To Child or Not to Child

Mother’s day is around the corner — tomorrow, actually. For as long as I have known me, I have jumped back and forth on the idea of having a child — by birth or adoption. When I was a child myself, I played with Barbies and baby dolls. With Barbie, she never had kids. She owned her own pizzeria, car, and Barbie Mansion. And usually she had very little to do with Ken.

When it came to baby dolls, I remember one Christmas, my mother helped me pick out a customized baby doll. I don’t remember the company, but that baby doll was my absolute favorite. I named her Molly and she came with a birth certificate. She had a plush body with sturdy rubber limbs, big blue eyes, and wispy blond cropped hair. I picked out a complete Aryan baby, but it’s what I wanted at the age of 6. She went everywhere with me.

When I was 19, I came up pregnant. I think it was in the water. I won’t go into all the details of that time, but it was what I consider a false pregnancy because the fetal pole (heart beat) never developed. The important part of why I bring this up is because when I was told, “You’re pregnant,” my world faded to black. I called my mom outside of the Planned Parenthood and cried harder than I may have cried in my life. It was the most instinctual, gut-wrenching feeling that at that time, I did NOT want to be a mother. I was in college, I had a tumultuous relationship with my boyfriend, I was a kid myself. When it came after the second opinion that the pregnancy wasn’t viable, there was relief yet underneath that feeling was grief. The gnawing feeling that had it been real, maybe I could have been a great mother.

It wasn’t in the cards.

Fast forward to today, I sometimes wonder could I do it. The things that deter me from admitting that I have moments of wanting to parent and have a child are my mental health disorder and the fact I live such a selfish life right now. Do I want to give that up? Do I want to face possible repercussions of pregnancy with my disorder? Do I want to risk giving my child my disorder that is 85% genetic? Do I want to risk having them see me get sick, if I do? If I go the traditional route, do I want to be linked with a man until my child is completely 100% on their own?

When I have little nagging desires to procreate, my mother knocks me down a little bit. She talks of all the downers of having kids. I think if she could relive her life, she wouldn’t have any. Honest to God.

I guess I won’t know where I’ll go until I get there, or miss the boat. Life’s just kind of like that.

Photo by Becca Tarter on Unsplash