Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Mom Gene . . . Do You Have It?

I always knew I was missing the mom gene. Ever since I can remember I knew somehow that I was not meant to be a mother this time around. Although I used to play house when I was a kid and loved to babysit as a tween when I got older I wondered if it was meant for me. I was married at 23 and my then husband Paul wanted to have 6 kids or some ridiculous number like that. I would look at him like he was crazy. He loved kids, loved to be around them. I on the other hand was so uncomfortable around kids. I never quite knew what to say or do and felt all this pressure just being in their presence. Looking back now I can say I was on the fence then. But if Paul wanted them I probably would've gone along with it.

After he died I never thought I would marry again let alone have a family of my own. When I turned thirty I started to feel like I really didn't want any children. Then cancer came at 31 and changed everything. My doctors discussed fertility options prior to my chemotherapy and I was well aware that my treatment would most likely leave me unable to have a baby. At the time I really didn't have a strong feeling about having a baby so I didn't pursue saving any of my eggs. Truth be told I was so screwed up and terrified that I couldn't really see into the future. I wasn't sure I would even have one. I think it may have been the missing mom gene.

Chemotherapy threw me into instant menopause and 8 years later I don't think it is going away any time soon given my age. When I met my husband Lou during my treatments I was concerned about whether or not he wanted children. I was pleased to find that he didn't. We were on the same page. I think it is super important for a husband and wife to agree on the baby thing.

Last nite I caught a glimpse of a documentary about a couple who unexpectedly have quintuplets. The husband was found to be infertile and admittedly didn't want to have kids. But his wife wanted to have them. So they agreed to use a sperm donor and had one child. Then she wanted one more. Back to the sperm donor they went and oops....then came 5! It got me to wondering...especially about the husband. He never wanted kids and now he has 6. And not even his own. I wonder what the stress of all that will do to their marriage. More than that I wonder how he feels having "given in" to the pressure from his wife who wanted kids so badly. Its one thing to compromise on a place to live or where to go on a vacation but children? I say you both need to be on the EXACT same page as far as that goes.

I can't help but wonder if the little feeling I had my whole life about not being a mother was something my soul knew. That it all happened how it was meant to be. I lost my husband and then my ovaries went on strike from cancer treatment. I had the odds stacked against me anyway. Maybe that is why I always had that instinct about myself. And then I wonder how often one person in a relationship "gives in" to the other when it comes to starting a family. . .

Did cancer treatment affect your fertility? Did you always know where you stood on the kid thing? Are you and your partner on the same page about having kids?

1 comment:

Seasons said...

What you wrote, was written after deep and long consideration. There is clarity in how you expressed yourself about an entirely personal matter.

You have experienced so much in your life, starting from a young age. Sometimes we can't figure out where the mind is, and where is the heart.

I sincerely wish you and your husband, many reasons for happiness in life. You write so much about love, and it shows in art. You can because, you have love in you.

Thank you, for writing with such honesty.