Sunday, May 21, 2006

Babies

As you might be picking up, I've got a bit of a maternal streak. This isn't just limited to cooing at my friends' children - ever since I was a teenager, I've had an overwhelming desire to get pregnant, have a baby, care for that baby, feed it and clean it and get puked on by it and be woken up in the night by it, watch it grow, teach it, take it to school, help it with homework, tell it off when it gets detention, worry about it when it does something stupid and gets hospitalised, the whole lot. I don't have some romantic idea about a cute baby that I can dress up and feed who will stay tiny forever and can go in the cupboard when I've had enough or have got something else I want to do. I want to create and raise a child.


Being me, however, with ambitions for an education and a career and so on, and also wanting this potential baby to be born (if possible) into a settled family home, with a mum and a dad who have a means of supporting the family other than state benefits, I've also always made a point of practising safe sex, using the Pill and condoms. Result: no babies. It's amazing how efficiently that works.

But now I seem to be at a point where babies are happening all around me and it's playing merry hell with my hormones. I'm only 24, so it's not like my biological clock is ticking, but every time another person announces a pregnancy or waves a scan picture or posts pictures of their baby, I feel happy for them, but utterly gutted that it's not me.

What's more, it's not likely to be me, for some considerable time.

There is no biological reason why I could not or should not have a child. ME is not hereditary, so there's no concerns on that front at all. I am in contact (through ME support groups) with other sufferers who have had babies, and there is no ill effect on the baby for being carried by a mother with the illness. As for the rest of my health... I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs other than the ones prescribed to me by my doctor where the effects are well known and documented. I'm under the age of thirty, I eat a reasonable diet, and even on days when I am housebound I do physiotherapy exercises to help keep things ticking over. All things considered, this body is a better place to create a kid than some others I can think of that seem to have managed it alright.

Even once the child is born, I openly and readily admit I would need extra support above that which a healthy mother would need, and I certainly wouldn't be able to hold down a job as well as being a mother. However, I wouldn't need as much help as some people do. And extra thought put in at the "equipment" stage can save no end of trouble.

The problem is that Steve loves me very much and as such, he worries about me. Admittedly even if I was in the best of health we wouldn't be making babies just yet - we've only been together about six months, and we haven't moved in together yet which would be a good first step. But even once we are... he worries about me falling over, he would worry more if I was pregnant or holding our child. He worries about me being in pain, he would worry more if I couldn't take heavy-duty painkillers because I was pregnant or breastfeeding.

I understand those concerns. But I don't know if I'll get better. If I do, it probably won't be much better. There isn't a cure for ME. Meanwhile, I will get older, and he will get older, and becoming first-time parents will get riskier.

Do I have to just give up, at last, on the idea of motherhood?

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Nice/Nasty - haven't seen anyone. Very sore day.

7 comments:

Amerella said...

Re. this and the post below; never forget, things change. Your friends will happily come round with cake in the bad times (like now) because they know you'll be out there with them in the better times.

Mary said...

Thanks :)

The cake does help, I'm so glad I'm not diabetic...

jiva said...

babies will come. You will not let go of your dreams and soon enough your lovely man will also get a bit clucky. Plus now you have the hang of how your illness works you will know how to handle it with a child. I'd suggest wait until you live together, come off the pill and stab all his condoms with a pin.
Or failing that, at least once you are living together you can work through it with extra support. I can see you being a wonderful mum and him a wonderful dad. The best things come to those who wait. Not long now, it feels worse because you can see that it is possible and you will get there some day.

jiva said...

babies will come. You will not let go of your dreams and soon enough your lovely man will also get a bit clucky. Plus now you have the hang of how your illness works you will know how to handle it with a child. I'd suggest wait until you live together, come off the pill and stab all his condoms with a pin.
Or failing that, at least once you are living together you can work through it with extra support. I can see you being a wonderful mum and him a wonderful dad. The best things come to those who wait. Not long now, it feels worse because you can see that it is possible and you will get there some day.

Mary said...

I think stabbing condoms with a pin is not the ideal way to ensure maximum support for a potential child - I'll stick to waiting for him to agree to it and the two of us preparing for it together.

He would be a great dad, I've seen him interacting with various kids I know and he's amazing :)

jiva said...

you are very sensible
;)
and I bet you can guess that the condom thing was a joke.

Deana said...

OK over posting now.. I am totally maternall also , only 22. Your boyfriend may not want to think of having a baby right now, but it could be nothing to do with your ME. Obviously you know what he feels and I don't... but if he is of similar age he would probably be petrified of such a tiny little dependent creature however it was bought into the world.

Never give up on your dreams! You can do it, and if he cares about you that much he would help you lots. He might 'grow into the idea'...

re. your comment about being a more suitable mum I think you could be physically and especially MENTALLY more capable than plenty of parents out there. Children are very adaptable to circumstances and would simply grow up not knowing any different. They would not suffer at all and for all these reasons I don't think you should let go of your dream.

Sorry if that is a bit forward when you barely know me! ;-)