When Elizabeth Mlotkiewicz of Kansas was preparing for motherhood, she quickly realized that many men and women do not have the same sense of conception or parenting urgency. “Never having monthly cramps precludes men from understanding the physical reminder that they still aren’t pregnant. They can’t feel the cramps that remind you of how empty your womb is,” she says.
Although many couples share the common goal of having a child, many travel down very different roads to reach the point of readiness. “Men often feel pressured to provide for a family while women feel pressured to provide a family,” Atwood notes. It’s important for a couple to remember that they have gender specific biological clocks and they need to discuss their feelings, issues and worries about them before getting pregnant.
Miscarriage and Letting go of the past
The devastation of a miscarriage has caused Kai Berieuk of Scotland to push off trying to have another child. Already a mother of two children, she and her second husband planned to add to their family. “I realized I need to get things settled with [myself] before trying again. I’m so scared and scarred. My emotions surrounding the loss made us realize that we’re not ready to have a child right now,” she openly explains.
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The pain of a traumatic loss or difficult childhood often lingers. Therapeutic support groups or a loving circle of friends and family can be helpful in easing some of the emotional weight factoring into interpreting a biological clock’s message. “There’s no question in my mind that eventually we will try again for children, and I’m also not waiting around for ‘the right time.’ I’ve learned that there’s no such thing,” adds the grounded Berieuk matter-of-factly. Letting go of the past is essential for a couple who are planning to have a baby.
“A unified parental front is just as essential in conceiving and preparing for a child as it is in raising him or her. You’re in this together. If the timing is wrong for either of you, then it is wrong for you as a couple.” Understanding each other’s gender specific biological clock and dealing with the past are essential for a couple before getting pregnant.