I wrote this particular piece about a year ago, and finally got up the courage to post it, but this space is .me so here’s a piece of me.
Listen, I have a story. It may not be the most glamorous or even entertaining, but it deserves to be told. There was a girl who never wanted to have a kid. Since she was old enough to have an opinion on the subject she just never wanted to inflict that kind of trauma on her person. She always said if ever she decided to have a kid, one singular kid… she would adopt.
Now, here we are. Over 20 years later. With a 4 year old. That she birthed, and never again. Because it was traumatic. Any woman who tells you otherwise has just decided to gloss over or pretend that part never happened. Of course every woman’s experience is different. Of course your experience may not have felt traumatic, but you had to take time away from your own life. You had to take time away from work (if you worked). You had to do things differently and rethink things because you chose to grow another person inside you.
I’m not here to shame you for this decision. I’m here to remind you that this decision is extremely personal, and your opinion on someone else’s child growing decision doesn’t matter. So just stop talking. Especially if your body isn’t even capable of doing the thing.
Before I had my daughter, especially once I was in a long-term committed relationship I heard over and over “so when are you having kids?”. Not just ONE but MULTIPLE. “So, when are you having kid(S)”. My response for a long time was quasi-truth. I don’t want them right now. I always felt the need to add RIGHT NOW or more questions would happen. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T WANT KIDS!??
That was my 20s. Then I entered my 30s. I thought “maybe I do want a kid”. Maybe. A lot of conversations happened. Pros and cons lists were created. Eventually we decided to not stress about it and just see what happens.
It didn’t take as long as I thought it would to actually get pregnant, but then I miscarried as soon as I started to begin to think of pregnant me as reality, and THAT… that took a while to recover from. Both physically and mentally. And once I thought I was over it I started getting medical bills that, IF I was pregnant WOULD NEVER HAVE COME. IF I had STAYED pregnant, and not miscarried I would’ve never gotten these bills. However, because the pregnancy became “unstable” I had to pay for those doctor’s visits. So, after I thought I was recovering from that particular trauma it came back like a flood.
So, more time, more money, and more questioning if this was the right decision… Eventually I did get pregnant again. TWO YEARS after we initially said we’d see what happens. Then, the actual pregnancy wasn’t too bad. Sure I had to stop drinking, had to stop eating certain foods, had to go to the doctor way more frequently, but overall l was fine. Had to fast to check for gestational diabetes. Had crazy migraines in the beginning, and then crazy heartburn near the end, but mostly it was fine. Much less stressful than other ladies. Thankfully.
BUT IT WAS STILL TRAUMATIC. After the birth my body still needed time to recover. Still needed time to mentally adjust to what was now my life. I was LUCKY, so so so so so lucky, to work for a company that provided 16 weeks of parental leave. Otherwise I feel my recovery would’ve been slower.
So, again, when you try to insert yourself into someone else’s decision to have kids. Just walk away. Just walk away. You don’t know their history. Their reason. How they came to this conclusions, and IT’S NOT FOR THEM TO TELL YOU.
PS – Since having my first child. I’m now getting the question of “Oh when are you having more?” I’m not. The end.