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Please help me understand something...

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
I am very serious about this, very serious, this is no joke. Would you please tell me why you would want to have a child? Here's my situation in a nutshell.

I am 45 years old and I think I am pregnant. I have been trying to get myself to the OB for two weeks and I just don't want to know. I don't like children, and have never liked children since the age of 12. I could never understand why anyone would want to be a mother.

I had a termination years ago, partly due to the fact that I didn't want a child and partially due to the fact that I can't handle labor. I can't handle pain--I have had two wisdom teeth impacted for 9 years, and I can't have them out in the office, due to the fact that I had such a severe emotional reaction to the impending surgery that the oral surgeon won't do it. He's afraid I will have a stroke or bleed excessively due to high blood pressure, crying, vomiting, racing heart, etc. I spent almost a year in a cast rather than have surgery on a shattered ankle because I was such a wreck the surgeon didn't want to have to operate. I mean, I can't handle pain of any kind, so labor has always been an absolutely out of the question situation.

I am now in the position where I am going to have to have another termination, which is fine with me, but the father is a great guy and I can't tell him about it. He has two kids, loves them, and will flip out. He agreed that we will not have a child, due to my age, but that was before this took place. He will want it, and I can't handle it. I would rather shoot myself quickly than be pregnant or go through labor. The whole thing makes me sick. I love him and I feel badly for him, though.

I was discussing my dilemna with a friend, and she made an excellent point: why do these people want to have children, be pregnant, deal with the problems, pee themselves for the rest of their lives, vomit for months on end, and then deal with labor? I will admit, that of all of my friends from college who have children--and it's not a majority of women, I will admit--not a single one would do it again. Not one. The ones who had a child didn't have a second.

Maybe there is something about this I don't understand. I never did understand it, but then again, with the first termination my then-husband didn't want it, either. I didn't think twice about this question. We divorced for reasons other than the termination.

Maybe you can help me understand why you would do this to your bodies and lives. I guess I missed something somewhere.

Good luck to all of you with your pregnancies!:
post #2 of 97
You are right about one thing - you don't understand. I could ask you Why Not? I have thought about having children since I was a child myself. I have had 4 children and hope to have another. I love being pregnant, I birth my children at home without fear and even after delivering 4 children vaginally have only peed myself once and that was in the middle of a major laughing fit

Instead of allowing yourself to get pregnant and then terminating as easily as one might get their oil changed why not get your tubes tied? Or at least an IUD or other form of long term birth control? It is clear that you don't want children and I think it is great that you know what you want/don't want but if that is how you feel then why would you allow yourself to get pregnant?

Keri
post #3 of 97
If you're so sure that you don't want to have a child, I'm wondering why you are asking? Are you just curious, or do you think maybe you might change your mind if presented with a different perspective?

In any case, your question is a valid one of course, and I applaud you for having the courage to ask it in a forum filled with very pro-children women, lol! I've had run-ins with some "child-free" people, and they were *so* sure that children and children-lovers are evil and/or miserable that they will not open their minds to any other possibility, and that can only perpetuate animosity between the families with children and the child-free, which IMO hurts us all.

Also as someone who didn't want children and had no interest in them whatsoever, yet ended up with four of her own, I'm probably in a very good position to answer your questions. I have to go do dinner right now, but I just wanted to let you know that I will be back tonight or tomorrow to talk more about this.
post #4 of 97
Sounds like motherhood just isn't for you. Good luck with your decision.
post #5 of 97
It sounds like you might have a problem with surgery rather than pain per se? Impacted wisdom teeth and a shattered ankle are certainly painful. Pregnancy, labor and birth do not need to involve surgery, nor would you necessarily vomit for months on end (though some do) or have incontinence problems (uncommon with normal vaginal birth and can be addressed).

Not wanting children is another story. I can halfway relate, because I never thought I wanted children; my first was accidentally conceived. I did not want to abort or give her up though, and I'm so glad she (and now her sister, who was very much planned) came along. I was at something of a loose end when I found myself pregnant; my life wasn't going much of anywhere. Having children has given me direction, purpose and a great deal of joy. If you already have those things in your life, though, and cannot or will not adjust your life and your thinking in the ways necessary to becoming a parent, you are probably better off terminating.
post #6 of 97
Pregnancy, childbirth and raising children is so much more than a physical experience. I have been pregnant three times, delivered three healthy babies vaginally and am now raising three of the most amazing people I have ever known in my life. Never once out of three pregnancies did I vomit; I had no "problems" to deal with; I have never "peed myself"; childbirth is the most profoundly moving and empowering experience I have ever had. The pain was nothing compared to the knowledge that MY body is capable of such an amazing show of strength.
I have watched these same three children begin as infants with nothing but love and wonder and trust in their faces grow and develop to become people who have their own amazing personalities and experiences and dreams. They are brilliant and funny and opinionated and loving and generally just really wonderful people. I feel so unbelievably lucky that they are a part of my life. My children are not something I have "done to" my body or my life; they are a part of me and have enriched my life and my husband's lives in ways I wouldn't possibly have enough room to express on this thread. Hope that helps you to understand a little of why some of us choose to be parents.
post #7 of 97
I can so relate. I accidentally get pregnant in 2000. I was devestated. I never wanted children. Never liked them. I was slightly suicidal when I found out. Well, I miscarried and I have to say it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Between that, 9-11 and my mother passing all soon after the miscarriage, I decided to take a long look at my life. 37 and what did I have etc. I had a kind of epiphany. I decided that we would throw out the birth control and see what happened. If I wasn't pregnant by my 38th birthday, I was getting my tubes tied as a gift to myself. Well, wouldn't ya know next month, I turn up preggers!! I was scared, excited, confused, surprised.

My pregnancy went great, my labor and delivery sucked (that's a whole other story) but I knew it would end. It's all about the prize anyway isn't it?

Well, I'm not going to say it's been perfect, but it has been wonderful. More wonderful than I ever expected or could have believed. I still wonder sometimes "what have I gotten myself into" and when that happens, I just try to remember that this happened for a reason. She is here to teach me and I need to learn. Boy am I learning!! It's amazing how your mind can open up to new possibilities when you are no longer the only one that counts.

Think about it...do some soul searching...read posts here...It's not easy, it's not perfect, but you might just find out it's worth everything.
post #8 of 97
Truthfully? I personally believe that nobody should become a parent unless they are absolutely, 100% certain that they want a child. It's normal to have doubts, day-to-day and in the long term, about one's ability to handle birth or one's ability to be a good parent, and to wonder how a child will fit into your lifestyle, but if somewhere deep down you don't feel certain that you want to open your life to a child, then you have no business having children.
post #9 of 97
Children aren't for everyone. But just for kicks I will give you my answers:

Quote:
I was discussing my dilemna with a friend, and she made an excellent point: why do these people want to have children, be pregnant, deal with the problems, pee themselves for the rest of their lives, vomit for months on end, and then deal with labor?
I have had 2 sons and I have never peed myself...EVER. I have never "dealt with problems" in regard to childbirth, nor did I ever vomit one single time. I won't say pregnancy is a walk in the park, I actually don't like being pregnant but I do love labor and delivery...and I mean LOVE it !!

I'm pretty sure you can handle childbirth, lol. Seems like you've built it up into something that it isn't. I will tell you that I would rather give birth than have a cavity filled any day. I have never considered myself to have a high tolerance for pain and I have begged to be put under for fillings because I am deathly afraid of them and they always hurt so badly!!!!!!!!!! BUT I absolutely love giving birth. Once I educated myself and prepared myself for childbirth it wasn't overly painful. I made sure I had support around me so that I could handle it. Women have been doing this for centuries. Although given the current state of childbirth in America I can see why you would be so afraid of it. Get yourself back to a primal sense and then you won't fear the pain.

But back to your question. The main reason that prompted my desire to have children was a selfish one. I come from a big family and I see how family has been their for my grandparents/great grandparents when nobody else was. I had a fear of growing old and being alone. Of course now that I have children there is so much more to why I love it and why I want more children. I could not have prepared myself for how much bigger my heart and spirit would grow with the birth of my children. Another reason I want to have children is purely to experience the joy of giving birth. It is amazing and empowering and spiritual. There is truly nothing like it.

~Erin
post #10 of 97
I have never peed myself either, and have been pregnant 5 times, given birth 3, and never threw up once, not even during labor.

I was one of those women who never wanted to have kids either. I never played with dolls. I never daydreamed about babies, or getting married. I never peered in baby carriages or cooed in line at kids. Its not that i didnt like kids, but kids and pregnant women were kind of invisible to me

But I became unexpectedly pregnant with my daughter on the birth control pill and was instantly attached. I went on to have two more kids and have never regretted it. being pregnant, giving birth and being their mother is simply the best thing that I have ever done.

However, it is not for everyone. I agree with the previous poster, whether you decide to proceed with the pregnancy or terminate, you should probably get your tubes tied or some other sort of very effective birthcontrol.
post #11 of 97
Quote:
I will tell you that I would rather give birth than have a cavity filled any day. I have never considered myself to have a high tolerance for pain and I have begged to be put under for fillings because I am deathly afraid of them and they always hurt so badly!!!!!!!!!! BUT I absolutely love giving birth.
I second that! I have four kids and love giving birth but I haven;t been to a dentist in 6 yrs.
post #12 of 97
Thread Starter 
Hmmm...it's good to know that you all had these great birth experiences, but I don't know anyone personally who has had anything remotely as wonderful as you all project. To a person, none of my friends from college who have a child would do it again. To A Person. They all had such a bad experience it wasn't worth it. One of them has a PTSD problem to this day and was suicidal afterwards. Another one has permanent sciatica, and they all have peed themselves. Hmmm..that kind of labor I can't handle, and frankly, I am not doing that to my body. I attended one labor in my lifetime and I was violently ill. It disgusted me, it really did.

As far as this primal stuff is concerned, to each her own and all, but I am not a granola-eating earth mother type. That's one of the reasons I think this gig is not for me. I have about as much belief in this primal woman business as I do the the Keebler elves.

I think maybe it's my lack of connection with the the caregiving and bonding stuff of little kids who don't reciprocate in a way I seem to understand, coupled with primal woman business that doesn't appeal to me, that makes it just not my gig.

Maybe I just don't get it. That's what I am starting to think. There must be a connection mechanism that isn't there for me. Hmmm...
post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACesPlace
Hmmm...it's good to know that you all had these great birth experiences, but I don't know anyone personally who has had anything remotely as wonderful as you all project. To a person, none of my friends from college who have a child would do it again. To A Person. They all had such a bad experience it wasn't worth it. One of them has a PTSD problem to this day and was suicidal afterwards. Another one has permanent sciatica, and they all have peed themselves. Hmmm..that kind of labor I can't handle, and frankly, I am not doing that to my body. I attended one labor in my lifetime and I was violently ill. It disgusted me, it really did.

As far as this primal stuff is concerned, to each her own and all, but I am not a granola-eating earth mother type. That's one of the reasons I think this gig is not for me. I have about as much belief in this primal woman business as I do the the Keebler elves.

I think maybe it's my lack of connection with the the caregiving and bonding stuff of little kids who don't reciprocate in a way I seem to understand, coupled with primal woman business that doesn't appeal to me, that makes it just not my gig.

Maybe I just don't get it. That's what I am starting to think. There must be a connection mechanism that isn't there for me. Hmmm...
Perhaps you should seek out more friends then just those from college who had "such horrible experiences." What do you want? Everyone is sharing with you *why* they went through (even enjoyed) pregnancies and births, and you just keep harping on these college buddies with bad experiences...

I don't find labor disgusting at all. It's a beautiful, wonderful thing. And to go through it is an amazing, life changing experience. For me, and many other women, it was wonderful. I suppose it is primal - and you must understand something about primal, since your urges to eat, sleep, breathe, and go to the bathroom are all primal - but more than that it's empowering.

A baby comes through you and not for you. A child is a gift to the world and we as mothers are honored to take those little hands and lead them into tomorrow.

If you can't handle pregnancy, birth, and children, then I'm going to guess a forum on birthing might not have what you're looking for.

and after three children, I've never peed myself, had chronic pain, been suicidal, or compared myself to Keebler elves
post #14 of 97
I have never peed myself either. Although, I was one of the unlucky ones who vomited for months on end.

I was terribly afraid of birth as well. I had heard nothing but horror stories. I read as much as I could and took a lot of responsibility for my own birth. If I had sat back passively and just done what the doctor ordered, I'd have had a horror story too.

I can't describe how wonderful it was when my daughter was born. I wouldn't have changed it for the world. It has made me a better person to love someone else as much as I love her.

As far as what you decide, I hope that you make the best decision for you and are happy with it. Perhaps you might want to look into a more permanent form of birth control if this is how you really feel.

Good luck.
post #15 of 97
Quote:
Hmmm...it's good to know that you all had these great birth experiences, but I don't know anyone personally who has had anything remotely as wonderful as you all project.
That is probalby because most of the people you know likely had highly medicalized births instead of primal ones...yeah that is right *GASP*, I said "primal". That was the best world I could think of at the time but what I mean is that childbirth has been turned into a problem that needs to be treated by $$Doctors who take away a woman's choices and tells her what to do/makes her think her body won't perform. Undoubtabley many of your friends had inductions, epidurals, forcep/vaccum assisted deliveries or c-sections which in turn likely led to most of the problems they encountered with childbirth. Turns out contrary to what many $$OBs would have you believe, women can do it on their own. Imagine that...women are strong and powerful humans and their bodies can do what nature intended for them to do

In all seriousness though I have known of several women to suffer from PTSD after births that ended up pretty nasty because of their OB trying to make sure he wouldn't get sued or because he was trying to make his tee time. It doesn't sound like you want to have children, but if you did I'd say just take the time to educate yourself and you can probabley avoid all of that.
post #16 of 97
Thread Starter 

Actually, this is the right board for me...

A baby comes through you and not for you. A child is a gift to the world and we as mothers are honored to take those little hands and lead them into tomorrow.

If you can't handle pregnancy, birth, and children, then I'm going to guess a forum on birthing might not have what you're looking for.


This is the right board for me, although my presence here might make some others quite uncomfortable. Chin up, I will be gone soon, and then you can all say good riddance!

So far, it appears that the desire to be a mother has to do with your inherent value system. There is definitely a sense of appreciation for the process of mothering here that I am lacking. I think it's great that you view children as a gift to the world, and it's important that you feel it is an honor to usher them into the world. It all seems to boil down to what a woman believes has the most value for her--and what she is willing to invest in the process of raising those children she brings into the world. And, you clearly are quite excited by the good work you do.

There is quite a respect for the process of giving birth here, which is certainly the best thing if you are going to repeatedly go through labor. I am glad it is empowering for some, but I personally can't figure out why it would be empowering. I would imagine it is perspective. While it irritates some here when I supposedly harp on the negative birth experiences, there can be no doubt that a plethora of those experiences do exist, and are sadly occurring as I write. I guess it is just what you are willing to experience if you value the process of motherhood and believe it to be so altruistic and noble.

As for the medical aspects of labor, my mother is in medicine, and I don't share the opinion that MD's are inherently evil-doers. I realize there is a significant percentage of mothers who take a different view. Again, beliefs and values.

And finally, I have faithfully used birth control all my life. I have suffered two failures, repeat: two failures. I have never, NEVER, yes that's right, not even once in college, have I ever had sex without birth control. Nothing is perfect, and I am far from careless.

Thank you for your insight and input. It has great value. I have a much clearer understanding of the attraction to motherhood for others. At least now it makes sense even if it doesn't make sense for me.

Have a good night.
post #17 of 97
I just wanted to point out that it isn't just that some people think OBs are "evil". It is actually a statistical fact that mothers who birth with OBs are more likely to have episiotomies/4th degree tears, vaccum/forcep assisted deliveries and c-sections. All of these things lead to delivery complications and generally overall much more traumatic birth experiences. Not really something you can blame on a difference of perception. They are facts.

Sleep tight
post #18 of 97
I am sorry,for you.
post #19 of 97
Quote:
That is probalby because most of the people you know likely had highly medicalized births instead of primal ones...
I was thinking this too. Most of my friends had horrible birth experiences that put them off childbearing, too. None of them had a natural birth.

And natural birthing doesn't mean that one thinks docs are evil-doers. Both my parents are family practice doctors, and I think they're great. But I also think that surgeons should do surgery, and not attend births, unless there is a real emergency that require surgery.

I have two babies. I did pee myself. I did vomit. Contractions hurt. But I found pregnancy to be awe-inspiring. There is *nothing* like feeling those little feet kick, and respond to music and your voice. I still remember when my fist son was 7mo in the womb, and started exploring the indentation his father's arm (flung over my belly while we were sleeping) made in his little "home". I could feel his tiny hand going up and down the length of dh's arm. Then he flipped and gave a whopping big kick right in the middle. It was the coolest thing eve.
I did find the second birth empowering. I'm not sure how to expalain it, but it did have a lot to do with being free to do what I wanted, and not bound to doctor's expectations or orders. I'm not a feminist, but that was one time when I could have rightly said "I am woman, hear me ROAR". And of course, dh is always awe-struck when I give birth.

I will go through pregnancy and childbirth as many times as the good Lord will let me, since the prize is precious children.



I'm sorta wondering about your posting here too. And why you don't take some permanent measures against pregnancy, if you are so antagonistic towards being a parent?
post #20 of 97
I can see why this is an important decision for you right now. At 45, this is probably the last time you will be confronted with the choice: do i want a child? And it isn't an easy choice for everyone.

I think that it's very very difficult to process what it would be like for you to bring a child into the world.....and to be able to visualize pregnancy and birth and then think it through to the end result of having a child. It's one of those things that is so huge that it's practically impossible to know how you would feel throughout that whole path. And there is an element of the unknown......a mystery per say....in that you do not know what kind of experience it will be for you. I know that before I became a mother I had no idea what it would be like for me, and how I would respond to it. I mean, you can't know what it will be like to actually have a child of your own until you do it. No one elses' experience is really very relevant to you......you would have your own unique experience.

Quote:
I can't handle pain--I have had two wisdom teeth impacted for 9 years, and I can't have them out in the office, due to the fact that I had such a severe emotional reaction to the impending surgery that the oral surgeon won't do it. He's afraid I will have a stroke or bleed excessively due to high blood pressure, crying, vomiting, racing heart, etc. I spent almost a year in a cast rather than have surgery on a shattered ankle because I was such a wreck the surgeon didn't want to have to operate. I mean, I can't handle pain of any kind, so labor has always been an absolutely out of the question situation.
This might be something worth having a look at. Nobody likes pain. And when asked, most of us would say we would prefer to NOT handle pain of any kind. It sounds to me like you HAVE handled pain.....your impacted wisdom sound very painful to me - you certainly wouldn't have any pain during surgery and I cannot imagine feeling more pain after surgery than you already do.....yet you have handled this pain for 9 years? If you would have had the surgery any pain would have probably been gone within a week or so. And a shattered ankle had to hurt like hell! But you got through it.

My point is that you did handle the pain. You handled it because you had to - you had no choice. I suspect that any pain you were to feel during labor or birth would be much the same. You would handle it just as you have had to handle other physical pains in your life.

Now, at 45, having such an emotional reaction to the idea of pain might be worth investigating within yourself.

Anyway, I am not trying to convince you of anything or sway your choice one way or the other. It is completely valid to feel that you do not want children. You are with a good man?.....do you love him? Sometimes the heart matters more than the head?
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