You can find this post on my blog site, Diabetes Odyssey.
This is a touchy topic for me. I have never regretted not having kids, and I know I never will have them, at least not biologically; probably not at all unless some terrible thing happens to a friend or family member and I am asked to take in their kids. Then I will happily raise them with love. But I’m rambling here, the point of this post is to discuss the multiple reasons why I am childless.
This isn’t easy to talk about and I don’t really know why.
As my regular readers already know, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at nine years old. This was during the 1980’s and at this time it was a debatable topic whether or not it was a good idea for type 1 women to get preggers. Growing up in the '90’s things quickly swung in favor of diabetic pregnancy as long as the diabetic was strictly controlled.
I had been bombarded, however, growing up with warnings of what could go wrong. Birth defects, kidney failure, huge baby birth weight, miscarriage, stillbirth, etc… It all terrified me. What if I hurt my baby before it was even born? I could never forgive myself.
Type 1 pregnancies are considered high risk and require a specialist for a reason.
I know a lot of type 1 mothers. Many of them tell me the pregnancy was stressful and required a lot of vigilance and work to keep their blood sugar stable. Many of them had perfectly healthy babies with the only “complication” being a large birth weight, if any at all. A few of them had heartbreaking problems.
So, even though I was raised in a society that made me believe every woman should desire to be a mother and plan to have a husband and kids, I never really wanted to do the pregnancy thing. I dreamed of adoption. Why risk a high risk pregnancy when I could save a child or two from a life of orphanhood?
Besides my fears of being a terrible mother before my baby was even born, I also had health issues I didn’t even know about that made me infertile.
PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It’s a hormone imbalance that does a lot of terrible things to a woman’s body, one of them being infertility. Although I can’t say for certain when the syndrome began in me, I highly suspect it began with my step into puberty. As soon as my hormones decided I was going to become an adult, they just went totally haywire. This of course is a complication of my uncontrolled diabetes.
The reason I suspect the PCOS began at puberty is because a lot of the symptoms of PCOS I have had since then, they just were explained away by blaming other things like diabetes, heredity, behavior, etc…
I have been sexually active since I was 17 years old and I only used contraceptive for 1 of those years and I have never gotten pregnant. There were a couple of times I thought I was, but I was mistaken. The late periods were probably caused by the PCOS, but I blamed them on possible pregnancy, and then on stress.
So, if I wasn’t going to have babies biologically, why haven’t my hubby and I adopted? There are multiple reasons for this.
Most of the time we weren’t in a living situation to be able to properly house a child. Living in a small home with other people, no room, literally no bedroom, for a child. when we did finally get into a home with room, we had zero money. We didn’t want to jump into parenthood without being able to properly feed, clothe, and care for a child. And we couldn’t afford the adoption process/fees.
We tried the fostering option, which cost us money upfront for the training and preparation. We fostered a couple of teens for a couple of weeks and we enjoyed it for the most part. But it was expensive, and difficult to get the reimbursement. We just couldn’t afford it at the time. And there were so many rules and restrictions that made it feel so…bad.
We quite frankly became comfortable with our freedom. We saw our friends and family grow with kids. We saw how happy they were, how fulfilled they seemed. We also saw how they seemed to disappear, never have time for anything or anyone other than their kids. The idea of parenthood twinged within us, the desire to procreate, to feel the love and fulfillment. But the idea of being able to live without the crushing responsibility and stress of parenthood won out. There are pros and cons with either choice.
My health has been steadily deteriorating over the past several years. I have no idea how long I will live, or how long I will be able to function adequately. Do I really want to bring a child into my life and then leave them in despair when their mommy dies? I think not. I know people are thinking life is unpredictable, anyone can die at any time. My death is a lot more possible than a healthy persons. I have to think about these things.
As of right now I do not have kids, nor do I want any. Society puts this pressure on everyone to have kids, to be fruitful and multiply. I look at the world and think, why? Why would I want to bring another person into this crowded, messed up world? If I am so pressured into being a parent, then I would choose to adopt an already existing human being who is in need of shelter, love, and guidance.
I don’t need to create life, it already exists.
Besides, I have my Macie, my furbaby.