I Don’t Have A Perforated Uterus And Other Stories From My Womb

I don’t have a perforated uterus. My IUD did not fall out. I’m not pregnant. There isn’t a hunk of levonorgestrel-laced plastic trashing my entrails and burrowing through my abdominal wall. Theses occurrences are extremely rare and I know that now and I knew it two nights ago when I went on a fishing expedition looking for the part of my IUD that chills outside of my cervix that I’m supposed to be able to feel. I couldn’t find it. And I had a tummy ache. Like a really bad one. So, naturally, I assumed I wouldn’t survive the night and would hemorrhage to death in my sleep, the thought of which did not prompt me to go to an emergency room because by that point I was already stoned and being stoned in the ER sounded really, really boring. Clearly, my decision making skills are top notch. And people still occasionally give me shit about the fact that I never want to be a parent. Like people who actually know me.

I’ve never been pregnant, as far as I know. If I ever have been pregnant, the thing peaced out before I knew it was even there, but that scenario seems pretty unlikely, not just because it’s unlikely for anyone, but because, from the get go, I’ve always been super on top of my contraception. I have never wanted to be pregnant. And I decided I didn’t want kids once I was old enough to understand that not everybody will or should be a parent one day. I think I was about 15 when I made that decision for real.

There are a lot of reasons I don’t want children, only one of which is related to my bipolar. But that’s worth talking about because it’s an issue that a lot of women face. Many women with bipolar want and have children. Many other women are advised not to. Assuming you’re working with a competent doctor and are willing to shoulder the extra burdens mentally ill pregnant women face, you can have bipolar and a kid. Lots of people have done it. Shame on any doctor who dashes the hopes of a would-be mom solely because she has a mood disorder.

But I do wonder what it’s like. I mean, I’m a biological female with a female gender identity and, now and then, I wonder what it’s like to be pregnant. I wonder what it’s like to give birth. These are experiences many women hold dear, and part of me is curious to understand, fundamentally, why. But curiosity is not a good enough reason to get knocked up, so my curiosities will remain curiosities forever because, once you’re done glowing or beaming or whatever pregnant chicks are supposed to do, you have to take care of this (temporarily super helpless) human being for the rest of your life and I don’t want that for myself, nor do I want it for the unlucky hypothetical I’d be squeezing out. Over the last several months, I’ve been trying to acquaint myself with my weaknesses so I can address them rather than ignore them, and what that exercise has done, among other things, is reinforce my understanding that I would not make a suitable parent. I’d go so far as to deem it unethical for me to raise a child. Babysitting is one thing, but being responsible for a kid’s well-being, moral and emotional development, education and physical health from birth until self-sufficiency is not something of which I feel I’m capable or even willing to do.

But, like I said, some women do do it. I’m pretty interested to know about those experiences. How’d you deal with your meds? All my meds are Category C which, as far as I know, falls under the umbrella of: these have the potential to harm your unborn kid pretty seriously, but you might have no choice but to take them, so roll the dice. As far as exposing a kid to my moods and my self-destructive behaviors once it’s born, that just seems really unfair. I mean, I feel bad for a lot of the adults who have to put up with some of the wackier shit I do, I wouldn’t want to force a developing child to see me be me on a daily basis and have to explain repeatedly why I act the way I do. I’m simply not up to the task.

But maybe you are. Are you? Did you do it? Tell me what it was like in the comments. No two experiences (with pregnancy or with bipolar) are exactly alike and I spent most of yesterday thinking about my baby-making equipment, so it’s got me thinking about it. Share!

-LB

Tagged: anxiety, bipolar disorder, contraception, hypochondria, IUD, marijuana, mental illness, no children, parenting, pregnancy, reproductive health, weaknesses, women

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