From a very vulnerable and young age, I was encouraged to believe that getting married and having children was the only real purpose that I had.
I can’t deny that the thought did excite me, I was your typical little girl who spent all her time with her baby dolls and playing house.
I was certain that one day, I wanted a ‘real’ family of my own.
At the age of 15, my mother had a stroke, she was only in her 40s so no one could have predicted it. Many months later, she was diagnosed with a blood disorder, Factor-V-Leiden, which she had passed into me.
The genetic disorder, in short means, that I am prone to blood clots and strokes. It’s not difficult to live with as I only have one gene, however, it does mean any pregnancy I will have, will be high risk.
The fear of dying in labor became crippling. I told myself that I never wanted kids. I didn’t want to die at a young age and leave behind an innocent child. I just couldn’t.
Then, at 21 years old I got married, I still wasn’t sure that I wanted children. But, my husband would be the perfect dad and that stirs something primal in me.
Am I right that there is nothing more attractive than a man who is great with children?
The last year has been complicated. It’s been a mixture of debating having a family, trying for a family and then getting so anxious that it isn’t possible at the moment.
I think it’s part of being human to get incredibly broody every now and then – so much you cannot think straight because your body is bullying you into having a baby.
I’ve spoken to other mothers about their first child, a lot say that things did go wrong but it was worth it. I think it’s great that they have the courage but me? I don’t. Is that so wrong?
It just seems like a disaster that I would spend 9 months with a heavy anxiety of my impending doom.
My body literally isn’t made to have babies, yet, there’s a huge pressure on me to do so.
I wonder if there are any other women out there, who are desperate to have a family, who like me, desire nothing more. But they are too anxious to do so, that it just isn’t worth the risk for them?
I think for me, it’s such a strange place to be because childbirth is seen as easy and miraculous by many. Yet, there is a lot more to think about other than a crib and nappies; it’s a lot of pressure mentally and physically.
I’m pretty set on adoption and fostering.
To me, a parent is a person who raises a child and I am more than happy to be that person for a child out in the world that I have not met yet.
Your ability to be a mother or father is not set on your ability to reproduce.
Being a parent is about unconditional love and support, that’s family.
Whether you chose to have your child naturally, go with IVF or surrogacy or follow the same path as me in adoption or fostering – maybe your family is just your partner and friends, maybe it’s just your cat.
If you are surrounded by those you love, that’s all that matters, ‘the family’ does not have to be nuclear anymore and that isn’t a bad thing.
What are your thoughts on having children? What effect does the thought have on your mental health? Or maybe you had these thoughts but you had a child regardless?
Let’s support all women here.