It took me forever to think of the right words to say while writing this. I couldn’t compile the right words for me to understand my own thoughts and actions. I have never had such a hard time trying to write something down. I just boarded a flight to New York City — the city of dreams, and the one dream I had was to be able to have children of my own and show them this city one day.
I was 25 when a doctor told me I may not be able to have children. I went to a clinic because I didn’t have health insurance and when I told her I hadn’t had a period in over 6 months, she wanted to do more tests. I scheduled an appointment and never went back. I knew. I had been a very long relationship, most of that time in which I was not on birth control which did not produce a single pregnancy. I didn’t want that confirmation.
Out of genuine fear and curiosity, I recently returned to the doctor’s office to really get to the bottom of my issues and get birth control to regulate my insane period, after I was consistently on it for 18 days. After speaking with the doctor about my past and testing my hormone levels, I was told that I have polycystic ovary syndrome. I was told I was infertile. It made sense why I have never gotten pregnant after all those years. Sure, I could lose more weight, change my diet, and go to a fertility doctor over and over again, but there were no changes. So I fell into my shell and kept it a secret for as long as I could. I felt defeated and broken in a sense.
The thought that I could never have kids made me re-evaluate every aspect of my life. I was no longer living my life with aspirations of being able to provide a better future for someone else. I was worried that I had nothing to offer to a partner, as if a child was the grand sum of what I had to offer. I began to think about what I could offer myself, because there is so much more of this life to live out.
I no longer entered a relationship with the thought that this could be someone with whom I could marry and have kids. I looked at it as a chance to know who I was, and not having kids is something they needed to know up front. I’m not saying that I would never adopt — that is very much an option. Whether or not a partner of mine could except that was not up to me, but the amount of time and amount of myself I gave to them was entirely up to me.
I have been able to settle into my acceptance of not being able to have children, into coming to terms with the fact that that pregnancy and everything that comes with it probably won’t happen for me. I am at that age where I get asked if or when I am going to have children frequently and this has sparked so many emotions within me. Why does that have to be the next step for me? Why is that what is expected of me? And why have I felt like that was the path for me? I have just barely gotten to the point where I am able to take care of myself, I couldn’t imagine taking care of another human being. It would be selfish of me to think I was capable of doing that right now or anytime soon. But the reality of it all was it didn’t matter because I couldn’t have children of my own. It’s hypothesizing the unlikely, the improbable.
Everything that I am doing now, I envisioned telling to my grandchildren one day. I became angry; this had to be a mistake. It wasn’t fair. I felt that way for a very long time, until I really thought about how many people were in the same boat as me and how these same people were giving life to children that needed a home and living very full lives outside of that one parameter as well. I’m taking this life as a chance for me to do absolutely everything I always wanted to. I’ve convinced myself that I don’t want children for the simple fact that I am not able to, but if I were to walk into the doctor’s office right now and he told me otherwise, I would believe in miracles and be the happiest person to walk out of those doors.
For so long, I allowed myself to be miserable. Miserable because the life I thought I could have was not the life I was living. I was never going to meet someone that would be with me if I couldn’t give them children. I never left my house, I never saw my friends and I was in a bad relationship. All of that had to change in order for me to start living again. Once I got off the couch and back into the world, so many great things happened for me and I felt alive again. I realized that this is my only life and I was going to make the best of it. I realized that I have so much to offer, not only to someone else but to the world as well.
I want to travel to Spain. I want to climb Mount Everest and get lost for months on end. I want to spend countless hours in cafes writing a book about God knows what. I want to fly to new cities on a whim. I want to take 3 months off of work and run from California to Florida just to see if I can. I want to go to Korea and find out where I came from. I want to find out who I am. I want to get married and I want to have children.
I can’t do or have everything I want but I can keep dreaming.
Giving birth to my own children is a dream I have to let go of for now but it will always be in my thoughts, effecting every decision that I make. Instead of nurturing and growing with someone else, I am going to have to do it all alone, and as much as that breaks my heart to the core, I will do it all with an open heart of the possibility that I may nurture someone else one day.
I will never say never.