I never wanted children, honestly. Even after 10 years of motherhood I still wrestle with the idea of being a full time mother. The idea of starting over to do it again is completely terrifying even though there is a large part of me that wouldn't mind having another child. The way I see it, my daughter is almost 10 years old. Which means that I am almost done. Almost free. I am not sure if I am ready to once again give up my window of freedom to raise another child...
I was never one of those girls who fantasized about having children one day. Children were annoying and gross. The idea of having a child was completely off-putting to me. Me? A mother? Nope. I knew from an early age that I wasn't keen to idea of having a house full of kids. I had too many aspirations and things that I wanted to do in my lifetime and from what I had seen children were nothing more than a distraction particularly for women. All around me I saw women who dedicated their lives and all of their time to chasing behind children. My mother was one of them. I barely saw my mother when I was a kid. I remember my step-father being there mostly, but my mothers presence wasn't dominant. She was always leaving for work, at work or coming home from work. My earliest memories all include father in some form. He was the one who taught me my learning lessons, he was the one who disciplined me (a whole different story), he was the one picked me up from school, he was the one who took me to and from tap dance class, he was the one who made the rules.
If I am going to be honest (which I am always am 😃 ) part of my reluctance towards motherhood was heavily influenced by my own mother and grandmother. Financially my mother carried the household. I wasn't suppose to know all of this, but when you teach a 9 year old calculus you can't expect said child to not figure out things on their own. I knew that my mother was significantly younger than my father. I knew that he wasn't my "real" father (I did the math). Although I couldn't put my finger on it I knew that the dynamics of that relationship were off. I knew that whatever it was, I didn't want it. And it included KIDS. When my brother was born I seethed. I loathed his presence. I was only 6 years old but I knew that he ruined my life. Of course, I eventually got over "that" feeling but the I continued to carry my dislike for children well into my teens when it all came to a head courtesy of my grandmother.
At 13, my mother sent me to stay with my grandmother due to some "conflicts" my step-father and I were having. It didn't take long after my arrival for my grandmother to sink her teeth into me. "You'll be pregnant by 16. Just like your mama." is what she said to me one week after my arrival. I am not sure what or why it was said but I never forgot it. That was all I needed to hear. I think from that point on I did my best to make sure that I never had kids. Especially while in high school.
I knew that I did "NOT" want to be like my mom. No shade to mi Madre, but that's just how a young nigglet felt. I wanted something different. Seeing the sacrifices my mother had to make, having to constantly listen to and be reminded of how much of a "shitty" mother my grandmother was to her by way of countless "stories" kind of turned me off from motherhood. The older I got the more I was able to identify and point out the dysfunctional relationship my mother and her mother had with one another and after having to play referee more times than I care to admit, I was out of the running for kid rearing. If this is how mothers and daughters treated each other I wanted out. On top of that, I had my own issues that I was trying to sort out in regards to how I felt about my own mother. My mother had already did a great job of letting me know often how "selfish" I was and how "difficult" I was. My grandmothers words were the nail in coffin.
Children were out. Take my ovaries and hang them up. Donate them. Kill it with fire.
I was dead set against having children. I didn't even want to be around kids. I didn't like the idea of having to contain myself, or mind what I said or did because a child was present. I didn't like the idea of having share everything that I own with someone else. I didn't want to have to put anyone before me. Because honestly, no one had ever done so for me so I wasn't opposed to carrying on the torch. I figured. My mother has three more kids, I don't know my real father but I'm sure he has a gaggle of children (which he does) and I was wasted space anyway. Me not having a child did no one any harm and it allowed me the opportunity to be exactly what I wanted to be.
Left the hell alone....
Fast forward to October of 2007.
I remember the day I pissed positive like it was yesterday. It was a usual day in my household. My ex-husband (then fiance) and I were arguing as per our usual. I am sure that the argument was about him not having a job/contributing the way I needed him to or other women. In fact, I am sure that it was a combination of both because those two topics were the basis of most of our arguments.
Ever since I started my period at 9 years old, my period has been faithful to me and on time like clockwork. I could could down to the minute my period was going to appear. In all the years I've menstruated I had never been late or skipped a period so I knew instantly that something was wrong. I walked out of the house mid-argument to get some "air" and drove down the street to purchase a pregnancy test. I didn't even tell him where I was going. I just left. I took the test in the back seat of our car. I held the test in my hand and literally watched the line do what I already knew it was going to do. It turned blue. I was pregnant. And I was pissed about it. This was the worst time for me to be pregnant because honestly, I wasn't sure if her father and I were going to make it through the year. I was stuck.
I didn't want a kid right then but I knew that once I told him, it would be over. I contemplated not telling him until I made a decision and only disclosing that information if I decided to proceed with the pregnancy but once I re-entered the house the arguing from before commenced and in a rageful attempt to shut him up I thru the pregnancy test on the table and blurted out "We're fucking pregnant..." to which he responded "No, you are pregnant."
I almost killed him.
About an hour later he came into the room and apologized for what he said. I forgave him but I was sick and pissed. And the sickness didn't subside until my four month. It took exactly twelve weeks for me to recover from my decision to keep my daughter. I was sick. I'm not talking about a little morning sickness. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't drink. Not even a little bit. I spent most of my first trimester in the hospital with IV's sticking out my arm. It got so bad that the doctors were talking about a forced abortion. They were afraid that my daughter was draining the life out of me. Literally. At one point, my spiritual mother pulled me to the side and told me not to marry him. She told me that marrying him would be the worst decision I made. But I made a promise to "myself" years earlier that the man "God" allowed me to get pregnant by was going to be my husband. I naively translated the fact that I had never been pregnant by another man (outside of that one time in high school) that this was a sign. He was suppose to be my husband. I had to stick it out and make it work.
Although I eventually came around, I have to say I hated being pregnant. Or maybe I just hated being pregnant at that time. Or maybe I simply hated being pregnant by whom I was pregnant by. I was miserable. By the time I was 6 months, things had gotten really bad financially. He had prematurely "quit his job" in anticipation for this "great opportunity" to make more money which basically left the burden of financially maintaining the household on me. I was receiving WIC and Food stamps but that only stretched so far and with me missing so much time from work I was drowning. The arguments got worse and I got more agitated. By the time I was ready to deliver I was I was done. I was done with pregnancy and being a mother and it hadn't even started yet. I was done with being a "wife" and I hadn't even gotten married (link) yet.
Then came time to deliver the little rugrat and it would be just my luck that my biggest fear (delivering via c-section) was about to come true. I was told mid delivery that I was going to need an emergency c-section as a result of my daughter wrapping the cord around her neck. She also managed to take a nice dump in her sac and was now believe to be choking on her own poop...lovely, right? So, there I was frustrated and entering into the delivery room alone (because my lovely ex was pissy drunk in the labor room). Luckily, my mother was in attendance and accompanied me into surgery. She held my hand and wiped the tears from my eyes as I felt the doctors tug on my lower abdomen.
If I had known then what I know now I would have listened and spared myself the bullshit.
But with that comes the "what ifs...". I can't imagine where I would be right now if my daughter had not forced me to put someone before myself for the first time in my life. She humbled me.
To say that I hated being pregnant would be an understatement and as much as I hated my first experience I can't help but consider the option of having another. Especially since I am getting older and so is my daughter who, by the way, harasses me constantly about having another child. Even though her father managed to impregnate and reproduce with his current victim...girlfriend...whatever for her it's simply not the same and I get it. In total, I have about 16 brothers and sisters with only 3 being born from my mothers womb. I love all of my siblings equally but the children my mother had hold a special place in my heart. Those are my riders. My babies.
Truth is, I am no longer completely against having children. I mean, I am still not technically a "kid" person but I am definitely more tolerant of children. I guess being a mother kind of softened me up. Some days I do want to have another baby. Just to see if the experience will be different. I'd like to think that my less than pleasurable pregnancy had more to do with the person I was with and the negative take I took on motherhood as a result of growing up in a family where the two matriarchs in my family were constantly butting heads. To be honest, motherhood has been nice to me. I learn something new about myself everyday and I am constantly being pushed to the limits. Some days more than others but it's never a dull adventure. The positives of motherhood most definitely outweigh the negatives and the idea of being able to do it again is both frightening and exciting.
I am now currently in a happy, healthy and emotionally prosperous courting process with a great guy. It's been about two years since we've started the dating process and we have had countless talks about moving forward with our situation. Talks of cohabitating, marriage and the possibility of more kids has been on the topic table more times than I can count (and not initiated by me - this matters). I now find myself at a crossroads. He definitely wants more kids. I don't mind it, but then again I'm not sure I really want to.
I am moreso scarred and traumatized from my first pregnancy. I don't want a repeat of my last pregnancy and knowing what I know now, I already have a laundry list of things that will be a requirement if I should ever birth another child. Yes, I have a list of must-haves before I even think about saying yes to the sperm.
First and foremost, I refuse to work outside of the home the first three to four years. I missed a lot of my daughters early years because I worked. I had to work. It wasn't an option. If I didn't work, we didn't eat. We had already been forced to move out of the apartment we were in and I vowed to never be in that situation again. A part of my pregnancy package is that I granted the luxury of experiencing pregnancy with my feet up and edges full. I won't accept anything short of that.
So far, sir seems to be on board with the idea...but you know how those things go so....
...to be continued.
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