A couple things have happened to inspire this week’s post. First, a series appeared on the Humans of New York Facbook talking to a man whose wife died in childbirth. Then, I was told of a mare at my friend’s barn who died, along with her foal. And finally, I found out an old friend – who is my age, no less – is pregnant with her second child.
Now, being far away from Husband, babies are not exactly a concern. Later, though, when we do decide to have children, I can’t help but have thoughts. A dangerous pastime, I know.
There are 6.6 deaths of mothers per 100,000 births in Canada. Even with all our modern medicine and the like, women still die giving birth here in Canada each year. Granted, it isn’t a huge number considering how many babies are born, but it’s still a number. We forget sometimes, I think, that this process is actually quite dangerous for women. Sure, we can pretty it up with hilarious announcements, super fun party games, and adorable post-baby photo shoots, but in the end, it’s all about being a human incubator while an alien life form literally sucks the life out of your body until you must violently project the alien out of a hole that is not actually big enough to do so, so it must be cut or torn. At any point of this process, complications can arise that can cause you to die. From malnutrition due to morning sickness, to the compressing and disruption of internal organs while carrying, to infections after birth, bringing babies into the world is really fucking dangerous.
Ever since my miscarriage a couple years back, I’ve wondered if I can carry children, or if I even want to. A short while after, I learned I carry a gene that could increase my chance of miscarriage – and death during pregnancy – exponentially. Now that I have Husband, the internal struggle is even worse. I want to have a baby with him one day, and I’m looking forward to being the Mum to his Dad, but I’m terrified of dying and leaving him alone.
Life goes on, of course, and for some reason, although we know the risks, or at least hear the stories from relatives and friends, we end up having children anyways. Then, after the hell that is delivery, we are biologically programmed to forget the bad parts, and then do it again. And again. And for some, the baby making is seemingly endless.
My friends and I discuss it, sometimes. I’m the only one that is quite certain of her desire to be a mom, and even I question myself at moments like this. When I talk about childbirth to some women, though, their disbelief at my concerns and attitude is almost palatable. Violent, even. How could I not want babies, and how could I find the process repulsive? It’s beautiful, they tell me.
Well, no, I reply. It’s not all beautiful. It’s blood and shit and pain and pain and more pain again. Of course I find it terrifying. I think it’s all the more impressive and telling of how much I want to experience that process and have a baby that I am willing to overlook all this to be a mother.
Thing is, with all the horrors of the world, and with the stress and money worries, and every single thing that could possibly go wrong… I still want to be a mom. One day, anyways. Not now. Definitely not ready yet. My mother apparently went to see a psychic for a lark and the woman told her I would have a baby by the end of the year. This prediction, I suspect, will be a very good excuse for her to go back and get a refund as the only baby I see in my immediate future is my shiny new computer.
And maybe a puppy. But Husband isn’t even here yet, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.