Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 05 October 2012 00:00
Now that I’m an honest woman, as they say, people have started to ask about whether or not my husband and I are planning to have a baby soon. I don’t know the answer to that myself. Sure, I want a baby—babies are so adorable that I turn to mush every time I see anything that looks even remotely like a baby. I coo whenever they show a baby during a commercial, even though I know they’re just trying to sell me overpriced soap.
However, am I ready? First, there are financial concerns. I feel like I should wait until I have money safely invested in a house before I take on the responsibility of caring for another person. At the very least, I don’t think I could safely carry a baby up and down the steps to our two-floor walk-up, so if I had a baby in my current apartment, I would never be able to go outside.
But look at the situation from a biological perspective, and suddenly it’s very different: I’m 30. In a few years, people are going to start making those loathsome “your biological clock is ticking” comments. Apparently once I hit 35, the risk of birth defects goes up, and will continue to rise. If I plan on having a baby at any point, is it irresponsible to put it off, when I’m more likely to give birth to a perfectly healthy baby now?
There’s also the question of whether or not I’m ready emotionally. Becoming a mother means putting a child’s needs above my own constantly, and I don’t know if I’m prepared. Have I gotten enough of my selfish, 20-something dreams out of my system that I’m prepared to spend my time changing diapers? Or is that kind of selflessness something you only truly understand once you have a child, so I’ll never feel ready until it happens?
Pregnancy itself presents many areas of concern. My food cravings can already get pretty out of control; how bad will it be when I’m eating for two? I can just see the headline: “Pregnant Woman Devours Half of Downtown Mineola; claims beige buildings ‘looked like vanilla cake.’” I also frequently enjoy a type of prepackaged snack that my husband tells me rates somewhere between corrugated cardboard and mud on a normal person’s palatability scale; is it fair to inflict that on a defenseless fetus?
Plus, my understanding is that our scientific knowledge of prenatal nutrition is spotty at best. If my child isn’t a genius, will it be because I ate too much pizza during the pregnancy and not enough kale? Come to think of it, even if I’m obsessed with getting my developing fetus vitamins, there’s no right way to do it. I could take supplements, however they say you may absorb vitamins better from actual food. However, if I eat tons of vegetables and fish (for those healthy Omega-3s, of course), I’ll be exposing my child to pesticides and mercury, which could lead to birth defects. Will my every idle snack become a crime against the unborn?
Of course, there’s also the sad fact that not all pregnancies are successful; it’s possible I could have a miscarriage. Considering that I’m the kind of person who bawls uncontrollably at even moderately sad movies, will I be able to handle that kind of emotional blow?
Speaking of which, what if I pass on my emotional volatility to my child? I suppose my son or daughter could inherit my creativity and none of my psychological issues, but what if it’s the opposite? That hardly seems fair.
Or, what if my child has developmental disabilities? I would like to think that I could offer all the support any child of mine would require, but I don’t have any way of knowing that. On some level, rightly or wrongly, I think I expect my son or daughter to be academically inclined like its mother. If my child didn’t appear to be bright, would I come to resent them for it—and could I live with myself if I did?
Finally, even if by some miracle my child is biologically perfect and inherits only my virtues, how will we raise it? My husband and I were raised differently; we’re bound to have some conflicting ideas in regard to childrearing. It could be the source of a lot of marital strife in an otherwise peaceful relationship. Is it fair to a subject a child to parents who fight not necessarily because of them, but primarily over them?
Some people seem to believe that women aren’t qualified to make their own reproductive decisions. I’m willing to go one step further: absolutely no one is qualified to make this kind of decision. And yet, here we are.
Karen Gellender is editor of the Syosset-Jericho Tribune and Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Wednesday, 01 October 2014 00:00
The Sewanhaka Central High School District selected Brentwood-based Park East Construction as its bond construction management firm last week. The group will oversee the $86.6 million in improvements coming to the district. Park East will analyze school architect Wiedersum Associates’ plans before applying for New York State Education Department approval.
“They are going to make sure the [firms that win district contracts] do the work right,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said. “They’re going to make sure [the engineer’s] drawings are right before they are sent up to New York State. [Park East] reports directly to the architect and the Board of Education to make sure what we say we’re going to do is done well.”
Last Updated (Tuesday, 23 September 2014 10:07) Saturday, 27 September 2014 00:00
The Sept. 18 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education covered a range of issues, from the district’s overall performance to the sudden death of a student to fiscal and personnel issues—even to the loss of maple trees.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bierwirth announced that the district’s high school had achieved an impressive level of distinction in a recent national survey that measured scholastic achievement; in fact, a great deal of Long Island made the cut, he said.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
Seniors Daniella Ford and Margie Londono highlight a Sewanhaka Indians girls soccer team vying for its second straight winning season.
Ford, who is in her fourth season as starting goalie for the Indians, netted a season-high 24 saves in a 3-1 loss to Valley Stream Central.
“She’s a stud back there,” said Sewanhaka third-year coach Eric Premisler, whose team is 0-3 as of press time, after going 8-3-1 last season. “If we can stop a team from taking five shots because of good defense, Daniella is going to stop another 15 shots. And we’re going to have a chance to win every game.”
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Sewanhaka Indians continue to let their presence be felt in Nassau Conference II.
The Indians played their second game as members of the conference on Saturday, Sept. 21, against the Long Beach Marines, topping the south shore squad 51-30.
On the opening drive, the Indians relied on running back Brenton Mighty’s legs to get them into the red zone. On first and goal from the 15-yard line, quarterback Elijah Tracey hit
Michael Parasconda on a screen pass for the first score.