Princess Zurg: I am never having kids.

Madhousewife: Okay.

Princess Zurg: Because that whole childbirth thing? Seems sketchy.

.

So I found out yesterday that this lady at church who is my same age is having her fifth child–nine years after her fourth. Another woman asked her if this was planned, and she gave her this look like, “Are you kidding me with this? Why would I do that?

I have been very, very comfortable with my decision not to have any more children, ever since I made that decision eight years ago (while I was pregnant with my fourth, for those of you keeping score at home). I have had no second thoughts. Not even a first-and-a-half thought. I have known for eight years that not having any more children is exactly the right decision for me. I know because every time I see someone with a newborn baby, my first thought is–well, my first thought is “ah, what a sweet baby,” but my second thought, which comes 0.0001 second later, is “thank God it’s theirs and not mine.”

Every time I see my doctor she asks me what I’m doing for contraception, and when I tell her, she says, “And that’s been effective for you?” And I shrug and say, “I only have four children.” That’s my little joke. The doctor doesn’t quite “get” it. I then reassure her that my last three children were on purpose, and I haven’t had any pregnancies since 2005, knock on wood, so I assume that qualifies as “effective.” And then she asks me if I’m done, and I say, “Sister, you don’t know the half of it.” And then she asks me if I’ve thought about doing anything permanent, and then I explain that my husband isn’t comfortable with sterilization (for either of us). And then she reminds me that the average age of menopause is 51. Only nine more years to go!

The thing is, this new thing–you know, this woman I know unintentionally getting pregnant, after nine years of thinking she was all done–it’s kind of freaked me out. It makes me think it could happen to me. Granted, I don’t know the precise circumstances of this accidental pregnancy. Did their contraception fail, or did they have some fleeting moment of feeling invulnerable and fail to use their contraception? I have never failed to use my contraception, and believe me, mes enfants, I never would. I know, people sometimes get carried away in the heat of the moment. That’s other people, though. I have never experienced passion of that sort, and I’m not about to start now. But this isn’t the sort of thing you can just ask somebody, and I definitely don’t plan on asking this poor woman what exactly the hell happened. The whole thing just makes me very nervous. Like when you hear about a robbery in the neighborhood and you have to go around and make sure all your doors and windows are locked and crap. I am feeling the need to make sure there will not be any unauthorized break-ins at the old uterus.

And I do mean old. I felt like my body was falling apart in 2005, and I was only 35 at the time. I was practically a baby myself! I don’t know how I would survive a pregnancy at 42, let alone a newborn, let alone the eight years of toilet training. I could be in a home before it was all over. No, most likely I would not be in a home. Most likely I would be still be in my home, wishing I were in some other home where people would clean up my poop for a change. And that’s what I’m afraid of! That is not how I wish to spend my golden years, wishing I were in some other home, blissfully oblivious to my own incontinence. I would like to turn 45 with dignity.

When I was at the SuperGyno last month, she mentioned that she could do an outpatient procedure on my fallopian tubes, you know, just in case I decided I wanted to do something permanent after all. (Nobody wants to see a hysterical middle-aged pregnant woman in their office.) I must say, it is looking more and more attractive. Even if it weren’t outpatient, even if I had to do it inpatient and pay a million dollars for it, it would be looking very attractive to me right now. I don’t like not knowing what the future holds. I don’t want to be afraid anymore!

Hold me, internet.

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