Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The *uck stops here! (well, the reproductive side of it anyway)

I’ve just been listening to a ‘call in’ on a TV show about should women have the option to freeze their ovaries so they can have children when they’re in their forties or fifties when they are post-menopausal. And once again I heard the view that ‘Every woman wants to have children! That’s the main reason in life for a woman!


Simply not true.

The majority of women want children. Some women are desperate to have a child and spend thousands of pounds on trying to make a little wand turn blue. Many women get pregnant, have the child and say it was the best thing that ever happened to them, many women have a child and spend the rest of their lives regretting it. More women these days are thinking ‘I might have a child but not right now. Maybe in a few years time when I’ve met the right partner/am financially secure/have finished buying shoes. Some women want a child so they can ‘make a man love them and stay with them forever’. Some women just want baby after baby and ignore the children once they get too demanding.
Some women just don’t want children.

I don’t want children.

And it seems to me, the majority of women who do want children, think that the ones who don’t have some sort of problem.
‘So when are you going to have a baby?’
‘I’m not’
‘Oh you poor thing! Why not?’
Many times I have wanted to say ‘Because the doctors won’t let me have any more after I ate the last three’ just to see their reaction.
Instead I say ‘I can’t, I had a hysterectomy.’ Which is true. The reasons being that a) I had pretty severe endometriosis and adenomyosis, and b) I didn’t want children. Over the years, I‘ve learnt to omit reason b) because if I don’t I normally get the full rendition of ‘You don’t know what you’re missing, with the last chorus of ‘It’s the most wonderful thing in the world’ sung twice in case I didn’t hear it the first time. For them it probably is.

Once I was told that not having children was selfish, as I wouldn’t have anyone to bring me presents or look after me when I was old.

I’ve often been asked why I don’t like children. Why, I have no idea, as I have never said I dislike them. My cousin has the most gorgeous baby who I adore. I’ve fed him, cuddled him, rocked him to sleep, and I can’t wait to see him grow and learn. I have friends who have children and they know I like them. I’ve worked in nursery schools, and think it’s wonderful to be with children, to see the world through their eyes, and the amazement and pride on their faces when they learn a new skill or discover something.
I do not dislike children.

I just don’t want one.

My heart goes out to women who desperately want a baby. Before I had the hysterectomy, I volunteered my eggs. I was told that if I did donate, it would cause me more physical problems than I already had, and was declined, as it would be a risk to my health.

I would never dream of saying to anyone who wanted a child ‘Don’t do it, your life will never be your own again, you may regret it, you’ll have to look after them for the rest of your life and then they might stick you in a home and forget about you’. But I don’t and would like the same respect in return thank you.

Friend: “But what if every woman felt the same way you do?”
Me: “What’s so great about the human race?”
Friend: “………………………..”