real life

'I've never wanted kids. Then at 21, I was told I may not ever be able to have any.'

It turns out that politics can’t protect you from your feelings.

Women are biologically programmed to reproduce.

From an evolutionary standpoint, our one purpose in this world is to have children. We perpetuate this expectation with our incessant shaming of childless women, labeling them as selfish or damaged goods.

I never expected to be one of those women – but I’m guessing they didn’t either.

One in six Aussie couples are affected by infertility. Post continues after video. 

Video by MMC

My doctor sat me down last week with a prognosis I was years away from being ready for.

She had found dozens upon dozens of cysts in my ovaries along with other symptoms that were indicative of PCOS. The rate of infertility among women with PCOS is between 70-80 per cent. So those aren’t great odds to start with.

But that wasn’t all.

Long story short, a larger cyst that is as cryptic as it is complex sits on my right ovary – and could rupture at any moment causing immense pain and further damage to my baby box.

Finding out your fertility is in serious question at age 21 is as harrowing as you would expect.

It’s no secret that motherhood is a massive sacrifice. Recent studies have revealed just how much women give up to raise children and those statistics frightened me away from motherhood. I mean it when I say I was pretty sure kids weren’t in my future – so what changed when I was told I wouldn’t be able to have them?

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Maybe it’s a case of wanting what you can’t have or maybe I’ve changed my mind.

As a woman, regardless of your politics, it feels like a betrayal that your body can’t do the one thing it’s biologically programmed to do.

It feels isolating.

Women aren’t having children until their late twenties and I certainly am not ready to have kids any time soon but the cost of freezing eggs means it’s not financially viable for me to put this off – because it’s so much more expensive to freeze eggs then it is to freeze sperm.

Hosts Rachel Corbett & Zoe Marshall deep dive into egg freezing and surrogacy on Before The Bump. Post continues after podcast. 

To have to choose the path of your future well before you’ve even thought about it is one of the biggest journeys of self-doubt I’ve ever been on – and it feels like I’m on it alone.

I know women who have been through the same thing and I have friends who offer their support but this is a conversation that is rarely had.

To admit that as a woman, I’m unlikely to have kids feels like failure; and I hate myself for feeling this way.

I am still struggling with this diagnosis and the life-changing decisions I have to make, and right now, I’m not too certain of much. But I do know one thing; society convinces women that our sole purpose is to produce offspring. It’s no wonder that when we can’t (or don’t want to) fulfil that purpose we feel like we are letting down the team.

These are conversations that we need to have openly and free of judgement.

This post originally appeared on SheSaid and was republished here with full permission. The feature image used is a stock photo.

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