For my entire adult life I have done everything possible to avoid getting pregnant. It was always the fear lurking in the back of my mind, the unthinkable terrifying shadow in the corner.
It started at school – can’t possibly get pregnant now, my parents would KILL me. Then university – my god having a baby now would be awful, I’d have to drop out, what about my degree, oh god, oh god, oh god. Then after university – I live at home, I have a crappy job, no way jose! There always seemed to be a plethora of reasons to avoid getting pregnant by any means possible.
Even after I moved out of home and got a steady job, for some reason there would still be the absolute terror every single month if my period was late (even by a day), and then singular joy when it finally arrived – although that jubilation never tended to last long. Every month without fail I would end up in tears, confessing to my long-suffering boyfriend that I was freaking out because thought I was pregnant. He would respond telling me that I do this every single month, and to calm down, everything would be fine. Plus what would be so bad about having a baby? Insert hysterical hormonal crying here.
I never judged other people that were having children young, I just knew that there was no way it was the right thing for me. I wanted to get my degree, get a job (any job), be living independently, and be in a loving and committed relationship. And I thank my lucky stars that there were no accidental pregnancies with past boyfriends, phew, bullet dodged!
Then not long ago, much to my surprise, I was tentatively hopeful when my period was late. What?! Where did this come from?! Last month I was emphatically relieved to be without child, when did things change?! All of a sudden I felt absolutely ready to have a baby, and I was even a bit sad at the arrival of my period.
Is this my biological clock kicking into gear at age 28? Is it telling me to get a bloody move on?
I remember my Mum telling me that after she had me, she was adamant that she wasn’t in the market for any more kids. Then when I turned two, she said that out of nowhere, she had an undeniable urge to have a baby. She said the feelings were so intense and so strong, and she was mit bebe with my brother not long after.
I think that as women we are genetically hardwired to want to procreate, and that our bodies will send us reminders of this if we’re not following protocol! However, as genuine and tangible as my changed outlook is, how do I communicate this bizarre change of heart to my poor partner? Can I expect him to be on-board with my sudden 180?!
With this revelation came new fears and a whole slew of what if’s – what if I can’t have a baby? I spent so many years trying not to get pregnant, but I never had one real scare – should I read into that?! Does it mean I’m infertile? Or just very cautious? What if I’ve been on the pill too long? Should I come off now to let my levels settle? What if I leave it a few years and it’s too late? When is the right time? Is there a right time? Can we afford it?
I have no answers to these questions, and my new feelings haven’t changed my “Plan” (yet), but it is nice knowing if it does happen how happy it would make me. Watch this space!
This was quite a personal piece to write, but I’m interested to see if anyone else is experiencing a similar thing? Let me know in the comments!