When the GP first told me I may not be able to have children I freaked out. It wasn’t even a guarantee either – just a big old question mark hanging over my uterus. I was 22 and going in for a regular checkup when Gina casually threw out there “oh by the way did anyone follow up with you on that ultrasound you had a few months ago?” (by the way ‘a few months ago’ takes us into the previous year) anyway obviously taken aback, my immediate thoughts went straight to WebMD and I decided I was dying.
Me casually-but-not-actually-that-casual: “no, was there something wrong?”
Gina (way to casually): “oh yeah so we found some follicles/growths on your ovaries that indicate towards you having complications with conception or childbirth”
WHAT THE ACTUAL FLYING FUCK GINA.
Let me preface this angry outburst by saying that 1) Gina isn’t even my regular GP and 2) Surely there are better ways to tell a 22 year old girl that she may not be able to be a mother than “hey we found some shit on your ovaries like 5 months ago, didn’t anyone tell you?”. Needless to say I left to doctors office with no support, no information apart from a big fat maybe, and a head full of ‘I’m never going to be a mother’. So what did I do? I got absolutely shit faced; two bottles of Scrumpy down the hatch white-girl-wrecked to be precise. Could I have dealt with this better? Probably. Did that stop me? NO. Because sometimes you need to handle things in the least adult way possible, and you know what? That is more than okay. Once I woke up from my little episode and remembered why, my hangover decided to kick in, and so did my lady brain.
Lady brain, FYI, is the part of me that holds all desire to do things like create a wedding board on Pinterest, say shit like “I want to marry my best friend”, and the need to have children. At 23, my actual want to have kids at this time in my life is akin to me wanting a colonoscopy. Which is not at all. So me acting out and getting trashed (and crying to my loving friends) because I was upset at the prospect of not being able to have children seems a little over dramatic upon re-evaluation.
What about the future? What happens when I actually want to have kids? Lady brain kicked back into overdrive and panic ensued – the world suddenly closed in around my abdominal area and I instantly hated my body for betraying me. The voice in my head was telling me, you’re a woman but you can no longer do the one thing we were made for – what use are you? This was huge for me. The inside me was right, if I can’t have kids and start a family what use am I as a woman. That’s when Logic Brain kicked in (praise the gods) and said “Hey Girl, I know you’re pretty stressed out about this unfortunate situation right now, but can we take a minute to think about some other things?”
Does blood constitute a family? No. Looking at my sister, and my friends I know firsthand that Family is an unconditional love, not just a genetic link. Do I need to carry a baby to make it more my own? No. Will I love an adopted/surrogate/fur baby any less? NO. Are the miracles and breakthroughs of modern science ever going to stop progressing and giving more options apart from Yes or No? HELL NO. Is Gina just a little bit dumb, and freaked you out for no real reason other than a maybe? Yes. So ultimately what are we worried about right now?
I was right (duh) why was I so worried about the possibility of not having kids or living the nuclear family ‘dream’? Because traditional society told me so. Not having kids does not qualify me as disappointment to our species. Every day women (and men) make conscious decisions to not have kids, not get married, to elope, to be with other women/men, adopt, surrogate, have 10 kids – whatever it may be – and you know what? IT’S FUCKING AWESOME. Living in the modern world is goddamn amazing, and it hurts that it took such a primitive notion of how my life should play out being challenged to make me see how many other options I actually have. Fur babies? I’ll take 10. Non traditional wedding? I do. No wedding at all? Perhaps! My point (I remind myself) is that you are 100% allowed to create your own rules. I actually started thinking about this after high school – once we graduated, the only acceptable next step was Uni; no breathing space, no time to decide what it was you really wanted, and no other ‘acceptable’ options. If you didn’t pursue the path of higher education you were judged and labelled a dropkick – because at that time validation was in the form of a piece of paper. How did that work out for me? I dropped out of uni in my second year, went into full time work, and am living the life I want to be leading (or having fun getting there), so admittedly quite well in a round about way (everything is meant to be remember), but in the end I’m still slammed with a huge amount of student debt, no degree, and a ‘what if’ if I actually took some time after high school to figure out what it was I wanted to pursue. As a result of the pressure I felt from my peers to go straight into Uni – and feeling like I had no other option – when I didn’t get accepted into the course I originally applied for I had a full blown breakdown. Why? Because traditional society told me so. Let me also say that in no way am I not an advocate for University and pursuing further education, I am so proud (and sometimes envious) of the incredible people around me that have all recently graduated! I just wish I had had more support in terms of alternatives that are equally as fulfilling and 100% available should you choose.
Thus leading me to the moral of this story – pretty much repeating what I’ve already said, and also reiterating what I have said in previous posts – there is no handbook (anymore) dictating what you should do and when you should be doing it. You are not a failure as a human being if you can’t have kids, taking a year off to decide what you want to do after high school doesn’t make you a drop kick, and wanting to have fur babies out of wed lock is completely up to you. GO YOU. Make your own rules and lead the fulfilling, complete life that makes YOU happy.
After all of this is said and posted, I must confess – I do hope the wonders of science enable me to be a mama one day, because I have a lot of love left in me to give, but if the universe decides it’s not meant for me I am thankful for all the other options at my disposal.
Stay special, keep positive.