There isn’t any really and it wouldn’t be a reason to have children in any event but we are one of the few childless couples left in our group of friends.
Yes we have been together longer than most and had been settled in our jobs longer than most but they have still over taken us at some stage.
The first friends’ babies probably arrived not long after we left Uni (for the main out of wedlock) and it still felt outrageously young to me. I was probably still at Uni (having spent 6 years on various courses) and still, in the main, living and acting as a student. Babies did not even enter my head back then.
We had nieces and nephews of course (on his side) but his siblings are older and were already married before I met them so it didn’t seem unusual. His sister and sister in law were much younger having their children than I am now though, much!
So babies were not entirely alien to me, I was used to handling babies, used to crying, used to breasts being whipped out in front of me. It was such close exposure to pregnancy that was new, we lived the first (very unexpected) friend’s pregnancy as if it were our own. She regaled us with tales littered with gory details.
I thought she was mad. She had just come out of a long-ish term relationship, met a guy at an event and two months later she was pregnant! We had crisis talks. She had missed a pill, just missed a pill. She was pregnant. No sign of trying there.
NB – she is now happily married to the guy with 3 beautiful children so it all worked out well. She has not really had to try for any of them, she ‘counted’ for the second two and told me to ‘lift my bum up’ (already doing it) but that is all. She is a few years younger though. She can pinpoint exactly when the boys were conceived. They must not do it that much!
The second friend’s baby was just as much of a surprise. She was married, straight after graduation. He had an affair and she left. She met someone else fairly soon and boom – pregnant. They too are now happily married with 2 children. Another success story. She would probably agree that she was very young having them.
His best friend had two in quick succession, before he had a job, before he had a house and before he had any money. The baby was not planned, they weren’t trying. The second followed immediately after (which she regrets). We obviously have some very fertile friends.
That said, there are exceptions (which prove the rule). We have friends who would make the best parents, who are as kind and loving as anyone could be, who desperately want children but are struggling.
They have counted, for much much longer than I have. Counted not only days but courses of IVF, painful courses, followed by bitter disappointment. We are not there yet, we may never have to be (God willing). It is so horrible to watch them go through it. So hard.