Originally published Tuesday, 05 March 2013.
I'm not ready for kids because I have anxiety.
I never thought I'd share this information publicly, but I never thought I'd be married and dealing with this problem privately. As some of you already may know, I was single for 12 years, 10 months, and 24 days. That's a long time to forget about having children. Also long enough to realize I probably won't have more than one or two kids when I do get married. I'm 30, so it's not like I don't time to figure out this kid business.
I never realized my doctor would tell me I shouldn't have kids.
It's not enough to know that my husband and I aren't ready to make that decision yet (we're newlyweds), but the medication I take specifically says do not take while pregnant or nursing.
My doctor says I have to be off anxiety medication for at least 4 months before I even think about getting pregnant.
This makes me feel broken. Unsettled. Ashamed and embarrassed. I feel like a prisoner in my own body. I never thought I'd be taking anxiety medication for this long. I also never thought I'd have to deal with the fact that getting pregnant would be a bad thing. I waited for marriage and so did my husband--shouldn't this also mean our pursuit towards having kids and raising a family be a good thing? I recently read a comforting yet challenging article called The False Promise of Abstinence by Alece Ronzino. She said just because you save sex for marriage doesn't equal perfect sex. I'd like to take that one step further and say it also doesn't equal the perfect kid.
I'm not ready for kids for a number of reasons.
It just feels like my fault when it's me that can't (yet). Sure Obama Health Care doesn't help (our out of pocket premiums will double with kids). Sure the sucky economy doesn't help either. One thing that's brought me comfort during the first year and four months of marriage is the hope of adoption. Before we got married, Marc and I knew adoption held a special place in our hearts. I honestly thought it would be the easy way out--that is, until one of the adoption agencies said that I couldn't adopt because I take anxiety medication.
Once again I felt ashamed and embarrassed.
I love this quote by my author friend Ava Pennington. In talking about the pain children can cause she says,
"Zealousness indicates an eager or fervent desire for something. Even if we are eager to restore a broken relationship, however, it is doubtful any of us would be willing to sacrifice one of our children. God, in all His omniscience, knew exactly what it would cost to redeem His people. Still, He was Zealous--eager, fervent--to make it happen, not because He wished pain on His Son, but because it was the only way to restore us to Him. That is how much He loves us" (One Year Alone With God).
Through the process I've come into a deeper understanding of God's heart for children.
His love endured the most incredible pain any parent could endure--sacrificing His own child for the sake of all children. If I ever have a child of my own someday or not--I know the kind of religion that is acceptable to God is the kind that looks after orphans and widows (James 1:27).
And this is not something to be anxious about.
[Photo: osiatynska, Creative Commons]