My brother got married about two years ago and he and wife just found out they are having a baby! I know that he is absolutely beside himself with joy. Ever since he got married he's been talking about becoming a daddy. So, I'm going to be an auntie! I'm super excited and happy about this. I'm a step aunt but this is the first time I'll be an aunt to one of my own blood relatives. Ever since I found out, I've been thinking about how it seems that so many of my friends and relatives are either pregnant or have recently had babies. Everyday it seems, I hear a new pregnancy announcement. I'm 34 years old and have never been married or pregnant. This was my choice; made the decision to lead a more unconventional adventurous life than most people I know. I always told myself that one day I'd settle down and get married and have kids, but so far all I've achieved is the settling down part. If the Swede and I got married it would unbelievably expensive and complicated. We're both children of divorced parents and we'd have to have two weddings: one here and one in the US. I know our parents want us to get married but I'm thinking it would be a huge relief to them if we just went down to the courthouse and got it over and done with. We can't afford one wedding, let alone two. As for having kids, I'm getting older and I need to get on with it. I'm as ready as I'll ever be to become a mother. I have a decent job as a high school teacher but my income isn't very high. I'm not that worried, though. At least here in Sweden, with all the help one gets from the government (i.e.: six months of paid maternity leave, child benefits, low-cost health care and day care, etc.) I know I could support myself and a baby. However, my SO doesn't have any income. He was studying to become an engineer but he dropped out of school six months ago and hasn't had much luck finding a job. I work more or less full time and he does everything else, all the cleaning, laundry, food buying and the like. I can tell you I really like this arrangement. I definitely do not want to end the relationship. Anyway, I'm not asking for advice or anything. I'm just sharing my thoughts.