Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Luckily, I'm not pregnant

Dan woke up this morning and told me about a dream he had where I was pregnant, in labour, then gave birth to twins.

EEK!

Even before the brutally difficult pregnancy & labour my sister went through with her first child, I had decided that I didn't want to have children. It's true! I'm a woman and I don't want children. Fancy that. I had many reasons:
- at the time, I was planning to go work in third world countries
- I was single
- I could barely take care of myself and my cat, let alone another human being
- I was simply not interested in producing offspring
- I didn't want to do that to my body

I had my mind made up, and I had seen a number of doctors that supported my decision. I was 32 at the time. I was in line to see a gynecologist to talk about having a tubal ligation.

A few months before my appointment with the specialist, I saw an astrologer. He said that there would be something around my reproductivity happening around July 18th (I think, I don't recall the exact date), and that was the exact date that my appointment with the gynecologist was scheduled for. Spooky, right?

The day before this appointment, I was standing at the sink, washing dishes, when I had sudden excruciating pain in my abdomen and I was on the floor, curled up in a ball, crying in agony. I thought my appendix was bursting.

I laid down to see if it would pass (I had a beach volleyball game to go to that afternoon), and when it didn't, I had the friend I was living with drive me to the hospital.

O, hospitals. Where you have to be bleeding on the floor with a dismembered limb if you want service right away... I must have waited four hours in that room. Someone brought me a sandwich and some water, because this was turning into an all-afternoon event. Eventually the (young, cute) doctor came in and asked me about an ovarian cyst. No, I said, I think it's my appendix. (Appendix? Appendics? Something doesn't look right in this spelling). He got out the wheely-ultrasound thingy and said, sure enough, I had a cyst the size of a grapefruit.

shock

Then he said "sometimes these things go away on their own. Here is some pain medicine. Come back if it happens again. We've scheduled you to see a real sonographer (ultrasound) tomorrow."

So the next morning I had a proper full-blown ultrasound (the wheely one was just to get a rough idea). She confirmed. O boy.

That afternoon, I made my way to the gynecologist, as scheduled. He said "I see you're here about getting a tubal ligation but obviously we have to deal with this first."

duh

Then there was another "sometimes these things go away by themselves, here is more medicine, go back to emerg if it happens again..."

A few hours later I was back in emerg. They put me on a gurney, I was in PAIN and it took breaking down and sobbing uncontrollably to have the Magic Nurse Dave appear with the Morphine. I loved Nurse Dave in that moment.

Ahhh.

The doctor came at some point (morphine blur kicks in) and told me I was being admitted, but the ambulance would come come and take me from the Royal Jubliee Hospital (downtown Victoria, where only cardiac and geriatrics are handled) to the Victoria General Hosptial (in Langford, just outside of Victoria, where pediatrics and gynecological issues are addressed). It's about a 20-minute drive.

The paramedics were nice, as I vaguely recall, and on the way they had a bazillion questions of me. Who knows what I told them. Did you know that morphine is great?

I'm pretty sure it was well past midnight when I was rolled into my room. The night nurse came and asked me more questions. A gynecological surgeon came and asked me some more. This is where it gets good. He said "I see you are wanting a tubal ligation..." so I told him my spiel. I have been rattling off my spiel about not wanting kids for so long, that even in my morphine-induced state, I sounded coherent, articulate. Then this lovely doctor said "well, it sounds like you're sure, so we might as well tie your tubes and remove the cyst at the same time".

Music to my ears! I loved that doctor, whoever he was.

So it was the next day I went in, they did some stuff in the OR, and I came out with a wee four inch scar just above my pubic line. I woke up with a catheter. Did you know catheters are GREAT? You don't have to do anything! You just look over and see that there is a bag of pee. I loved that.

A couple days later, I went home. Went back to work (a sweet summer job at UVic) a week later and took things easy. What I found the hardest was not so much the pain but how tired I got. Everything exhausted me. What was previously a 13-minute walk to the bus stop was now a 35-minute ordeal. I had a cane, thank the heavens, for I could not have made that walk unaided.

Over the years, before and after this surgery, I have been told countless times "When you find the right man, you'll change your mind [about wanting children]". A year after this surgery, I found the Right Man. I was worried in the months that followed the surgery, that it would be hard for me to meet men that would be willing to be with me and not have children. So when I met Dan, I got it on the table the first night. Guess what? He didn't care! He was perfectly happy either way.

Whew!

So this whole not-having-kids thing has sat with me so long, I forget sometimes that other people do want kids. Most of the couples I know, hetero and queer, are also of the not-wanting-kids variety. It's liberating, really. Not that I'm disrespecting those who choose to procreate, but it's nice to be among people who don't think less of us because we are choosing not to.

I could easily launch into a tirade now about the things breeders say about non-breeders, but I don't want to go there. This is a happy post.

When we hear from friends announcing that they are expecting, I am always a bit confused on how to respond. Is this good news? Is the couple happy about this? Was it planned? Well, after finding out this data, I can then be happy for them. Babies are fun to knit for, after all. :-)

Last night we had some friends over and the conversation turned to financial planning for the future. It had never occurred to me that, because we don't have kids, we don't have that expense - food clothing shelter school extra-curricular activities vacations university etc. We do, however, have three nieces and a nephew that have a really great Auntie Stacey and Uncle Dan.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this! I know we talked about it when you visited, but I would also like to reitterate that having kids IS overrated. I mean, I love my little guy, etc but having kids is one of the most socially economically and environmentally UNSOUND things anyone can do. Especially in the privileged western world. Cheers to you and boo to those who give you flack. XO

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  2. I find this really interesting to read; at some point, I think I would like a child, but I'm not sure when or if I even do. It's interesting to see the other side, and have that weigh in on my own thought process to. Thanks for sharing, and I'm glad you made a decision you are happy with. :)

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