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Think Out Loud

Staff Pick: Having & Raising Children

Pete Springer/OPB

When you’re young, the threat of pregnancy makes you feel like having a baby is just the easiest thing in the world — something that could happen in a split second if you’re not very, very careful. While that isn’t necessarily the wrong message, with age, however, comes the understanding that having a child isn’t always so simple. Today’s show explores some of the unique circumstances around having and raising children.

We begin with part of our program on the Ethics of Egg Donation. In this segment you’ll hear from Catherine Meyer, a Portland resident, who talks about her experience as an egg donor. She says:

It is hard to put a dollar amount on it. For me it was that $5,000 mark was enough to make it worth the risks. Since I didn’t only decide to do it for the money it was a little easier to make the decision knowing I was helping someone out.

Have you ever considered donating your eggs? Do you have a child conceived through egg donation? Or are you someone who has adopted a child? If so, you might be interested in the second part of our show where we explore how adoption affects peoples lives. 

On the original show post, Think Out Loud’s senior producer, Allison Frost, wrote about her personal experience with adoption.

Ten years ago, my sister became a single mom at age 18. Her son was a beautiful, strong-willed boy, adored by his six aunts and uncles and the entire extended family. She was a great mom at first, but by the time he was 18 months she decided she was not cut out for motherhood and could not give him the life she wanted for him.

I lived in another state, and didn’t suspect any of this from our previous visits. Then, I got a phone call out of the blue one sunny summer afternoon. My reaction was shock, disbelief, anger, desperation, and intense grief. Though we were told the adoption would be “open” and that we would be able to see him again, I couldn’t imagine how this would ever, ever be OK. The pain was worse than anything I had ever experienced. And I was just the aunt.

The rest of her post (and the full show) is available here.

After exploring adoption we’ll move on to what happens when you actually have, and have to raise, a child — especially a teen! In her new book, My Teenage Werewolf, author Lauren Kessler explores the life of teenagers — specifically her daughter Lizzie. When Lizzie was on the cusp of teenagedom, Kessler realized their relationship was going into terrible territory. She wrote:

Who is this girl I live with, this twelve-year-old, this daughter I wanted so badly and now don’t know how to connect with? And who do I turn into when we lock horns, as we do most days, on…well, on just about everything. We fight about taking showers, choosing appropriate clothing (flip flops in December?), food and nutrition (she recognizes only two food groups: cheese and deep-fried), table manners, chores, homework, screen time. We fight over everything, and nothing. Most mornings we eye each other warily, waiting to see who will cast the first stone – neither of us free of sin, both of us well armed.

Do you have a teenager? Does Kessler’s experience ring true for you?

From having children — to making sure your teen doesn’t become pregnant (!) — a few of the highs and lows of having and raising children are on this special compilation show. What other parenting shows would you like to hear from us?

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