Tuesday, July 27, 2010

They Say Children Are Our Future, But Are They In Mine?

So many friends of mine are pregnant, including my sister-in-law, and while I am very happy for them, I can’t help but feel devasted at the same time.

Let me clarify, I don’t know if I can have children. A couple years ago, my husband and I decided we were going to start trying. I bought a book where I could keep track of my periods and all of that, but then my periods stopped showing up.

I made an appointment with a new OBGyn in Athens. The original OBGyn I had been seeing did not accept Medicare anymore, and so I had been getting my annual exams done by my PCP. I scheduled the appointment with the new OBGyn to discuss fertility issues related to my cancer treatment; however, I believe this doctor looked at me and saw a 250 pound woman, NOT a cancer survivor (more about my weight in a later post), because instead of talking about fertility tests, he mentioned that a lot of overweight women find it easier to concieve AFTER losing weight. Well, that makes sense.

Although, in my case, I would like to know if I can or cannot have children. What good is losing weight going to do for my yearning to be a parent IF chemo completely wrecked my reproductive system? This doctor is still my doctor, for now. Mostly because I was laid off from my job as a travel agent in May 2009. My husband and I decided that with steady money not coming in (he is self-employed), trying to get pregnant at that time was not exactly smart.

The truly sad part of the whole story is a lack of support from my family. When I was sick, everyone said it was unfair to a child to bring them into a world where I might not exist. Then once I got better, it was unfair to a child to have a father so much older than them. (Marshall is 54 years old, 25 years older than me, more on that later, too). I still don’t understand why I should be punished or penalized for falling in love with someone older, or the fact that I got sick?

My younger brother (whose wife is currently expecting) has a little girl who is almost 4 years old. She is such a joy. When he found out that Marshall and I wanted to start a family of our own, he called me to discuss all the things about parenthood that you don’t learn until you are in the throes of parenthood. And he basically called me selfish, that I was too self-centered to be a parent.

Again, I don’t understand how people who have children and know what a blessing they are would ever want to deny others from feeling that way. Obviously, I know that being a parent is not a walk in the park, but as in everything in life, you have to work at it to be happy and successful.

Marshall and I have a pretty good life now. His business takes up a lot of his time and we can’t just up and leave for a week anymore, but with a little planning, there is not a lot stopping us from doiong what we want. I do really enjoy that. But I know more than anything, I want to be a parent someday. I also know that if it never happens, Marshall and I have a strong enough relationship to make it through. What I worry about is what happens after Marshall is gone. We could have 30 more years together, but I always hear that the children are what help widows and widowers move on. Who will I have down the road?

We have talked about adoption, in passing. I had planned to have an indepth conversation about adoption on a recent trip, but we were having such a good time. But I do believe that is an option.

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