Ok, so going by the responses on the 'It's got to be for you', post, I now feel confident enough to tell you about a massive decision I made a long time ago about my life, 25 years ago to be exact. Not many women make this choice, but after much soul searching, I knew it was the right path for me to take. I opted for sterilisation.
It didn't come to me in a blinding flash, it wasn't some kind of whim, and I didn't have it done on medical grounds, ie, some genetic disorder. As far as I know, my perfectly healthy body was capable of taking a pregnancy to full term and giving birth. But I always knew in my mind, that I could not go through with it.
To some people that might seem a thoroughly selfish attitude to take, but going back to the title of the previous post, the decision had to be for me. I always knew I wouldn't have children, even from a young age. I saw my mother become totally distraught when we were out of her sight for more than an hour or two. Her whole world revolved around us, and me being headstrong, I found this increasingly suffocating as I grew up. I couldn't wait to strike out on my own and embrace my independence.
The thought of another human being depending on me to provide all it's needs for the next 18 or so years, scared me to death. The material needs, and the emotional needs, I knew I wasn't capable, I didn't have it in me.
The few friends that I did mention it to said, who is going to look after you when you are old? I was shocked, is that the reason why people have children, surely not!
I am also a bit squeemish about medical matters, a bit of a coward where pain is concerned, and could not visualise myself giving birth. Oh, I know they say you forget it the moment you have your baby in your arms, and it is all well worth the effort, but I would rather not, thank you very much.
By the time I was 37, all these thoughts had been coming to the surface now and again, in between earning a living and supporting myself. Should I or shouldn't I? I always arrived at the same answer, I will never have children. At that time it was said that it was dangerous to take the contraceptive pill over a long period of time, so I asked my doctor for a more permanent solution, sterilisation. At first he was reluctant to talk about it, as I was single and didn't have a man in my life. There was a chance I might meet someone and I would change my mind. He said there was no rush, and to go home and think about it.
At the next six monthly appointment I saw another doctor and asked him about it. He saw that I was serious, and said he would fix me up with an appointment to see the gynaecologist at the hospital. A couple of months later I went. The lady doctor asked me loads of questions, about my physical and mental health, I wondered if she thought I was round the bend. She asked if I had thought about carrying on the next generation, my answer was, there are enough people already doing that. Little did I know at the time, but there are more than enough people in the world now, and we are in danger of not being able to sustain the population explosion indefinately.
The gynaecologist, herself a Miss, said she could see I was serious, and would fix me up with a date for the operation, it would be in 6 to 9 months. Three months later the letter came to say I would be going in the following week. It was a bit of a shock, this is it, I could change my mind now, last chance.
There was no changing of mind, no going back, this is what I have wanted for a long time. Total peace of mind, knowing it was the right thing for me to do. It was quick, keyhole surgery, one night in and home. I remember it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. People used to ask me when I was going to settle down and have children, like it was expected that every woman did that. I always made some excuse, too busy working, never met the right man, etc. I never said it's not for me, because they would just think I was strange.
So now I am proud of making that choice, and 25 years on, I know it was the right choice. I apologise to anyone reading this who has gone through the heart wrenching process of trying to become pregnant, or who has lost a baby or small child. I hope I haven't offended you, and you find peace in your life.