I Don’t Want To Have Babies
(submitted by Angela, a Chestist. Originally posted 5.18.11, and again now)
I'm a 35 year old female, married to a wonderful man, educated, working at a good job, but I have a confession to make. This confession has taken me several years to actually realize. Here it is…ready? (You may think you are, but I don't know!)
Okay…I don't really want to have babies!
There, I said it. Do I still get to keep my Woman Card? I feel like I’ll be booted out of the club for daring such a thought, the lone woman out in a world obsessed with fertility.
What I do know is that my hubby and I have been trying to get pregnant for about 5 years now – our progress is one ectopic pregnancy and…well, that's it! He and I both have some fertility issues, meaning our reproductive organs aren't exactly working in rabbit-like fashion. Okay, so no big deal, right? Take some fertility drugs, try a couple (or more) of In-Vitro fertilizations, and just pop some out! Or adopt a bunch, there are kids everywhere who don't have families! Or get your mom to carry some fetuses for you, I saw that on Oprah! Do I really HAVE to do all that?
Ummm…no. Not so much. For me personally, the idea of scientifically "messing around" with my biological functions to produce a human life is, well, scary. For me, it's just not the right thing to do. I’m of the school of thought that says if something isn’t working, you shouldn’t force it. I'm glad that other people have access to the technology, but for me it sounds like a nightmare. The poking, prodding, shots, tests, crazy hormone-induced mood swings, not to mention the stress and pressure, weeks, even months on pins and needles worrying if there is success, and then possible major disappointment and resulting depression when all that stuff doesn't work. I've had MORE than my share of disappointment and depression already; I can't handle any more.
Oh, and also, I don't have the money for fertility treatments, even if I did want to go that route. People spend tens of thousands of dollars on that stuff, which sometimes results in…nothing. I just read a book about that actually, titled Silent Sorority, by Pamela Tsigdinos. Adoption is also not an option for us, for valid reasons which I won’t enumerate here and which are not in our control.
The thing is, I have never really seen myself as a parent. Growing up, I always kind of knew, maybe call it intuition, that I would probably have trouble producing children. Long story short, nature has never worked properly for me in that department, although otherwise I’m strong, athletic and healthy. In my whole life, I've never been the type of person who envisioned how many kids I'd have, what their names would be, or what they would grow up to do. I’ve had friends who were talking about their future children when THEY were children! As a child, I wasn’t into playing house or with baby dolls. Apparently I’m just not programmed that way.
So why have I been even attempting to get pregnant, you ask? Great question! I've just gotten to the point of asking myself the same thing. Why am I spending perfectly good years of my life stressing out, feeling depressed and disappointed, struggling with my self-worth, and now my sex life suffering to boot?? (Note: Unsuccessful mating eventually results in an almost complete lack of desire to mate. UNACCEPTABLE!) WHY AM I TORTURING MYSELF, and my husband, trying to do something that is not working? It's like I've been banging my head against a brick wall. I just have a giant headache and nothing to show for it.
Turns out, after all that soul-searching, I think I was doing it because Everyone Else wanted me to, and I though that’s what I was SUPPOSED to want. You know, my family, his family, society in general. I got caught up in what “they” said I “should” be doing, and was miserable and hating my life. But I had an epiphany – I don’t HAVE to want kids! Therefore, I give myself permission to be okay with myself, okay with not wanting to go through horrific, emotionally and financially draining fertility technology, okay with being HAPPY with my life! Since that epiphany, I have felt freedom and joy again! I can think about my future and plan things I want to do, go see and accomplish, unencumbered and unrestricted!
I say all this because I’ve read tons about people undergoing massive fertility treatments, and I feel like the only one who is okay with not wanting to continue that agony for myself. I can’t be the only one!