Thursday, June 27, 2013

To Bear or Not to Bear

I've been thinking a lot about biology lately, or, more accurately our biological drive to reproduce.  I just got married (this past weekend, woot!) and one of the many questions people asked (besides, "are you taking his name?" [no] and, "will you be moving into a house?" [someday]) was, "when are the babies coming?" Those who know me well know not to ever ask me that.

Because of PCOS I am unable to have children without intense hormone therapy, which I do not want to put my body through.  Evan and I also feel that the world is an overpopulated mess and we do not wish to force anyone into it.  So we've decided to not try to get pregnant and agree that adoption might be a thing we'd be interested in further down the line.  We see it sort of like how we view animal breeding - why create more life when there's so many suffering without a home?

Why indeed.
I also do not think I'd make a good enough mother to take on that responsibility.  I am very selfish with my time.  I tend to get lost in my own head, tuning out everything around me which could result in some horrific neglectful behavior.  I have a bad temper and I'm impatient.  I like my sleep.  I like my life the way it is and I'm working on making it even better.  Having a child would disrupt all of our plans leaving me bitter and resentful.  I was raised with that type of resentment and it resulted in me being kind of fucked up as an adult.  I refuse to do that to another human being.

Getting back to biology... all of this aside, I can't stop thinking about getting pregnant.  I will be 37 years old in exactly one month and, "my biological clock is ticking.  like.  this!" Even if I intellectually wanted to get pregnant and I had no health issues I would have a very low chance of conceiving, and if I did conceive I would have a higher chance of miscarriage or some other problem.  If we changed our mind, we would have to do it within the next two years or else our chances would dwindle substantially.  As you can imagine I've been experiencing some very confusing and conflicting emotions.

Right now I have a 15% chance.  
I always heard that women are wired to respond to a baby crying.  That has never been the case for me until about a year ago.  Now when I hear a baby (or a child) crying it's all I can do to keep from poking my nose in where it doesn't belong.  It guts me.  I can't see a baby without tearing up (and my god why do they all have to have such huge wise eyes that seem to peer into my soul?) and every month when my period starts I feel let down.  Why?!  I don't even want children!  Because I am a victim of my biology and I have absolutely no control over it.

I wouldn't even know where to begin...
A combination of extra testosterone and what I can only assume is my "sexual peak" (because my body is trying to tell me it's time to make babies) I am prone to feeling more amorous than most, but since I was an early bloomer (started my period at 10) and have PCOS my estrogen levels are totally whacked out right now.  I think I might be in perimenopause, although I can't know for sure without testing.  I have every single symptom and I had a hormone test last year that my doctor shrugged off the results for because she thought I was on my period.  I wasn't.  She was impossible to communicate with (and I lost my insurance) so I stopped seeing her.  Nevertheless I am literally drying up and my window of opportunity is getting smaller and smaller.

So what can I do about all these unwanted emotions?  How do you balance what you KNOW IN YOUR MIND with what you feel inside?  I see a show where someone has a baby and I walk around weeping as I fold laundry.  I literally laugh out loud and chastise myself for being so silly.  "You don't even want kids," I say out loud.  I know this as an impenetrable FACT - just like I know the sky is blue and that my husband loves me.  Yet I still weep.  Uncontrollably.

One time I wanted ice cream so badly that I cried because of my diet.  I wanted to be healthy more than I wanted the ice cream - the ice cream didn't even matter in the big scheme of things, but I wanted it badly right then and there.  How fat (and ultimately irresponsible) would I be if I ate ice cream every time I craved it, knowing it would be the worst possible choice to make?  Is this sort of like that?  Is it wrong of me to equate making babies to eating ice cream?

Mmm... baby.
Sometimes I think once I'm in menopause the emotions will go away because my body will know it's too late, but what then about my mind?  What if I change my mind and it's too late?  Will adopting a baby satiate that craving?

These undesired, useless biological urges piss me off.  Why can't I be more evolved?  The human species doesn't need to spread anymore.  We're already bordering on parasitic.  There are so many children all over the world (although now we Americans apparently have to count Russia out) who need good homes it seems positively negligent to breed instead of adopt.  But people can't be judged for acting on their perfectly natural and organic biological needs.  We have been raised to unconsciously believe that they are our top priorities.

That's not how you do it...
Raising a family is the fundamental mark of success.  It's why we work so hard at finding a mate.  Ultimately we all just want to make babies; spread the seed; be seen as virile; fit in with other mommies.  Our whole purpose for living (biological imperative) is to ensure that the human race lives on FOREVER.  What a conundrum then, when our incessant drive will be what destroys us all?

Okay, I feel better now.

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