Babies, the Final Frontier

Five or so years ago I was on a quest to find some relief from the abdominal pain I was having when my doctor referred me to get an ultrasound. I remember very vividly because the paper she gave me said, “consequences of not following up with this referral:” and she had written, “cancer, death”.

Talk about a terrible bedside manner!

Needless to say, that terrified me (a 20 year old girl who had fairly recently moved to Seattle) and I had the ultrasound.

The pain, they told me over the phone, was ovarian cysts.

“Oh, and by the way, you have a uterine abnormality and there is a 90% chance that you cannot have children.” Click!

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I hate being around children. They make me overwhelmingly uncomfortable. And my 20 year old self had no intention of ever having children anyway.

But I found myself extremely upset, much more than I anticipated. Like I said, it didn’t really bother me that I couldn’t have children because I didn’t want to, what bothered me was that I no longer had the choice. I would never be able to decide for myself to have them or not, the decision was already made for me.

Over the last five years I feel like I have completely come to terms with the situation. I have relied heavily on this fact to diffuse any possible pressure by my family or my man’s family about us ever having kids.

Sorry! Can’t!

We’ve talked about it often, neither of us wants to. And lets say that by some miracle I hit 35 and become obsessed with having a child in my life, well heck. I’d just adopt one. I have a friend who was adopted and she is one of the coolest people I know!


This week I had to have an ultrasound again, and the results were a little shocking.

The abnormality is gone.

Maybe it wasn’t there in the first place and they mis-read my first ultrasound, or my file got swapped with someone else’s, or the Great Pumpkin granted me a new uterus.

I don’t know how or why, but after five years of being told I would never have children I was told Tuesday that, well, actually I could if I wanted.

I guess “shocked” is really an understatement. I don’t know if I am happy or upset, because my ducks were in a row but now there are just ducks everywhere.

I wont lie, having bipolar disorder does have some influence over my decision about procreation. I am not suggesting that people with bipolar disorder make bad parents or that they shouldn’t pass on their genes, people should do whatever they darn well please. What concerns me is discerning what I darn well please and I was satisfied with the decision I had come to. I felt comfortable there.

This really doesn’t effect anything except my own perception of my possible futures. I still feel the same way I did about having children, and as confusing as it is I am glad that I have been given back the choice that was taken away from me 5 years ago.

2 responses to “Babies, the Final Frontier

  1. No one ever wants to be told they can’t have children, whether they want them or not. I think it’s some primal mechanism. We want to have the ability because that’s part of biological function. Hence, the reason some women feel a “biological clock”. It’s part of the scientific definition of being alive.

    My son didn’t want to breastfeed. And I couldn’t produce enough milk. It sounds like no big deal; that’s why they make formula and bottles. But I felt like a failure of a mother. I said to myself, “If this were the time before formula, my son would have died.” It took some of the motherhood experience away from me. It relates. Having reproductive ability taken away from me would be devestating. I do want more children, but it’s bigger than that. I would feel like a failure as a woman, as a human.

    I’m glad the abnormality disappeared, for whatever reason. It’s better for your mind and your heart. And if it’s easier to fend off the family, don’t tell them. If you ever do decide to have kids, then it will be the Great Pumpkin miracle!

  2. There’s a big difference between choosing not to have children and no longer having that choice. I have made a thoughtful, considered decision not to have them, though I would very much like to. I made this decision over a course of several years, and while it is extremely difficult, I know that it’s the right decision for me.

    However, I have no interest in permanent sterilization procedures. There are many effective, low-risk alternatives to getting my tubes tied, but as I said, the difference between making a choice and no longer having one has enormous psychological ramifications.

    So I’m always very careful, I’m on HBC and also use condoms, and I keep track of when I could potentially be ovulating (though HBC is supposed to suppress that biological function, it often doesn’t).

    I would imagine your situation is the psychological inverse. The book was closed, now it is (theoretically) opened again. Perhaps, not wanting children, you should thank (God, the Universe, fate, your body) what or whomever that you haven’t accidentally gotten pregnant. I have a good friend who was told she would have a five percent chance of getting pregnant. Her daughter will be twelve next month (she also has two sons, a bit younger, one of whom was also a surprise). πŸ˜‰

    And incidentally, it isn’t as though you hit 35 and suddenly your fertility drops off completely. The biology behind declining fertility is a great deal more complicated and over-hyped (OMG, I have to get pregnant now or I won’t be able to!) than that. πŸ™‚

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