Refinery29: 12 Women Discuss Whether They Regret Their Decisions Around Motherhood. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwle2Szzk
This is such a fascinating article. I never had doubts about motherhood. Well, let me explain. Throughout my 20s, I had assumed I would remain childless. Partly because of my five operations for endometriosis, partly because my husband was not suitable for raising children with, and partly because my mother told me I’d make a terrible mother, as I’d hate it.
It turns out I’m having a blast. I don’t like kids, much. We don’t relate well, but mine are awesome. Other people have said just that. It is quite a struggle with managing my pain, but I have an extremely supportive partner, who works with us as a team, not a sperm donor. He attends all our appointments, as the kids are both autistic. Our 15-year-old girl has Aspergers, our boy is 13 in June, is part way through testing. They are certain he is on the spectrum, but resources are so limited, they have to test further up the line before finishing him up. My husband has Aspergers as well. He cloned himself when he made my girl! 😂
I work hard to find other things to talk about besides my children. I have many child free friends. In fact, I was on those boards in the 90s! I even campaigned for a hysterectomy for a while, as it was the only thing on offer to really ‘cure’ my endo.
My life would have been very much different without children. I may even be in less pain. I certainly wouldn’t know the love, wisdom, and depth of spirit I do now. We had discussed the very real likelihood I might not be able to conceive. When my now-husband and I met, I was 28, he was 30. (It was Halloween, 1998, my birthday is November 3, I was 27) Wednesday moved in together officially in July of 1999 (unofficially, much earlier, but we got a place together in July) and on November 13, 2000 I got pregnant for the first time. This was my ectopic pregnancy, which had given us so much hope! I could at least get pregnant.
I started bleeding on Christmas Eve, 2000 in Barrie, an hour’s drive north of the city we live in (Toronto). It started getting bad, beyond spotting, so I had husband take me to the hospital. At the hospital they told me their ultrasound technician was off for the holiday (1:00 p.m.) but my cervix was closed, don’t worry. Meanwhile, not fine. We have holiday dinner at my brother and sister in laws house with parents in law, while I am bleeding, and cramping and trying to hold it together while I know I’m in hostile territory. We had planned the surprise for tomorrow, but I’m scared as hell and turning ghostly white. Husband finally makes announcement he’s taking me back to a better hospital. Oh, and that I’m pregnant. Mother in law holds her head in her hands. Drama queen. We traipse off to the hospital, where I don’t remember what happened, but we have to keep my parents’ car overnight. I have to tell everybody over the phone the good news. I at least get to sleep in my own bed. The next morning I went back to the hospital and they ran tests on me. They discovered I had an ectopic pregnancy. The embryo had stopped growing in the fallopian tube. If it had decided to rupture, I could have died. What kind of hospital doesn’t have an ultrasound technician? Doesn’t think of this possibility and suggests I try another hospital? I was lucky enough that they caught it in time and two doses of methotrexate took care of and dissolved that blockage. Because, after getting the all clear, it only took us two months to conceive our daughter. The original plan was, we would try the 6 months leading up to the wedding, and then immediately after, start IVF. Usually they make you wait a year, but they were so convinced, and worried about my advanced age and surgeries. I’m so glad to prove them wrong. Husband takes all the credit!
We were planning to get married the following October. October 16 is the ‘family’ wedding day. Rebels that we are we married on the 20th of October, 2001. I was 5 months pregnant with Dorkus.
I remember those nights of pulling my daughter into bed because she wouldn’t stop nursing. She eventually stayed there. I’ve had days of stumbling around and not being able to see, so tired.
But she grew, she became more independent. It wasn’t long before I wanted a bigger family.
I must say, being adopted by my dad, with a half-sister, having genetic relations around is neat!
Honestly, my menstrual cycle returned in July, 2003. September, 2003 I had an ER room visit where I was clutching my abdomen in pain. I could barely speak, I was moaning. They were certain it was my appendix, although they couldn’t find it on ultrasound. They decided to go in after it. They removed a perfectly good appendix and I started my period the next morning. The nausea from the anaesthetic lifted after two weeks, but then I started getting sick again. Our boy was born in June of 2004.
I’ve never regretted them. They are my family.
Just today, I had such pain, I needed comfort. I asked my son to come snuggle me. Just sit with me and watch the Simpsons while I fell asleep.
Best nap ever.
One one side, I do have incredible pain and very little to no support from extended family. On the other hand, I have an extremely supportive, willing and able-appearing partner, who pushes through the pain of his own arthritis to keep us on track. We are in a first-world country with adequate health care that I have extended benefits for and the income to access, not to mention the skin tone. This all contributes to making things slightly easier for me on that side of the equation.
Although, we left our kids with a sitter to actually go out, once. We went to my high school reunion. 25 years. Back in Winnipeg. We had adjoining rooms and the kids bounded in the next morning and wanted to know who was in bed with me. They didn’t recognize their father. 😄
I think we’ve left them with my parents a couple of times? Few? My Mom has taken our daughter to the library, we’ve spent time with them. Husband and I went for dinner for an hour and a half. No more than six times for sure. We just didn’t see them that much. Never with his parents. I was in labour with our son and we had asked them to come stay with our girl. They wanted to take her to their house and hour away! No! I want her to meet her brother! First! They didn’t get it. My Mom to the rescue! Or I would he rave been alone.
I don’t know if I told this story. I tell about my daughter’s birth, but when my son was in labour, the nurse checked my progress with two fingers and he grabbed them! She said he must have had his hand up by his head!
Parenthood: I feel like I’ve been given the greatest puzzle to solve. The more I put into it, the more love I get out of it.
Goodnight, Zebras! 😘
It’s the middle of the night, I hope this makes sense! 😘😘😘