Saturday, June 30, 2012

Why I will never have babies

Warning: this post could be triggering. Mention of theoretical babies and death.

This post isn't really funny at all. It's actually pretty sad. But I wanted to write it last night when I was getting ready to fall asleep, and I still wanted to write it this morning, so I decided to just go on and do it.

So, I've never really longed to have children the way some women do. I've been telling people my whole life that I didn't want to have children. That "once you have kids, you have to keep them", and other funny remarks like that. I love babies and how cute they are, with their tiny little feet and hands, but I just never thought that I would have one. And it's always been awkward when people insisted that I would want to have babies when I got older.

You see, my body decided NO, no babies for Erin. There's nothing wrong with my uterus, though. I have epilepsy. I specifically have complex partial tonic-clonic seizures. Put simply, I pass out and have what you call a grand mal seizure. Those are the big scary ones, like they show on House all the time. Yes, women with epilepsy can have children. They generally need to go off their medication while pregnant, though, since several of the drugs can cause fetal abnormalities.

"So what's the issue? Do you just really not want to go off your meds for 9 months?" No. The issue is what could happen when I was taking care of my theoretical baby. See, my seizures are mostly controlled by medication. The key word of course being mostly. I only have the odd seizure every 2 months or so. So it's just a problem for me when I total my car, slicing my leg open to the bone and requiring a cane for a year. Or when I seize in the shower and slam open the skin under my jaw. Or in my bedroom and literally break my bedpost with my skull. Or just fall down and seize.

But women with epilepsy are recommended to only change their baby's diapers on the floor and not to bathe their babies alone. Take a moment to think about that. I have a niece and nephew that I love more than any other children that could possibly be on this earth and I didn't know about those rules when they were babies. The possibilities of what could have happened are making me sick. I can feel the horror and anxiety roll up from my stomach to my chest and sit there like a heavy weight, and I'm crying at the thought of what could have happened and what could happen with a theoretical baby.

The thought of a child accidentally being hurt while I have a seizure sickens me. After my car wreck, I surrendered my driver's license. I've never petitioned to get it back. I live out in the boonies, and have to depend on other people to go places. I love to hold babies while their mama's are right there watching. But I will never have a child. And I will never drive again. I can't bear the thought of hurting or killing someone while I seize. And if I ever get married, it will only be to someone who understands that we will not be having children.

13 comments:

  1. *giant, enormous hugs* my dear.

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    1. Thanks, sweetie. Give your little muffin a kiss for me!

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  2. I love you, Erin and so respect your selflessness in choosing not to drive or have kids.

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  3. I appreciate your opening up and sharing about this. I also appreciate the thought and care you put into your decision about children. :)

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    1. Thanks, Carrie. It took a big breath before I pushed "post", but I'm glad I did.

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  4. Loving aunties are just as important as mommies. Lots of props for you for your openness. You go on with your bad self and be an awesome auntie.

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    1. Thanks! I like to think that I'm the best auntie ever!

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  5. You've made some very caring and loving decisions--hard decisions though too, I'm sure. Your niece and nephew are lucky to have you in their life. Don't let the "could-have...would-have" scenarios make you crazy. There isn't a person alive who has loved and cared for a child, who doesn't have similar thoughts go through their mind about things that could have happened--but thank the Lord didn't! (As mom to 2 grown, wonderful young men, I could write a book--or at least a novelette!) You're an incredible young woman Erin!

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  6. What a powerful post! This took a lot of bravery to (well, first of all) decide on & (secondly) to make it public. Frankly, I don't think it's anyone's business what you do with your uterus. It drives me crazy when people ask if I'm going to have more kids & when I tell them no (that I actually took steps to ensure I physically can't/won't) they get all weird about it. ESPECIALLY when they don't know me at all and are trying to make small talk.
    And I completely sympathize with your concern over what could happen -I can give myself panic attacks if I think about my inability to protect my daughter from anything (seriously -the thought of a zombie uprising is cause enough for me to freak). So good for you. You've made the right decision. And it sounds like your neice & nephew are incredibly lucky to have you. :)

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    1. Thanks, darling. If I had the money at this point, I would go on and get my tubes tied, I'm just waiting to pay off credit card bills.

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  7. Thank you for talking about this here, Erin--it's true that women who decide not to have children in America get shat on sometimes, which is completely bizarre and mindblowing to me. Recent events within my family have strengthened my own resolve to have no children by my own body--there are too many genetic problems and the line needs to be drawn somewhere. I also...just don't really want to have any, which I know is a statement that people tend not to take seriously when you're 23, but still. Maybe someday I'll look into alternate options, but for now, I'd just like to be an auntie to my friends' kids someday. Your awesome-auntie-ness (and the awesome aunties in my life who never had kids of their own) really reinforce that choice for me.

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  8. I applaud you for your honesty. My husband and I, though healthy and well off, also have decided not to have kids. Like you, I have never felt the "maternal urge" and have my own philosophical reasons not to have kids. Yes, it is sometimes hard to explain to friends about our decision. But, luckliy, our parents are supportive.

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