In the next few weeks, I will have been fertile for 20 years.
I had my tubes tied earlier this year, and I find I am still highly paranoid about getting pregnant.
In fact, I made myself neurotic over that very thing just a few days ago.
My period was a week late.
I am NEVER late. I am so regular that I have missed exactly 9 periods my entire life. Precisely 28 days after giving birth, I bled. No nursing reprieve for this lady.
But I’m in my 30s now, and I recently (about 3 weeks ago) started exercising at least 4, but often 6-7 times a week. This is important, because I am too chubby.
This is also important because I have never formally exercised. I didn’t play sports (I wanted to read books and be in plays), I didn’t go outside and run around (I stayed in and wrote stuff about feeling sorry for myself), but for my late teens and most of my 20s, I waited tables. If you’ve done that, you know it is usually exercise.
And I am greedy, so I stayed busy.
And now I am greedy for fitness, so when I go work out, I work out hard. I’m pretty high energy for a fat person.
Anyhow, since I was a week late, I was sure that I am a tubal failure statistic, and I felt pretty sure that I was going to have to get used the idea of making a second child, even though I’m really happy with just the one–she’s so great, I couldn’t do better.
I am not pregnant. I started bleeding the same day I took a pregnancy test with negative results. But really, how can 3 organs that are collectively no larger than a grapefruit, cause so much anguish?
And it occurred to me: We women are all slaves to fertility.
We are pulled by the whims of our hormonal mercury. We spend at least 2, and some of us are lucky enough to spend 3, weeks a month being either fat, sore, or crazy in anticipation and experience of our menses.
We get to feel “normal” for 5-10 days, then we start all over again.
And those of us whose pieces are broken, who can’t conceive, become wild with the NEED to make life. We spend massive piles of cash on fertility, or adoption, on tracking ovulation. We employ the hocus pocus of prayer, faith, pleas to a “just” god all because we want to be mothers.
I have a good friend who went through such rigormarole to make a baby, and when I found myself knocked up at 24, freaked out, in college, and alone, I considered the injustice of our situations. She is a great mom. She is the best mom I know of. In some ways, I wish she was my mom.
I am an adequate mom. I do my best because I love my kid in a way that makes me believe in god (or some supernatural something), but I didn’t want it. There are still days when I wish I didn’t have to.
How is it fair that great people who make great parents who WANT babies can’t have them, and schmucks like me make them while taking precautions not to?
Fertility is a cosmic joke, and women are its large, hairy ass.