How I Came to be a Parent

I was always hell bent on never having children. That was certainly not a reflection of my affinity and compatibility with children, it was more a compulsion to remain childlike myself. I was an adult child, which is altogether less common than the famed syndrome would have us believe, and being only partially responsible enough for myself, could not imagine having a tiny human relying on me for all of their wants and needs.

I dressed up the excuse in whatever cause gave my choice the most credibility at the time; like the overpopulation of the planet and, oddly, my reasoning was the same as it is for pet overpopulation- there were plenty that needed good homes. At some point I reasoned that not having children was not detrimental to my ability to pass on my genes. I was content in the accumulation of genes through my nieces and nephews. At 25 percent per niece and nephew I had 1.75 children which, I believe, is the national average- and now that would be higher with the subsequent births of more nieces and nephews. So, all in all I was doing pretty well in my rationalization of not producing an heir to the Avengerdom.

My sisters did try to reason with me, if you consider blatant mockery of my self-imposed bareness to be reason. As the second born of five girls, reason was seldom ever considered as a viable approach to any situation. Mockery was more likely to be utilized in response to most of my actions and socially poignant behaviors. For example, during the entire eleven years I was a strict vegetarian my sister, Brooke, insisted I was letting my one allotted cow in life rot in waste. The reasoning: every American probably consumes approximately the equivalent of one cow in their lifetime. Since I did not become a vegetarian until I was 21, I consumed only part of my cow, leaving its life sacrificed in vain. It was at about the same time I became a vegetarian that I decided that I did not want children, which coincided with the same time I became agnostic and aside from my sisters threatening to tell our Granny that I didn’t believe in God, they were more aggrieved that I refused to reproduce.

At this point in time our oldest sister, Jennifer, was the only one with children, though Brooke had just announced she was pregnant. It was on our sisters trip that I casually mentioned that I was never having children and would like to have a hysterectomy, as this would somehow prove my dedication to ending the overpopulation of the planet. Their response was as rational as Brooke’s no cow left behind theory. I was told that I could not have a hysterectomy, not because I might regret it one day, but because they might need my uterus. If one of them could not have children they may need me as a surrogate. Knowing that I would do anything for one of them, including the letting out of my uterus, this was the most effective way to get me to keep my uterus intact until I could see I really did want children.

When that moment came that I realized I did indeed want a child, I wasn’t too concerned with the overpopulation of the earth. I had married an older guy, 28 years my senior, and realized I would not get to grow old with him. He had already grown old (well, older), and I wanted a kid that encapsulated the two of us, kinda like a human time capsule. We tried for a couple years but when we never got pregnant, we gave up trying. We resorted instead to not, not trying, which meant we just kept doing what we were doing but with the understanding that, we were probably not going to get to have children together. You can imagine our surprise when we ended up pregnant.

Now my husband is 64, I, 36, and here were are, yet again, stunned to be pregnant. In a few short weeks we’ll have another baby, my second and his sixth, and I’ll be having a permanent fix to preventing having anymore- though not as drastic as having my entire uterus removed, but with the exclusion of my baby sister who has not yet started having kids, all of my other sisters have proven they have perfectly viable uteruses and won’t be needing mine. I can now impede my reproductive system, chemical free, and feel only slight regret at the finality of never having another child. I’m done, I know I’m done, but I was granted two amazing surprises for which I had not otherwise planned. I always thought I would adopt and maybe I can still provide a home to a child that needs one.

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