Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Optional Body Parts

I wrote this back in 2007, when I had a MySpace account:

"I just have no relationship with my uterus.

You know, I just never think about it. It's like a pancreas, or maybe a gall bladder. I know I have one, but its not like I think about what I use it for, or really have any real connection with it.

However, apparently, many others are concerned about the state of my uterus, and well, its lack of productivity. Never mind you that no one ever really bothers to consult me if I actually have a desire to use this particular organ, everyone just assumes that since I have one, I should be using it. Sort of like TiVo, I guess, like, why bother having one if you aren't going to use it? Since we've been married for 4 1/2 years, and last year bought a larger house, it shocks people that we do not have children, are not "trying" for children (like the lottery?), and have no real plans for children. Therefore, the look I get every time I answer "no, no kids," especially to people I don't know well, is that look that says "oh... poor dear, she must not be able to have children." Except, of course, they can't actually ask the burning question "oh, so is your uterus broken?," so instead, they dance around it, yet persistently dig into my reproductive life and ask if we're going to have some soon, planning on it, etc. Then launch into the inevitable diatribe on the wonders of children, how your life changes once you have kids (as if I was living on a cave on the moon and hadn't noticed), and wish me luck. One woman even put her hands on me and told me she would be praying for me to have babies. Holy crap! Literally.

What people (especially conservative Christians living in the state of Indiana) do not seem to realize is that my husband and I may actually, (hold all shocked inhalations of breath here) be choosing not to pursue the "miracle" of parenthood at the present time. Additionally, we, myself in particular, do NOT feel like our life is reduced, limited or unfulfilled in any way by NOT utilizing the uterus available to us.  And yes, we assume that my uterus is available, and NOT broken, so sympathies are likely misguided here.

I know this may come as a surprise, but we didn't actually purchase a bigger house in order to fill it with our progeny. We purchased our wonderful home in order to have space available for others, but not necessarily those that share our DNA. We enjoy entertaining and taking care of other people and feel blessed that we have a large home in order to do that. The fact that people have taken a tour of our home and picked out the "nursery" bedroom (seriously, this happened this weekend), doesn't mean that we're actually going to use it as a nursery. I just haven't gotten around to taking down the cloud wallpaper yet - the hideous Vera Bradley wallpaper needed to go first.

It amazes me that people do not seem to have any respect for this decision - it occurs to them only that they had children, and that is what married couples are "supposed to" do. Further, they seem to fail to understand that this is OUR decision, not anyone else's. They make it their mission to convince me that having children is wonderful, and just wait until we have them... oh and don't forget that I'm 28 and "still have time," as if I've never looked at my biological clock to note the hour.
I and my husband are OK with not having children yet, and additionally have considered the possibility that we may never be ready for children - if they happen to show up at our door wrapped in newspaper and looking for a home, we aren't going to send them back, but if they don't, that's ok too. Why is no one else OK with this decision? Why should I be forced, cajoled, shamed etc., into using all of the equipment I have? Do they? Honestly, like, when is the last time anyone used their appendix? Why not, you have one, you should use it! It gets to the point sometimes where I start to feel bad, like I'm wrong for not longing for and desiring to have children to raise at this very moment. However, I can't change my feelings on the subject, and certainly am not going to because some virtual stranger gives me the joys of children monologue... so I guess the next time someone asks, I'll just have to question their use of their appendix... or maybe launch into a lecture on the value of wisdom teeth. I wonder what would happen then?"

You know what, all of the above is pretty much still true. Except, now I think about my uterus. Mainly because now, at 34, my biological clock is ticking, loudly. LOUDLY. I'm also fairly convinced that those same people that I complained about back in 2007 can HEAR said clock, and if I let them, they would probably provide it with a megaphone, just to make sure that I can hear it.

I really don't think anyone else gets this. I like my life. I don't want to change it, and I'm pretty sure a baby would do that. I like kids, but lately, this whole "you're getting older, shouldn't you have a baby" mantra that rolls through my head on a pretty constant basis, has me feeling so guilty I don't want to be around kids (even the ones I love), and start feeling ridiculously uncomfortable passing the children's clothing section of Target.

All this to say, I don't need anyone else reminding me (like, oh say, yesterday) "See, you're good with children." Like all I needed to do was realize that I know how to hold a child and that would miraculously change my mind?? I was good at science in high school, but that doesn't mean I should have embraced being an engineer. Dude, I have enough guilt going on here, but I'm absolutely positive that's a crappy reason to have a baby.

Let's return to a discussion of your pinky toe, shall we?

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