, and we do make up a good family unit! Also, as others here have said, I like the lifestyle we have with just one, can handle it, and can't fathom totally giving myself over to more than one and being totally ruled by a house of two or more kids.

There is a lot more to be said here but I won't blather on and on.

It is hard to say. It was just always there, the one thing I never doubted, never wavered on. In a way, it made the infertility experience easier. I never pondered the possibility of ending up without children. Whatever it took, someone, some day would call me "mommy." That was the mantra that got me through. Whether it was from my eggs and IVF, donor eggs, embryo adoption, domestic adoption, international adoption, I knew we would make it happen. Luckily, we had the resources to fight this to the end. Not that it wasn't painful, but it was doable.

I guess I just wanted to have a family. Sure, I love babies. Have always loved kids. But it was more than that, of course. I wanted this lifelong relationship. I wanted to have someone to love for the rest of my life, to watch them grow, to savor their successes, and support them through their failures. I wanted to have the holidays with kids, vacations with kids, proud moments at school plays, graduations. I wanted for them whatever I hadn't had in my life. It would make me feel less mortal somehow, to know that after I'm gone, a piece of me would live on, and through their kids (hopefully) live on some more. Although it wasn't really about genetics so much, although I took that for granted. It was more about family. I wanted to create this new unit, this family that had never existed before.

When it came time to try for more kids, after we'd had our first, I had a lot more doubts. I knew, intellectually, that I wanted more than one child. But I just wasn't as committed, emotionally, to the pursuit. I was so happy with one, and sometimes wondered why we were going through so much to have another. I felt that I was doing it as much for my son as I was for myself. And then when we ended up pregnant with twins, I really had my doubts that we had done the right thing. Now that my twins are 14 months old, I'm very happy we did it, and I love my family. But I can understand why someone might be happy with just one.

My husband and I are grappling with this very question right now. Thanks for posting the question; maybe now I'll be able to examine why I'm hesitant to give an answer.

I want children because I want to have a family. Being a couple doesn't seem to me to make a family, to be a family you need three (or more!). It's not like I feel that something is missing in my life and children will fill that hole, but I feel like it's an unique opportunity that I don't want to miss out on.

The question is when. Right now my husband is going back to school and it would be tougher to have kids now than it would be in three years when he was done (and with a larger salary to boot). But in some way, I feel "if not now, then when?" I know later is better for us, but still.

I went to a workshop when I was going through IF hell where the leader said "hey, if you think about it, there is absolutely nothing rational about having children. This is not a rational decision. It's a need, and if you have it, there's not a lot you can do about it." That's the answer I give. It wasn't a rational choice--it was something inside of me, something I needed. Those kids are a PITA sometimes, but you know, one of the few things I'm grateful for about infertility is that it caused me to ruthlessly question my choice to have kids. And now, as much as they make me tear my hair out at times, I know that I could never have been happy without them. I tried to not want them, but it wasn't an option for me. I would have gone to the ends of the earth to bring the kids I knew were waiting to be a part of my family home, regardless of how they got there. Great question!

At first I thought it was wanting to create a piece of me and my husband. What I cam to realize later was that wasn't it at all. After doing many IVF's inclduing using Donor Eggs, we turned to adoption. We knew that we just wanted to be parents. Wanted to experience raising a child into a responsible adult, being there every step of the way. Most of all we wanted to experiece Unconditional Love and it came the moment we laid eyes on our daughter. I thank god everyday that we are given the opportunity to experience Parenthood.

oooo, that is kind of a hard question! Because right now I am smack in the middle of the "doubting" phase.

Other than the obvious "love children, yearn for a baby, want to experience pregnancy, want to have this life experience with my husband" answer...

Uhg, this is a horrible, but part of it is that I always planned my life around having children. I purposely took a job that was conducive to babies instead of one with a chance for advancement. I didn't go to graduate school, we spent all our money on a big house... now infertility has kind of wrecked how I felt about the nice life I created. If I was going to be a career woman why didn't I just go for it and be one? I kind of held back in a lot of areas because I was saving a lot of energy & time for motherhood. So right now I feel like an underachiever in so many areas of my life that wouldn't matter if I had children. It's my own fault for putting all my eggs in one basket!

Now what? Do I start grad school late, spend that money on IVF, throw myself into adoption?? Just hang out? I am so lost!

Okay, like a good girl, I'm posting without reading any other comments. A week after my last (luckily successful) IUI, I was a wreck. The two-week wait was killing me, and I spent an entire weekend sobbing in my pajamas. My husband, in desperation, asked why I wanted a child so badly. My answer? I wanted a family. I wanted a child to love, and who would love us back, and with that love we would build a family. What I wanted more than anything was this little loving unit, a family that would be strong and loyal and in love. For me, that's a necessary part of life.

Funny you should ask because I thought about this the other day as I read a post on an IF bb from someone who couldn't deal with seeing pg women and babies. Those things never bothered me. It was seeing kids, no matter the age. It was seeing little one making their First Communion, or teenagers shopping for prom dresses. It was hearing about parents teaching their kids to drive, or filling out college applications. I knew what I was missing with babies (not a lot of fun) but it BOTHERED me what I would miss with kids. I wanted to do the whole "seeing another person thru their life" bit. The biological connection never mattered that much to me. I hear people talking about passing on parts of themselves and their husband and it doesn't really resonate with me. After one failed IUI, I was ready to look into adoption...I just wanted to have a family. I wasn't cut out for a long IF journey (and I got lucky, very lucky, in that respect). I couldn't imagine a lifetime of just me and my hisband and having all that love to give and no one to give it to.

Not really sure if this answers the question but it's the only thing I can really come up with.

I want a child because I have a wonderful and brilliant (really)husband and i would love to see his wonderful qualities in the eyes, face and actions of our child. I would love to see my husband interact with our child.

I have chosen not to have children. Similar to z., there are just too many choices, sacrafices and such, but it is more than that. People tell me that I would love a child if I had one and do all of the things in my power to be a good mother, but it just doesn't appeal to me. I never had that aha! moment when I saw myself becoming a parent. I think it would be unfair to any children I might have/adopt to foist myself upon them because "they" say that it will all work out fine. It wouldn't be fair to me or that little person who would deserve someone with that desire.

That is a really good question, and one I kept asking myself as we went through IF treatments.

For me it is a combination of things. My husband and I have been married for almost ten years and together for close to 15. I want to create something that is us and a product of our love. A love that has endured many hardships and is stronger and continues to grow stronger than it was the day we fell in love.

I have a desire to be a Mom. This one is harder to explain as I truly believe it is innate. I want to read books, kiss boo boos, do crafts and play, snuggle on the couch together and just learn about life through my child. I want to experience that process of caring for someone that depends solely on you and helping them grow into a functional adult.

I am the family genealogist. And for a couple of years while we were in the thick of IF I had to stop my research. I would get so depressed thinking about all of the work I had done to research my family and how I would have no one to pass this incredible conglomerate of a family on to. I felt as though my family tree was dying instead of growing. So partly legacy as well.

It is so crazy that you ask this question today because I have been struggling with this exact question for the past two weeks. Do I really want children? I can't really put my finger on exactly why I would like children, but part of it is because I would love to have a little person around that has my husband's blue eyes and curly hair. Part of it is because I want to experience being pregnant. Part of it is because it is what is expected (right?). That all sounds very shallow, but I just can't articulate the feeling very well.

We have been trying for almost 2 years, and I am just tired of all the crap. It is making me think that my life right now isn't so bad, just me, my husband, and our dog. We are doing fine financially right now, but the thought of figuring out how to pay for child care makes me break out into a sweat (one of us staying home is not an option). We have less time for things since we got our dog (she is almost 9 months old) and that has been a real adjustment for us. A baby would only leave less time for work and the other things that we like to do. I know that the rewards are so great, but it is hard to concentrate on that when it feels like you will never get there.

I don't know if it is a case of "since I can't get pregnant, I really don't think I want to be" or if I am really doubting my desire to have a family. Right now, I have decided to try to make myself feel comfortable in this childless life, just in case that is the life that I have to lead.

I am in my mid-twenties and will be married soon. Will probably try the having kids thing later in 20s. Family has always been very important to me. I know that if offered a choice between me having something and her having something, my mom would always give me whatever it was, same with my grandmother, same with everyone. It's a very secure feeling to be loved unconditionally, and I want to be able to give that feeling to someone else. And I'm a giver. I like to feed people and take care of them. I also like the idea of another little me or little my-husband. I'm a scientist, and I think it's hardwired into our brains to want kids for our species to survive. And your kids have to hang out with you when you get old :)

Oh blimey... I had to go away and think about this. I usually lurk but I feel like this is one I should answer for my own good.

1) I want to create something that is part of my husband and myself, growing and extending that love.

2) I have always been completely fascinated by the biology of human reproduction and childbirth - I wanted to be a midwife but was just too f'ing squeamish at 18 (still not good at blood). I still find the whole thing miraculous (I am not religious) and can't believe this sequence of events ever actually manages to go *right* - there are just so many variables. I want to experience it for myself.

3) I have a wonderful close family of siblings and v. cool parents, and it would be so great to create more people for them to love and to love them.

4) I have spent my life so far saving up bits of wisdom and 'things to tell' my future children - it has always been when, not if, for me.

I've been trying for 15 months now... I hope 'when' is soon.

('pologies for length)

I'm completely with Sheridan on this one. Life is great, and it ought to be shared whenever possible. I wanted to show a new human being all the beautiful and interestig things I've gotten out of life so far - and maybe be shown other things in return. My husband's point of view seems to be about the same, though his childhood was a lot tougher than mine.

I was lucky, I fell pregnant rather easily. But I have no idea what I would have done if it hadn't worked out. Adoption, perhaps. IVF... probably not.

I'm too curious a person to want to miss out on a major life experience. Also, the idea of having my own little family seemed so cozy and warm. So I chose to put two more people on a planet that already has 6 billion; and with that decision comes some guilt, as well as obsessive worry about what kind of planet I put them on. Ironically, that cozy warm family brings with it a lot of fear. One thing I think I've gained from parenthood that is actually quite valuable, though, is a deeper love than I ever imagined possible. As much as I love my husband, I don't know if I'd throw myself in front of a train to save his life. But I would for my children without question. I love them so much it hurts.

I have always wanted children. Even when I was little and thought I wanted a high powered career too, I knew I wanted to grow up and be a mommy. Then, I didn't know why...now I do.

I love the idea of being blessed with a child who you can watch grow and develop. I love the thought of nurturing that child, teaching them whatever they need to know, and hopefully giving them the foundation to become a decent, moral person when they grow up.

I love having the excuse to be utterly silly whenever I feel like it (not that I need the excuse, people just don't look at me oddly if I'm being silly with kid in tow). I love teaching them jokes and laughing at their silly attempts to tell jokes. I love the quiet moments when they cuddle up to be or the louder moments when the run up to me and greet me with joy.

These are all reason I am now fighting sif so vehemently...all reasons I desperately want another child.

Also, once I met and married my husband, children became even more important to me. My husband was a professional firefighter (now medically retires from firefighting) and I was desperately afraid I would lose him in a fire. As long as we had a child, I knew I would always have a physical, tangible proof of our love.

Asked myself this while going through Secondary Infertility. First time around, my answer would have been "I dunno, just do." I just really always wanted to be a Mother. Simple but then again I was such a young Mom I don't think I had time to ponder it beyond the romantic notion of "I've found my Prince, now it's time to procreate...tra la la!"

Second time around, it didn't happen as fast and I truly wondered why? Why not just stop and be grateful for the one we had? The baby fantasy quickly disappeared and I just knew I REALLY wanted a sibling for my daughter. I grew up in a large family and I felt as though I'd be cheating her out of that experience if we didn't give her the brother or sister she desperately wanted. I knew then, no matter what, that we'd make it happen (IF treatment, adoption, didn't matter).

So there you have it. Kind of simple but it's the best way I can summarize it, otherwise I'd be writing all day. Ha!

For a long time, starting into my teens and carrying through my 20s, I didn't really want children. My husband and I married when I was 22. I suppose I was still pretty young to consider it, but I just thought they were expensive, a lot of work, etc. I also considered them to be marriage killers, LOL! I was so wrong about that, and a lot of things.

When I was about 27, I started to think it might be fun. I felt my husband would be a great father. I kind of wanted to see what it would be like. Honestly, I didn't have a *good* reason why I wanted to do it, I just wanted to do it, and I did. We were lucky and did not experience any infertility on our road to have Olivia (age 5 years 10 months) and Finn (age 2 years 10 months). They are expensive, and they are a lot of work, but they have made my marriage stronger and have given me a capacity to love I didn't know was within myself! I think I didn't truly understand why I wanted to have kids until I had them!

I always felt that if I had experienced infertility I would have been fairly quick to accept that and not pursue the expensive and painful treatments. Of course, not having experienced it, there's no way of knowing how I would have reacted, but I tend to be rather lazy and quick to make things easy on myself and I can't see myself going through the hell that has been described by you and so many other bloggers who have experienced infertility.

Had I been forced to confront the question of *Do I really want to have kids?* I think, before having had any, I would have probably decided no. Of course now, I would have walked through fire for them, but I am glad I didn't have to make that choice because I didn't know enough then.

I hope it's possible to say these things without sounding like a jerk, but: one of the reasons I wanted children was because I felt that my husband and I had something positive to offer to children and, by extension, to the world. I liked the idea of passing on my values to members of the next generation. I thought we could raise good, decent, contributing members of society. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant.

Also, I'm from a fairly large family (4 kids) and I liked growing up that way. I genuinely like family life, and I couldn't imagine living a life that didn't include kids -- with all of the craziness and unpredictability and joy and heartbreak. I thought having kids would make my life fuller, and I think I was right. My boys (2 of them, 11 and 4) make my world a more interesting place, and I'm grateful for it. Even if I don't get much time for "Me" anymore.

I hope it's possible to say these things without sounding like a jerk, but: one of the reasons I wanted children was because I felt that my husband and I had something positive to offer to children and, by extension, to the world. I liked the idea of passing on my values to members of the next generation. I thought we could raise good, decent, contributing members of society. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant.

Also, I'm from a fairly large family (4 kids) and I liked growing up that way. I genuinely like family life, and I couldn't imagine living a life that didn't include kids -- with all of the craziness and unpredictability and joy and heartbreak. I thought having kids would make my life fuller, and I think I was right. My boys (2 of them, 11 and 4) make my world a more interesting place, and I'm grateful for it. Even if I don't get much time for "Me" anymore.

Good question. There's so many reasons, some good and some bad.

I wanted to share our lives with someone. To spoil her and give her everything I didn't have growing up but had to offer. This was not just material goods, but support and love and daily kisses. I had so much love to give that I was smothering my poor husband and our animals.

After we had our daughter, I wanted another, not so much right away but it grew and grew. I had tasted the sweet fruit and was addicted to that joy. The longing for the second was different because I knew all that I would be missing out on if I didn't get him, yet I knew that if I didn't I still had my daughter so it's not the same pain either.

2 1/2 weeks to my c-section and I'm dying here, waiting for all the pregnancy and trying to conceive part to be over forever so it will just be about raising kids. That's the best part.

I guess there are several answers, such as: it's just something that I always saw myself doing. And I wanted to feel that connection with a child.
I know that a lot of people said they wanted to have kids b/c they had a great childhood. I'm kind of the opposite of that. I did not have a great childhood (nothing horrible, I hasten to add, no abuse, just some neglect from parents who drank (drink!) too much). I think that part of me wanted to see if I could do better, and really make a kid happy. Give them the kind of childhood the people above are talking about. And so far so good.
My urge to be a mother has very definite (sp?) limits, too. We had infertility problems, and by the time I finally got pregnant my husband and I were thinking about what it would be like not to have children. And I think we would have been ok. Also, when I did get pregnent I had preterm labor with meds and bedrest. After I had my daughter I had post partum depression so badly that I ended up being admitted to a psychiatric unit. So my husband and I know that we will not go through that again. For us one is enough.

Let's see. For one, I really wanted to have children with my husband. I felt we would be a great parenting team. Also, the thought of all I could do to shape a new life, all I could share - things like music and art, emotions like love, pride, - the whole cornucopia of human experience, the thought of passing that on is breathtaking and awesome. And the love exchanged between parent and child is something I really, really wanted to experience. My own parents divorced when I was young and I was raised in a loving household by my grandparents, but I never got to experience living with mom and dad as a child, so I wanted to at least experience it from this side. Plus, hey, babies = cute. The clothes alone are a draw for me! =)

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