Dear uterus: please hold

I’m 31 years old, will be 32 this year. I’m still not entirely comfortable with being “in my 30s,” and my reproductive expiration date is rapidly approaching. I can practically feel my uterus drying out, giving up. Last night my mom texted me: “Don’t forget your ticking clock.” OMG–please stop with all the ticking, I just can’t. Believe me, I’m feeling the pressure. I have my annual OBGYN appointment today and while I do like my doctor, when I turned 30, the visits took on a more urgent tone. “Are you thinking of having children?” he would ask me. “You still have time, but you’ll want to do it sooner than later.”

Of all the things in life, the greatest uncertainty and source of most confusion, conflict, and internal anguish has been the question: “Will I ever become a mother?” I have many feelings about this subject, which I plan to explore in a book–someday. But for today, I need to get some thoughts out. I’m just not fucking ready to have a child. Being single for most of my 20s, having a baby was a distant abstract. I met my partner when I was 27, and time still seemed abundant. He wanted kids “someday;” I wasn’t sure, then we both traded positions and have never been on the same page at the same time. Now he is back to wanting them “someday,” and I am not so much wanting a baby as I am feeling intensely pressured to have one. The fear of infertility (for which I cannot afford treatment) plagues me. The term “geriatric uterus” makes me simultaneously roll my eyes and twinge with fear. Never having a child seems scarier than having one right now.

Many women get pregnant by accident and they do the parenting thing just fine. I like to think that could be me. Having chance and biology make the imperative decision for you, and deciding to continue the pregnancy in some ways, is the easiest way to come to terms with becoming a parent. I have no doubt that I would love any child I had to the moon and back. But I have committed and promised my partner to stay on my birth control, and only go off it with his full consent (entrapment is not a good plan). Life isn’t conducive to babies right now. I’m about to graduate with my Bachelor’s in English come May, and am actively seeking graduate programs for an education degree. To be honest, I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing. But what I do know is that I’ve worked too damn hard to give up my dreams for a screaming baby.

There are so many things I want to do–travel, write, teach, paint, create, explore–and a child would undoubtedly hamper all of the above. My partner and I live in a very modest (read: small, cramped) 2-bedroom apartment and while we are not “poor,” we lack the means to buy a house and have relatively little saved. Having a child is a huge money drain, and that scares me. What a shame to bring a child into a world of struggle and scrimping. I don’t want to do that.

Unlike most other things in life, a woman’s fertility has a deadline. 35 is the recognized age at which pregnancies become “high risk,” and while many women deliver healthy babies in their late 30s and even 40s, I want to avoid the social stigma of having a dangerous pregnancy. I also have a fear that even if I tried to have a child, I wouldn’t be able to conceive, or my treasured pregnancy would end in a bloody miscarriage (I had one when I was 18, result of an accidental pregnancy of course, and it was so fucking scary).

So who knows? I’m feeling a lot of things, but the biggest one is pressured. Society is strongly natalist. Everyone loves babies. The self-centered, attention seeking part of me (which is big, I’ll admit) wants to be a pregnant goddess, protecting the swollen moon of my belly which contains the most precious thing of all: life. But I’m not ready yet…and that’s what I’ll have to tell my doctor today.

Please comment and share your thoughts on this subject–women and men, childless or parents, I would greatly appreciate your advice/opinions on this most personal topic. Finally, this quote speaks to me:

motherhood_aniston

 

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8 thoughts on “Dear uterus: please hold

  1. Hi dear, it seems so long since we’ve communicated through our blogs! Maybe you remember my nightmarish online dating experiences I used to share? Anyway, you and I are around the same age (I’ll be turning 30 this year), so I know precisely what you’re feeling. My boyfriend and I have been together since I was 23, but we’re still hesitant to have children. I had decided when I was around 17 that I didn’t want to bring a child into this crazy world. I still mostly feel the same way, but there’s suddenly the pressure now that I’ve gotten older to make sure this is the right decision. My boyfriend is more open to the idea than I am, but we both feel conflicted. I’m sure we would be very loving parents focused on instilling positive values, but I really think I would feel guilty for making another soul go through this thing called life 😛 I fear that the future will be bleak and Orwellian and that the New World Order might be in full effect within a few decades. The masses are totally ignorant of these agendas, but the awakening that continues to spread (thanks to the internet!) might help put a halt to some of these evil plans. I just worry about humanity and what the future generations might experience if they continue to remain unbalanced and ignorant. I wish I had some advice to offer, but unfortunately, I’m in the very same predicament. Maybe if you decide not to have children, you can still find a way to have a positive impact through teaching, mentoring, or something along those lines.

    • Hey Manda! So great to get a comment from you, thank you so much! I was snooping into your new(ish) blog and will definitely get around to leaving some comments. I always enjoy reading your posts. I share many of your fears and anxieties about an Orwellian future. It’s not as distant or far-fetched as people would like to think. There’s a feeling of social responsibility in not contributing to population increase (contributing to climate change, depletion of resources, pollution, etc) and never mind that we have no idea what the world will look like when they’re our age. It’s already harder for us millennials than it was for our parents’ generation!

      Luckily my doctor didn’t say a word about babies–so as usual, my anxiety was for naught. Let’s stay in touch! xx V

      • Glad to hear your doctor didn’t nag you with any lectures or advice this time 🙂 Also glad you could see things from my perspective regarding our Orwellian future. I felt like I probably came off sounding rather negative and paranoid, but the control and planned agendas of elite groups are not too hard to see with a little bit of research. With the rapid and drastic changes we’re seeing in the world, it makes it so much more complicated to make an already complicated decision…Yes, let’s definitely stay in touch! Have a great weekend 🙂

  2. I will have to disagree that there’s a social stigma to having a baby in one’s thirties or forties, and would be concerned about that being a reason not to be a parent. It’s also not nearly as high risk as doctors like to say – having a baby is a very natural thing ( even when it takes IVF to make it happen for example), yet the medical establishment has made childbirth into something dangerous instead of something women have been doing for years, including into their forties. The term high risk is thrown around but if you actually look at the scientific data, the risk is only by a few percentage points. Yes the risk of miscarriage does go up ( I had one myself last summer after our fourth round of donor egg IVF), but as someone who is 43 I would say that the most important thing is to do what feels right for you and not let external factors like what society says affect your decision to have or not pursue having children. Listen to your gut.

    • Thank you, Aimee! I appreciate your opinion on this. There is a great book called “Ready: Why women are embracing the new later motherhood” by Elizabeth Gregory that has been really helpful and encouraging. That “high risk” term is really frightening and I think people and even doctors tend to pressure women who aren’t ready to have children, which is frightening as well. In the end it will have to be a decision my partner and I make together when the time feels “right” (or as close to right as possible). Thanks again! x

      • It’s funny because a lot of the world assumes we don’t want to have kids early because of our careers or what not. I just happened to be married to someone in my twenties who didn’t exactly inspire me to want to reproduce, and didn’t find someone who did until I was in my late thirties. I suppose we’re very fortunate as we are now in a culture where we’re not expected to breed right after high school, and of course have access to birth control which many of our mothers did not. For me I never thought about infertility because I had enough friends in their late thirties and early forties who had babies no problem… so when I was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve I was shocked …but the one thing nobody did discuss, as I’m sure you understand, is that many many more women have miscarriages (1 in 4) than is ever spoken of… and there’s no support for the brutality of how that feels… we are actually going to a Mizuko Kuyo ceremony that I found out about that’s happening here in May in Oregon, the Japanese ceremony which honors the babies we’ve lost in miscarriage and stillbirth, which gives women (and men) a voice to their pain in a world that often dismisses it.

    • Thanks for the comment ❤ Yep, it's the plight of the thirtysomething woman. I never really understood it until I turned 30…and time just goes faster and faster. I hope whatever happens, it is for the best! x

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