Musings and Snoozes

“Oh just wait until you have children!”

on April 17, 2016

I have been unsure of whether to write about this for a while now, but it’s fast becoming a thought process that I’m finding hard to ignore. I’m not looking for advice, or sympathy, I just think it’s worth sharing why the assumption that someone will have children is not always the right one. Things are never as straightforward as they seem and “wanting” children and “having” children are not always the same thing. So here goes….

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This utterly sums up my day. Not to mention that it explains the three random crying episodes I had yesterday, along with why I wanted to kill everyone in a ten mile radius on Thursday. But yay, not pregnant.

One day I’m sure I’ll think differently. One day I’ll be disappointed to see my period show up, as opposed to just being miffed that I have to suffer cramps, mood swings, and feeling like someone just broke my back in two (because everyday chronic pain isn’t enough, right?) And actually, if it were left solely to my hormones, that time would be now. But it’s not.

When Jon and I got married I knew the baby questions would be inevitable, though I wasn’t quite prepared for just how quickly they came about. Honestly, I have no idea why a) your reproductive system suddenly becomes everybody else’s business the moment you get married, and b) why it’s assumed that there is no other goal in getting married other than to have children. Jon and I spent a lot of time smiling politely (him more politely than me, unsurprisingly), telling people that no, we were quite looking forward to actually enjoying being married thanks, without the need for any screaming brats just yet.

And now, three and a half years down the line, the question has become a lot more complicated. Or at least the answer has. I joke that I’ll stick with the pooch for now, or that I can’t look after myself yet, let alone a child, but there’s a lot more truth than humour in that if I’m honest. I can’t even be trusted to take my medication on a daily basis, to feed myself when Jon’s not here, to look after myself. How could I inflict that on a child? It’s hard enough that Jon has to look after me as it is, I’m pretty sure throwing a child into the equation is not the answer yet.

But that’s the thing. I talk about “yet” in the hope that it’ll miraculously change one day, but the bottom line is that unless there are some serious advances in treatment for lupus/fibromyalgia/sjogrens over the next few years, I’m not sure that “yet” will ever go away. And I don’t really know how I feel about that. On the one hand my body is crying out to be pregnant, on the other my head is saying “shut up body, you’re broken, remember”. None of these illnesses stop me having children, although the risk of miscarrying due to sjogrens is scarily high, but they will all make it so much harder than it should be and I don’t know if I’m willing to put myself through that. The pain and fatigue I deal with on a good day is enough to make me want to sleep for a week. On a bad day, I literally don’t have any choice but to remain bed or sofa bound. So then what? Pretty sure telling your child that it’ll have to fend for itself at six months isn’t really the done thing. The alternative is to push through the pain and well, quite frankly, no. I do enough of that in my life as it is and suffer the consequences – I’m supposed to be learning how to stop doing that, not making it twice as hard.

So where does that leave me? Leave us (since this child malarkey is not a one person thing)? At the moment the answer is a lot of tearful conversations, both real and imaginary, since I’m a great one for over thinking until I break down! We have time to make a decision, my body clock is not ticking away too quickly yet, but I never expected to be in this position where I’d have to choose what’s best. I’ve never taken for granted that we’d just have kids, god knows it took my poor parents long enough to have me, but I hadn’t anticipated having to be the one to make the decision.

Whichever decision we make will be the right one, but will also be the hard one either way. I, we, have so much support, both from family and friends, as well as my amazing doctor, so I don’t doubt that whatever happens, we’ll be fine. And actually that’s kind of my point to all this – we will be fine. Yes we want children, no it’s not that simple, but that actually the world won’t end if we decide to stay just the two of us (plus pooch of course), so long as we’re happy and healthy (ish in my case)!

So the next time you think about flippantly asking a couple when they’re having children, just stop and think that it might not be all that simple as when, but maybe if. Or that quite frankly, it might not be any of your business and if they’re like me, they might just tell you so 🙂

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