(…and This Was the Right Choice for Us)
I can’t have kids. Well, ‘shouldn’t’ is more accurate. I don’t want to give anyone my Bipolar, depression, or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and then watch them suffer knowing I chose for them to suffer. It sounds a little strange, but how could I live with the guilt of that? They hurt because of me. They might die young because of me. They’re depressed because of me.
On top of this, with EDS childbirth and pregnancy can be incredibly dangerous, and my husband isn’t willing to risk my life just for a child with his DNA. Not just that, but I would have to go off my meds lest the baby be horribly deformed, and that’s just plain dangerous for me and miserable for everyone around me.
Hey, on my meds I’m pretty mellow. Off my meds? I am the Queen of Drama, most of it self inflicted, all of it irrational. So, yeah. No. Let’s not do that.
We have talked about adopting, but the costs are prohibitive and the paperwork ridiculous. My husband worries that all of the work of caring for a kid would fall on him when I’m sick. This is fair. I can barely function enough to work when I’m sick, much less help a small tyrant. He’d have to take care of me and the dog and the kid and work on top of it all. How is that fair? And he has his own health issues, and this would just be too much.
Fortunately, friends and family have been accepting of this decision and have supported a choice. So there’s only the uncomfortable conversations with strangers, and we never get into detail, just say that I can’t have kids.
This used to really bother me, but I’m getting used to our pleasant little life in our pleasant little house with our ridiculously huge dog… sans kid(s).
And I know we’ve made the best choice for us, however unconventional it might be.
But I do worry about our old age. We won’t have kids to rely on to care for us. What if one of us dies and the other is too sick to care for themself? What will they do?!?
I have God Kids though. Four of them. (I’m not sure if the fifth is officially a God Kid or not.) I watch their pictures on Facebook, their events, their lives so very distant from my own. I’d say it’s like having kids, but it isn’t, really. It’s just the fun highlights of their lives with none of the stress and drama and effort. It always makes me smile to friends and family and classmates post happy photos of their milestones.
It’s not like I don’t want kids, desperately so sometimes. There’s points where listening to a baby burble prompts tears, anguish dredged up suddenly from the depths where I hide it away. I do want kids.
Instead, we’re careful. I have an IUD.
Our house and my arms remain empty.
We brush off questions with a smile.
It isn’t bad.
But it is lonely.
Have you struggled with deciding whether or not to have kids? Do you have your own rambunctious toddlers? I love hearing about kids, even if I can’t have them. *smile*