Everyone Gets Pregnant Here Except Me (Hopefully)


The dental assistant asked me, “Is there a chance that you could be pregnant?”

Part of me said, “Yes!! It’s in the water! Everyone gets pregnant here.”

I could say that at least 30 percent of the wives I have met through my husband during his time at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. were pregnant, are pregnant, or became pregnant in the last four months.

And while I am incredibly happy for them, because it is what they wanted, it’s not for me. It’s not for us.

We have a plan, and while that has made many people chuckle, we want to stick to it.

Waiting to have babies is important to me for a few reasons, but I hate the looks I get for wanting to wait.

You wouldn’t believe some of the things people say – or maybe you would, because you are one of the people who says these things without thinking. Or maybe you are like us and regularly receive them, too.

People want to know what is wrong with us, asking us if we hate children or if we are just plain selfish.

They want to know what is wrong with my ovaries. I like to remind them that I am only 23, and my ovaries are just hanging out — and reminding me of their presence on a regular basis.

People like to tell you that having a baby with Tricare is practically free.

But my all time favorite comment is this:

“There is no good time to have kids”!

Except, I don’t agree. For us, there is a good time. The friends we have been naturally attracted to since moving here are in the same boat-wanting kids but wanting even more to wait.

I, personally, would like to see my husband past a couple of years of marriage and maybe even a deployment. He is a young Marine and I don’t know what our careers will bring, and I just can’t imagine throwing a baby into the mix.

And if we were to have a child I’d want my husband to be able to go to the check-ups and see the milestones with me.  Sure, realistically I know this isn’t probable, but a girl can dream, right?

It’s hard not to feel defensive when people question our reasoning for wanting to wait. Heck, sometimes I even feel myself questioning it.

That is, until I think about our bank account and student loans and the fact that we will be PCSing to Florida sooner rather than later. I think about how my husband likes to tell me he has to “train” or “write an order” which actually means go play video games in his man cave. I think about our old, evil Husky who is notorious for stealing waffles from children’s hands.

We made this decision for many reasons —  but I wish support for it was easier to find.


Have you decided not to have kids, at least for now? How do you find support?



  • TC82

    You’re 23. I’d think less of you if you WEREN’T waiting. You’re right: you need to see your husband through his first few years, through a deployment, etc.

    You ARE doing the right thing.

    • Rita Rose

      People ask what is wrong with you at 23?!? Appalling!! I’ve been married 7 years and am 31. My husband and I stopped preventing pregnancy on my 30th birthday. I have a Masters degree and lucrative career. My husband is 2 years into his military career. Maybe my eggs aren’t their prime anymore but we too had a plan and we stuck to it to be where we wanted before brining another life in to the mix. It is up to you and husband to decide when to have little people of your own to be responsible for. It’s good to hear that people out there actually think twice about having kids!! It’s totally ok to wait!!

  • I lived In NYC finishing my Ph.D. while my husband did his stint in Quantico, but lady, we were in the same boat. I’m almost 32 and we JUST had our first. And you know what? This was great for us! There’s no time to have a baby that’s perfect, that’s true. But there are plenty of times that are imperfect – and you know what those are. Stick to your guns, and goodluck with the non-baby-making friends. We found them – they were HARD to find – but we did. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with settling into marriage, adulthood, work, whatever before you have a kid… your family works your way. It’s on your standards. No one else’s. So keep rocking yours.

    It doesn’t make life on base without children any easier: http://spousebuzz.com/blog/2012/08/childless-mili

    • gallwaygirl

      If you don’t mind me asking, how was it, getting your PhD with a military husband? I’m applying to grad school soon, but it terrifies me to think we could spend 6 years apart. How’d you make it work?

  • Nena Leon

    I did exactly the same thing. We waited for eight years before having our first, thinking it was the right time. We were still not emotionally ready,mostly for everything that follows. If you feel unprepared take as much time as you can. Having a baby it’s a lifetime commitment you have to be ready financially physically emotionally. If these women are ready to have kids Good for them they should not question you, it’s your private business. My son was born with sickle cell disease, when end up in the hospital for days and week, sometimes I have to be there all by myself cause my husband is deployed. You should be able to enjoy your marriage take as much time as you want as long both of you want the same thing

  • guest

    Preach! I’ll be 22 in a week and getting married soon after that. We want to wait at least 5 years. The pressure isn’t on yet, but I’m sure it will be. I just want to make sure that both of us can handle this lifestyle and there’s no use adding a child to it when we haven’t really experienced it yet. I am in no way emotionally ready for raising a child, I feel like I’m still half one myself. After 5 years our student loans and cars will be paid off, our dog won’t be a puppy, and we’ll have gone through a few deployments and shore duty will be right around the corner. I know there’s no “perfect time” but I think aiming for shore duty is best for us. It is hard when I see friends my age or younger getting pregnant or having children, it’s hard for me to relate. Sometimes there’s that fleeting thought that I wish it could happen to me so I could be like everyone else, have a purpose every day, etc, but I know it’s an awful idea. I’ll stick with a puppy for now, she’s hard enough!

  • jojo613

    When I was active duty, I could not believe the number of military spouses that would say, “when are you going to get out and have children?” It’s actually offensive to me. It’s not anyone’s business. Anyway, I did eventually get out and have children, because our career paths were not lining up. I say wait until you are ready– financially, emotionally, and physically. Having children are a HUGE commitment.

  • IAgal

    One of the best replies I have seen for any inappropriately asked question came from Dear Abby. Her advice was to sweetly reply with the question, ” Why do you ask?”. It switches the focus and uncomfortableness back to the person who asked the inappropriate question, and often relieves you from defending pesonal choices.

    Good luck! (We just had our first after 7 years of marriage. Kids can wait. )

    • Joy

      Kids CAN’T wait! That is why your decision was a wise one. A new relationship phase IS like a child. It’s a melding of all of the “don’t knows, didn’t knows, and changes of minds” and a child can make situations worse than they are just because of added frustrations. Most children, today, are ‘handed over” to babysitters, nannies, grandparents, schools, clubs, etc. THAT is not being a parent, it’s being a baby maker.

      I am an old woman; military brat, military wife, military mom. I became a single, working mom with six boys (birth control was not that good in my day). The 11 years I was an “alone” mom were so very difficult. No welfare or child support. The only son in prison is a guard. My boys cannot believe what kids have to live in, live with, live without, and live alone.

      So, in a phrase… you go girl! Hugs for the child you are holding.

  • Megan

    Wish we could hang out in person and commiserate together. This is exactly how my husband and I think. We’ve been married three years and want to wait 3-4 more years before having kids. To some that is unfathomable. I say “to each their own.” I don’t judge all the women having babies before marriage or early on in marriage, young or old so why should they judge me for my choices? Why can’t people mind their own business?

  • Megan

    Also, forgot to mention that we are PCS-ing to Warren AFB in Wyoming next week. The comment I hear most that I absolutely loathe is “when you get to Wyoming, you will for sure get pregnant because you will be soooo bored!” I want to say “Oh really? I would just love to tell my future son or daughter I had him or her because I was sooo bored I had to have a baby!” What a terrible thing to say to someone!

  • Lisa P

    Preach on Moriah! It becomes even more “weird” to not have any kids once you hit your late twenties in this military world. Which is funny because none of my civilian friends are even married yet! I often feel like people think something is wrong with me since we are waiting, when in reality it is a choice that fits our lifestyle. Now is a great time to build your career, make some money, and enjoy time as a family of two. You’re only young once!

  • Kelli

    If you guys decided to wait together then you are TOTALLY doing the right thing. You guys are the only ones that can decide what is right for your family and as long as you guys decide together then you will be stronger for it. God bless and good luck :)

  • I can’t tell you all how nice it is to hear it from more people! I can’t agree more with all of your responses. Thank you for reading, and especially the replies!!

  • Krista

    Great article and good for you for waiting. It is ridiculous how many women on our base pop out kids like they’re Pez. So many aren’t even old enough to legally drink yet. A lot of them seem to think that having a child makes them an adult, which is nonsense. Some are bored, some feel pressure because their friends are having kids, some don’t believe in birth control, and some just think it’s what they’re supposed to do. There are a lot of derelict parents on base who clearly pay little to no attention to their kids, especially young dads. It breaks my heart to see these kids neglected, and I’ve witnessed it first hand a number of times. I’m 26 and my husband is 25. We do not and will not be having kids. We have many personal, emotional, and medical reasons for this, all of which are no one’s business but ours. But it’s amazing how many people think it’s their business. I also get offended when people ask us when we’ll be having kids, or why we don’t have kids. It’s so rude to pry into such a personal area. Do I think we’re selfish? Not at all. I think we’re very responsible because we know that we would not be happy with children and therefore would not be in a position to give them a good life. It’s really difficult sometimes at social functions. For a lot of the women around here, all they know how to talk about is pregnancy and kids. I don’t fit in. I end up hanging out with the guys watching the game, which is fine with me (sports fan), but kind of awkward. My husband even got hassled about having kids from a co-worker – a 20-year-old father who thinks there’s something wrong with US. It really makes me crazy. I’m not defective because I don’t want kids.

    • mel

      Your very right, so many young couples popping out kids left and right who shouldn’t be. People who don’t care for their children. It’s sad my husband and i didn’t want kids, but now decided to have them in 4-5 years in our late twenties. Deciding to have kids is VERY recent for us before this when people would ask when we were going to have kids and we would tell them we weren’t they thought we were insane. I always thought i could say the same about you HAVING kids. I do think we were being selfish, but who cares we are ALOUD to be selfish, its our life if we aren’t selfish we could virtually make the wrong decision. But at the end of the day the decision is YOURS and MINE and OURS so what other people think shouldn’t matter, its sad that we are consistently having to justify our decisions though.

  • Paxton

    I chose to have only one child. I had him when I was 21 – far too young, in hindsight. I bullied my doctor in to a tubal ligation at 23 years old. I have never looked back. No regrets.
    I come from a family of breeders. My younger sister has two boys, each of my two younger brothers has four children. (4 boys and 3 boys and girl, respectively.) my older sister has a whopping FIVE kids! (2 girls and 3 boys.)

    I’ve often said, if I were to be able to do it again I wouldn’t change a thing except I would have had my son closer to 30 than 20.

    Y’all are smart. Once you have children you lose the opportunities that you have as a young childless couple. Travel, spontaneity, in some cases the career you love. Take your time and enjoy each other while you are young. You are absolutely (in my book) doing your marriage a favor by nurturing it – just the two of you – for now.

  • Tevera

    “It’s a choice that fits OUR lifestyle… Why do you ask?” I’m so going to have to use those. Wished I would have had this advice before going back to visit family with my mother and brother-in-law passing me babies. My father-in-law also trying to subdue his judgmental tone when I mentioned filling out foster care paper work. I had a grandmother telling me I’m going to be old and all alone. People are questioning my father about my fertility. Even my coach from high school is asking if I have kids. It gets to be a little much. Sure we have been married nearly 10 years but plans can change. We expected to be almost to the end of our 2nd sea command but instead we’re not even 1/2 way. I commend my husband for wanting to be involved, now be patient people…

    • Laura S

      Good for you for considering foster care. I hope you are able to influence a lot of lives for good! :)

  • Kristen L

    We waited to try until we had been married 5 years and were 26 and 29. For the past three years we have been unable to get pregnant. Got tested and both of us came up with infertility issues. I will forever question if we missed our window when we were young and most fertile.

    People say silly things to me too. People say silly things to everyone. When you have kids they make comments on how few or many you have. They make comments about how you choose to educate them or which church you take them to. Everyone says silly things to everyone. You just have to show a little grace and assume that other people aren’t trying to hurt your feelings or pick on you. Most of the time they aren’t. They are just curious or trying to make conversation.

  • Tevera

    You are totally right but I think the broken record is one of the few methods that works when others continually cross boundaries that have clearly been established. It is hard not to engage in such a passionate topic though.

    Keeping my faith in God’s grace is an amazing help when it comes to all my self doubt too. Sometimes I know that the littlest things can set me off when it comes to the topic of children. I, however an an individual, and am valuable in my own respect. If we are only able to engage based on the subject of children well then… I beg to disagree that I’m going to die old and alone. I’m very good at adopting neighbors, students, exchange students, and now fostering.

    No disrespect intended but I refuse to be a party to put downs. I like your positive attitude but sometimes I have to guard my heart from the judgements of others and make the discussions that our best for us currently.

  • Brian

    Like anything else it’s a personal choice. We didn’t care that people said, that was never really an issue anyway. We started having kids after 7 yrs. We didn’t plan or anything, it just worked out that way. We ended up having our 3rd (and last) by my 13 yr mark.

    Not having them right away gave us time to enjoy our new marriage and do things together that would/ve been delayed due to having kids. I’m glad we had our kids when we did.

    When i was near retirement i’d have these young kids check in, they’d be 18-19 yrs old, married and already have 2, sometimes 3 kids. I’d just shake my head. That’s a whole ‘nother story…lol

  • joe

    We have been married for 60 yrs.we started our family right off,we are thrilled to have had our children
    but if we had to do it over we would wait until we were in our late 20s,or early 30s.I was born on a military base so was all of my brothers,sisters.It was tough back in those yrs.30s,40s.but we all survived and
    served in ww2,korea,now we have great grandchildren.we can spoil rotten then send them home to there
    parents.NOW WE ARE TO OLD TO DO THE THINGS WE WANTED TO DO.I suggest u wait and enjoy
    your life.

  • Brad

    I served 22 years and retired in 2010. I had my first child at the age of 30 (wife was 29) after close to 10 years in the Army. What the hell is wrong with the Marine Corps? I can’t remember anyone asking us or giving us weird looks – probably because we were hanging out with all of our other military friends who also had no kids. By all means, wait. You have plenty of time to raise kids, but your time as a young couple is fleeting. Enjoy it while you can. The earth won’t split asunder.

  • sabrinacking

    I don’t think its anyone else’s business but your and your husband’s when or even if you have children, or how many you have. Having said that..I am the opposite of everyone here. We had our first at 21, and our second at 26. The eldest just finished high school, and the youngest is in the seventh grade. We have the exact opposite reaction you are having. Whenever we go out now and see people who started having kids in their mid thirties to 40s, we are SOOOOOOO glad, that is not us. I am happy to have those diaper, teething toddler days…far, far behind me at 40 years old. We wouldn’t do it any other way if we had to do it over again. We’re glad we’ll be young grandparents God willing, and we’re glad we have from about 45 on as just a couple. It didn’t impede me from getting a Bachelors or a Masters. It didn’t impede me from building an impressive resume. I think at the end of the day..its just a very personal decision. You’re no wiser or smarter, or more prepared because you chose to have kids later in life. Nor are you any more wiser, smarter, or more prepared because you choose to have kids younger in life.

  • Cat

    We intend on waiting a good decade or so. We would like to at the very least finish our educations and start on careers before having children. In the meantime I’ll offer my services as a babysitter that way I’ll get my fill of adorable babies and someone else gets to take a little break from motherhood.

  • Jenni

    Do what feels right for you and your husband. It’s such a personal decision, I’m really sorry ANYONE feels it’s any of their business to comment to you at all on that subject. We had our first at 38, practically grandparent-age in this community, and I would not have done it any other way, because he is a gift and perfect. From the waited a (long) while perspective though, I will say that as I look toward the future, I wish I could have another decade with my son. No, there aren’t guarantees in life, so even if we had our child earlier, that does not equate to more time together with him, but we would have been fine in life if we had started trying for a family earlier, rather than waiting for things to be “more perfect” and running into trouble and delays in our mid-30’s… There is no perfect time, so don’t wait for things to be perfect. When you are ready to love them over everything, then it’s time. As for others’ opinions, it’s not a competition, it’s a child and a family. Good luck.

  • Guest

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
    –Eleanor Roosevelt–

  • Wbpantz

    We get a similar response when askwes if we are going to have more. That quick and abrupt throws them off. Not part of our plan. But you can rock the soccer team any day you like.

  • MisfitArmyWife

    I’m 30 without kids yet–7 years down the road it’s MUCH worse, and much more degrading. A full career of my own, two graduate degrees, and wanting to wait till after the current deployment cycle and people STILL ask me why I don’t have kids as if it must mean something is wrong with me and I need to defend myself to them. I’m already dreading the, “When are you planning the next one?” questions, because we only want one. I’m educated, successful, and I’ve done my research. Why should I have to explain myself to ANYONE, much less random women who don’t know me personally and have no business prying into my life? Apparently because I married a soldier and it’s just part of the deal.

    Well, it’s a bullshit deal as far as I’m concerned.

  • Olga

    We’re the same age. I’m 23 for the next two months… And we also don’t have any kids. Don’t get me wrong, if an accident happened, we’d keep it, love it, and be happy having the little tyke. That being said, I have almost all the problems you’re having.

    The rent is an arm and a leg. It’d be nice to PCS to a place we actually want to live at and buy a small town home before even thinking about kids. I want to get a graduate degree and a steady job before I reproduce. I’d like to see more money in savings. My husband is OCS-qualified and will apply by the end of this year. And yes, I too want him to be there for the milestones.

    This isn’t right for us – not now. It has been school, work, sleep for so long that I forgot the last time it was just Owie and Boo and nothing else. We need this time together. Alone.

    We’ve talked about what will happen if we wait too long or if one of us turns out to be infertile. My husband is a good man. We can foster, we can adopt a cute Chinese baby girl (or two, or three), and we can get more fuzzy babies (we have a cat and a rabbit).

    But right now? Right now is not the time nor the place. And that is alright. This weekend we’re playing Mario and eating home-made pizza. Last weekend of September we’ll be going to a show. Poor us!

  • Guest

    This topic really hits home for me, My husband and i have been married for a year and a half and we are both in our younger twenties. His parents keep pushing and asking when we are having kids and after a while i just told them i would rather wait until he is out of the navy (in four years left) to start having kids because i would rather my husband spend more time with the family rather than on a sub for months out at a time. It’s funny because his parents mothers response was “well tricare pays for most of the cost”… .well guess what? Its not all about the insurance and money, to me the quality of time is more priority than anything else. Am i selfish for wanting to wait? Am i selfish for wanting to continue and finish my education with out having babies in the mix? Why is there so much pressure?

    • Guest

      Continued….Don’t get me wrong my husband and i can’t wait to start our family, but it just seems too soon for us. The only other advice requarding kids and the miliary was by a neighbor who said that it was better to have kids while my husband was in the navy because it would keep us grounded, which i can understand but i dont think i need kids to be “grounded” considering im busy with work and college.

      • You betcha

        DON’T listen to your neighbor, my husband (in the Navy) and I had children young and although I love them dearly if they could have came later in life it would have been much more ideal. This life is not easy on adults, imagine how it is for children? You are newly married enjoy this time alone with your hubby. Finding a babysitter so that you can have spontaneity in a marriage is a nightmare. Most often we get invited out but have to decline for that reason. Its exhausting, as more thoughts ground around your child and what do you know those penny’s start pinching. You have the right idea in mind, grab your education and career don’t let it go, you can live life on your terms!!

        • Guest

          I appreciate the comment. I am so thankful to read different points of view. Not so sure when our “right time” will be, but I’m so glad to be married to my husband who is understanding and flexible with me regarding pregnancy.

  • Kathy

    Hey, I wanted to wait. When we met I wanted to marry him sooner than later. He was coming out of a bad relationship. I wanted this marriage bad enough to wait. He had 4 years prior enlisted when I met him. He rejoined the Army. He was enlisted and I married not only him but the Army as well too. They tell you that now. I wanted to wait for kids. We had problems in both of our families that interfered with our marriage more so from his side of the family than mine. We needed to grow up and we found out how to communicate with each other other than throwing the towel in and calling it quits. His first deployment after 9/11 was scary for both of us. We still today have not told everything to each other becuase the timing is not right. However we all change after each deployment. We both did change. Our first child was a special surprise. We were 31 and 33. We just had our 3rd child at 39 and 42. He is about to retire from the officer side of the house. Many moves and many states later we are still happy with our decisions for waiting on kids.

  • Anna

    THANK YOU! I also get these comments-and often from people YOUNGER than me! My husband and I are 26, just about to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. At the beginning of his first deployment. PCSing back across the country when he comes home- so WHY would we want to throw a baby into that mix?! I, like you, want to enjoy time with my husband. Want to be settled in one place for longer than a year. We also have debt to pay off. I see these 18, 19 year olds pregnant or already with children & just think “why?” Or with off the charts baby fever… I feel like they’re selling themselves short. There is plenty of time for babies and your family-but once that happens you’ll never get the time with just the two of you back. I often feel out of place in the military community since we’re a bit of an older couple who doesn’t have kids, but it’s what’s right for us. I don’t want to be the family that’s struggling to FEED our kids when we finally do start a family.

  • I truly love all of these responses and different views. It makes me feel support from more than one side!

  • Sarah

    I had a friend at Bragg who was pregnant, and one day she said she felt like a “walking cliche” any time she went on post. It was true, EVERYONE was pregnant! Except me. Three years later I am 27 and still don’t plan on kids any time soon. Military life is challenging enough without children. I have a hard enough time finding reliable pet care, I can understand why so many spouses who are full time moms are tired and stressed all the time. We always said when we were financially secure we would start the baby conversation but now that we are I want to enjoy it. We worked hard to get where we are and kids just don’t fit into my lifestyle right now. It blows my mind when people say child free couples are selfish. I would say the exact opposite. Not having kids allows me to make several large donations to charity throughout the year, I can volunteer my time, I can be an awesome aunt. I often feel left out of spouse circles because I don’t have kids but that’s OK, anyone worth having as a friend will appreciate you, kids or not.

  • USN Ret/Navy Wife

    This is still an issue? I remember the same question in 1975!
    There is more than one way to live a life….You don’t have to have children unless you want to and when you want to. The word “selfish” should never enter into the equation.
    I think it is far more self indulgent to have children too young and risk the possibility of divorce, single parenthood, no spare income for braces, college, etc.

  • mel

    My husband and i are 24, don’t want kids right now either. God i want to have a real job, be done with school and not have to worry about having to put food on the table or getting on wic. I don’t see how a 22 year olds e-4 wives who don’t work and have three kids survive on their husbands income.. but then also how they wonder why they have no friends? I want to enjoy my marriage and be settled before i throw children into the mix. I don’t see ANYTHING with you for waiting, i want to wait until i’m at least 26 to even get pregnant and at that point we will be married for six years, I don’t think there is ANYTHING at all wrong with that, if anything a really smart decision. My husband and i now combined are bringing home around $7,000 a month now, but i want to buy a house and have debts paid off before i even think about trying to get pregnant.

  • Jane25

    what’s the rush?!!? Geez…Never seen such a nation that is INSANE about popping kids out!? wORLD is already 7 billion at population…do you guys really think WE NEED TO POPULATE MORE with all the job uncertainties, global warming, etc, etc… I think traditional 1959s US days are over :(((

  • Laura24

    Dang, I’m 29 and still no kids planned for a few more years LOL. We enjoy each others company too much right now, we want to enjoy “us” time as much as we can. And the closer to retirement the better, I’d like for my other half to be there for his kids as much as possible. 7 years of moving around and missing dad is better than 15 years, but that’s just my opinion :)