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Old 07-05-2008, 01:24 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Katie E View Post
Sleep evades me once again, so I've been reading threads that interest me tonight.

Having children is a very, very personal decision...provided that decision is made beyond the back seat of a car or without the aid of an intoxicant.

I had a very dysfunctional childhood. Became the "parent" of my 4 younger siblings when I was 8-years-old. That should've been enough to "cure" me from wanting children of my own, since I never really had a childhood. Strangely, I wanted children from the time I was in elementary school. Buck always said I was a born mother.

My daddy was a doctor and I clearly remember asking him when I was about 13-years-old if there was a test that could be administered that could tell me if I could have children or not. He told me there was one but that it was costly and somewhat painful. Bear in mind this was in the mid-60s.

So...I married for the first time at 19. To a widower with a 4-year-old son. Shortly into the marriage we tried to conceive. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

Went to a doc. He told me it would be unlikely I'd ever have children due to a condition with my ovaries. I was heartbroken. Yet, he said, he'd order a series of tests to evaluate the severity of my condition. And, yes, my daddy was correct. The tests were expensive and not the most comfortable thing I'd ever experienced.

It was determined that I was a candidate for one of the earlier fertility drugs. It was either that or have surgery to have a "wedge" cut out of my ovaries to allow my eggs to escape in order to be fertilized. I opted for the drug.

Joy of joys, I became pregnant with my first son. However, it wasn't easy sailing because the pregnancy was, shall I say, challenging. Thankfully, in December 1970 we welcomed our son, who was healthy and sound.

Fast forward several years later. Wanted more children. Each one was gained via fertility drugs. By 1974 I'd had son, daughter, son. Tried for a 4th child. No dice but, by then, my marriage was in the toilet. Husband, as it turned out, had multiple girlfriends, roached our finances, was dealing child porn, and, ultimately, was fired from his secured government job.

Back up one year, in 1973 my daddy died suddenly and I became the legal guardian of my two younger sisters, aged 12 and 13. Now I had 5 children in the house and I was only 24-years-old.

In 1976 I became a single mom. I was a basket case and had been beaten down so much by my husband I was amazed Buck even looked at me twice.

Buck came with baggage, too. Not a pretty first marriage either and two young sons about the same age as my two oldest. Somehow it all meshed.

To use a cliche, we became the Brady Bunch and, again, I had a houseful of children. I loved it. Buck only had one younger brother and he discovered how much fun a goofy, large family could be. But, it's not for everyone.

Thankfully, all 5 of the children are close. Have been together since they were about 2-years-old, so they've grown up together. Celebrated birthdays together, shopped for Christmas presents together, etc. We were blessed because blended families are the things nightmares are made of.

I wish I had a penny for every time Buck said I was meant to be a mother. I'd be rich beyond imagination. I loved it when he said that.

This is my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm blessed that all the children are here for me and even though Buck's sons weren't born under my heart, they are in my heart and always will be.

For those folks who choose not to have children, you make your choice because you feel it's best for you and I respect that. Being a parent is not for everyone, but it's perfect for me.
Angel head, you have a beautiful life. Thank God, I pray for you and yours. ~blissful
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:09 PM   #102
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Oh, and Maverick...I'm going to go post about early puberty in another thread and post a link if you are interested.

Edit: Early Puberty thread
Cool, I think it is a very interesting topic, one of many such things parents have to consider and deal with in todays world.

Sometimes I wish for the 'Good Ol Days', then I realize there is no way I am washing clothes by hand...
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:57 PM   #103
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Agreed, but suzy, pregnancy is one of those things that happens accidentally even in this day and age. (OK, and lets not do the prolife vs prochoice debate here.) The point I'm making is rather that when "accidents" happen sometimes you just need to step up.
This is a great point, Alix. I think many of us here at DC would be amused to find out how many of our parents were "surprised" to have us. Thankfully, with birth control being widely available and in many forms, there aren't so many surprises in life. But I have always told my children to make sure when they are deciding about whether or not to have an intimate relationship with someone, think really hard about it. Make sure it is someone you could see every day for at least the next 18 or so years because there is always a chance of pregnancy, no matter how careful you are. If you don't think the person you wanna fall in the sack with would be a good co-parent with you if the unexpected happens, maybe you don't want to do this.
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:33 PM   #104
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I think that is the best advice you could give anyone. If I offered you a job that you could not get out of for 18 years, required 24/7, had no benefits, no vacations, and then asked you to pay me instead of the other way around, you would think I was nuts. Yet that is parenthood.
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Old 07-05-2008, 06:40 PM   #105
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I had a high school (chemistry, biology, health) teacher, Mrs Swartz, who was the coolest teacher around. She'd be in her 90's now and I know that she is still alive and ticking somewhere..........Mrs. S said that in her classroom we laid sex right on the table and she did.........just spelled it out.......... She preached that having kids is a commitment for at least the next 18 years of your life........decide if you want to make that commitment......did give pause to me that's for sure........my parents had 4 under the age of 5 until they figured it out and I was probably on the honeymoon with them as I was born exactly 9 months later..............as old wise Mrs. S would say......give your parents a break......they are just a couple of dumb kids who got married once.......she was so funny and I idolized her as you can tell.......so wise.......a Gemini, by the way:) Anyway, if it's going to happen it's going to happen......just be ready to deal with it whatever you decide and I like Fisher's Mom comment of making sure it's someone that you're compatible with if possible... no birth control is 100% foolproof........and guess what as it happened to us with our oldest son most parents will help out........they might be shell-shocked like we were but most will help out if they can...we adore our 5 yr. old granddaughter today.........our son and his wife still can stand the sight of each other and seem to work well together so I guess that's a thumb's up
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:23 PM   #106
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But I have always told my children to make sure when they are deciding about whether or not to have an intimate relationship with someone, think really hard about it. Make sure it is someone you could see every day for at least the next 18 or so years because there is always a chance of pregnancy, no matter how careful you are. If you don't think the person you wanna fall in the sack with would be a good co-parent with you if the unexpected happens, maybe you don't want to do this.

Excellent advice, and I'm sure I expressed similar sentiments to my daughter when she was a teen. But here's the thing, expatgirl, most adolescents, under the sway not only of hormones but all sorts of pressures, will most likely not take such advice under consideration at that crucial moment. They just won't.

So IMO, the emphasis on effective birth control measures should take center stage, regardless of their imperfect record.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:39 PM   #107
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I think birth control has a good record but it is only as good as the person using it. If you don't follow instructions you raise your chances of conceiving. And then there are the stupid females that believe if they get pregnant they will be able to hang on the man that will not commit to them in the first place. Major mistake and a major really stupid bad reason to have a kid.
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:55 PM   #108
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But I have always told my children to make sure when they are deciding about whether or not to have an intimate relationship with someone, think really hard about it. Make sure it is someone you could see every day for at least the next 18 or so years because there is always a chance of pregnancy, no matter how careful you are. If you don't think the person you wanna fall in the sack with would be a good co-parent with you if the unexpected happens, maybe you don't want to do this.

Excellent advice, and I'm sure I expressed similar sentiments to my daughter when she was a teen. But here's the thing, expatgirl, most adolescents, under the sway not only of hormones but all sorts of pressures, will most likely not take such advice under consideration at that crucial moment. They just won't.

So IMO, the emphasis on effective birth control measures should take center stage, regardless of their imperfect record.
I agree 100% that a solid working knowledge of birth control should be something every teen has.

In my own case, I can't count the number of teens who have sat at my table while I demonstrated the "putting the condom on the banana" thing. My own kids would bring home their friends who were getting serious with their boyfriends/girlfriends and say "Mom, Mom, show them the banana thing". I would look them straight in the eye while I explained the whole thing, using all of the correct terms. Almost 100% of them would turn red and be unable to look at me or giggle nervously. Then I would tell them that intimacy was serious business. Indeed, your very life could depend upon how you handle this. If you can't handle even looking at a condom or discuss how to use one properly so that it won't "fail", then sex probably isn't something you are ready for.

But I also felt that it was important to explain the larger consequences of intimacy. So many teens are led to believe it is the only and the best way to express love.

For my sons' friends, I would explain that a guy who truly loves a girl will care enough about her to protect her from consequences that may be more than she can handle and could affect the rest of her life. I would tell them that the real measure of a man is not how much "love" he gets, but how he protects those he loves. That includes his family, who would also be forever affected by an unintentional pregnancy. It's been my experience that teens are not only driven by hormones, but by emotions too.

I don't know how all of them turned out but as far as I know, none of the kids who sat at my table had children in their teens. I don't know if they avoided sexual activity or not. And I eventually stopped being referred to as the banana lady. (Actually, it may have worked too well because I have 7 children - 4 of whom are adult and 3 are in their 30s - and I have no grandchildren yet!!!!!)
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Old 07-05-2008, 10:58 PM   #109
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I agree 100% that a solid working knowledge of birth control should be something every teen has.

In my own case, I can't count the number of teens who have sat at my table while I demonstrated the "putting the condom on the banana" thing. My own kids would bring home their friends who were getting serious with their boyfriends/girlfriends and say "Mom, Mom, show them the banana thing". I would look them straight in the eye while I explained the whole thing, using all of the correct terms. Almost 100% of them would turn red and be unable to look at me or giggle nervously. Then I would tell them that intimacy was serious business. Indeed, your very life could depend upon how you handle this. If you can't handle even looking at a condom or discuss how to use one properly so that it won't "fail", then sex probably isn't something you are ready for.

But I also felt that it was important to explain the larger consequences of intimacy. So many teens are led to believe it is the only and the best way to express love.

For my sons' friends, I would explain that a guy who truly loves a girl will care enough about her to protect her from consequences that may be more than she can handle and could affect the rest of her life. I would tell them that the real measure of a man is not how much "love" he gets, but how he protects those he loves. That includes his family, who would also be forever affected by an unintentional pregnancy. It's been my experience that teens are not only driven by hormones, but by emotions too.

I don't know how all of them turned out but as far as I know, none of the kids who sat at my table had children in their teens. I don't know if they avoided sexual activity or not. And I eventually stopped being referred to as the banana lady. (Actually, it may have worked too well because I have 7 children - 4 of whom are adult and 3 are in their 30s - and I have no grandchildren yet!!!!!)
Go back over the banana thing, but this time show em the wrong way to do it!
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:00 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Fisher's Mom View Post
I agree 100% that a solid working knowledge of birth control should be something every teen has.

In my own case, I can't count the number of teens who have sat at my table while I demonstrated the "putting the condom on the banana" thing. My own kids would bring home their friends who were getting serious with their boyfriends/girlfriends and say "Mom, Mom, show them the banana thing". I would look them straight in the eye while I explained the whole thing, using all of the correct terms. Almost 100% of them would turn red and be unable to look at me or giggle nervously. Then I would tell them that intimacy was serious business. Indeed, your very life could depend upon how you handle this. If you can't handle even looking at a condom or discuss how to use one properly so that it won't "fail", then sex probably isn't something you are ready for.

But I also felt that it was important to explain the larger consequences of intimacy. So many teens are led to believe it is the only and the best way to express love.

For my sons' friends, I would explain that a guy who truly loves a girl will care enough about her to protect her from consequences that may be more than she can handle and could affect the rest of her life. I would tell them that the real measure of a man is not how much "love" he gets, but how he protects those he loves. That includes his family, who would also be forever affected by an unintentional pregnancy. It's been my experience that teens are not only driven by hormones, but by emotions too.

I don't know how all of them turned out but as far as I know, none of the kids who sat at my table had children in their teens. I don't know if they avoided sexual activity or not. And I eventually stopped being referred to as the banana lady. (Actually, it may have worked too well because I have 7 children - 4 of whom are adult and 3 are in their 30s - and I have no grandchildren yet!!!!!)
Brilliant post, Fisher's Mom. Thank you.
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