I read an article today about a woman, aged 30, who sidestepped her doctors and went directly to a gynecologist who did the procedure for her, the procedure being sterilisation.
I wish I’d thought of that.
But her story so closely resembled my own. Her fury was my fury. I felt it all and I knew where she was at.
Since I was age 19 I knew something was messed up with my insides. I rode my doctors ass about it until at age 24 they finally decided to do an internal ultrasound which showed in that instead of small ovaries mine were about 10 times the size due to cysts. Finally, they tell me I have PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome).
Hormones man, apparently it’s all in the hormones.However in the meantime they put me on the pill and told me I’d never have children. The more I took the pill the heavier I got, the more doctors told me that it was PCOS causing my rapid weight gain and subsequent issues. When I was told that children were not an option because of the disease I thought all my dreams had come at once because I’d been pestering my doctors every year since I was 19 to have my uterus removed. It caused me pain, there was no reason for me to keep it. Plus, I didn’t want children.
I threw the pill away gleefully. I started to drop the excess weight without even trying. I got back to closer to what I used to weight and I didn’t give up on asking for my sterilisation.
I was consistently and routinely told no. Every. Single. Year. Apparently I wasn’t allowed to make this decision for myself until I was about age 35. At which point if I still wanted to rip my insides out then I may state my case and they may agree to it.
Apart from the rage I felt at being turned away, year in year out, I felt rage that men on the other hand could go get a vasectomy without being told they weren’t allowed to incase they ever changed their minds.
Is this not my body? Do I not have a say in what procedure I want done to it? Just like I have a say about whether I let anyone impregnate me. I knew early on that children really weren’t on the cards for me. I never thought I’d grow up and live happily ever after with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids with the perfect husband. Actually the thought made me want to rock in a corner and take copious amounts of drugs. Plus the following reasons:
a) When I was a teenager I was gay b) The thought of children turned my stomach and to some extent it still does
Do I regret not having children? Truthfully some days I hear my body clock ticking and wonder if I made the right decision. Then logic kicks in and I know I made the right decision. I then think if I would have ever gone there and maybe with the right partner I might have contemplated it. But like romance, twue love and happily ever after – there’s a long list of things I don’t think I’ll ever experience. It might just get tacked on the end.
I once contemplated being a surrogate mother. Because I wanted to experience child-birth. The alien feeling of carrying around a parasite that grew inside you into something that would come out and become this other thing independent of you. I never wanted to keep it afterwards so I honestly looked into surrogacy. But surrogacy in this country is really fucked so I never went through with it.
My mother is beside herself. She wants me to have a baby so badly that she’s still pushing sperm banks at me in an effort to change my mind. Yet I think about children and I think of the responsibility. The effort. The loss of self, life, social life… Of being chained to this thing that I have to look after for 18 years. And I couldn’t think of a worse fate. Not to say that I don’t think it’s a bad decision for those that did want to reproduce. It’s all about personal choice.
But I’m glad that I have the choice not to.
Because I’d be miserable if I did. I don’t want to stay at home and look after children. I don’t want to wipe arses, noses, scrapes and bruises. Yet I love my niece, she’s my little princess and I adore spending weekends with her. But the best bit about her… is the bit where I get to hand her back.
So why then, when it comes to our reproductive rights over men’s – we are told we aren’t allowed to. For anyone saying that feminism is no longer needed need only ask questions like this and then sit there and tell me that we don’t need feminism. Sure I might have some control of contraceptives but if it were up to our government they’d be taking away all reproductive rights of women because for some reason we aren’t allowed to govern our own body.
I am not a walking baby maker. I refuse to be. That is my choice. Whether anyone think it selfish of me, or that it’s a great mistake I’ve made.
At the end of the day I am ok with my decision. And that’s all that matters.
Now if only the world would grant me permission to own my body I’d be really appreciative.