First and Last and Always

I am under a lot of fucking stress right now.

Got the results from my cultures back today – No external infection.

May still have an internal infection, so still have to keep taking the antibiotics (Doxycyclin and Metronidazole) that’re making me violently ill.

Most likely candidate is that my coil has gone up into my abdomen.

This means surgery.

This means two rounds of surgery – One to remove the coil, then a tonne of unneccessary counselling, then another one to tie my tubes.

(Yes, it has to be a tube tie. Coil is a mechanical failure, DEPO/Implanon/Nexplanon cause bleeding, migraines so can’t take the combined pill, erratic sleep schedule so can’t take the mini pill.)

I’ve never wanted children.

I had a horrible childhood, mostly at the hands of my peers, and I have no desire to subject another human being to that.

Mental illness runs through my family like a seam of coal, not just “a spot of depression”, I mean violence, delusions, suicide attempts. I have no desire to subject another human being to the capricious whims of having me as a father.

Miscarriages have hit us every generation for the past five; I would have been a miscarriage without the march of technology, 1lb8oz of spite clinging to life in a perspex box for three months, now an adult that still finds more comfort in the clatter of machines than in a human heartbeat. I have no desire to subject another human being to spending a childhood as a lab rat, or to make my partner go through the grief of losing a child.

Ehlers-Danlos has crippled me beyond the point of use before I’m thirty. I have no desire to subject another human to the feeling of staring out at a lifetime of hospital appointments and months lost to pain.

I have been telling doctors, since I was sixteen years old and getting my first Depo-Provera, that I want to be sterilised. Every time I’ve been told “Oh, you’ll meet someone that you want to have children for one day!” (because obviously, having children is something I should do to please someone else), “What if you meet the right man and he wants children?” (because there’s no way that I would reject a life-partner based on us having incompatible goals), “What about giving your parents grandchildren?” (because I have more right to choices in my own reproductive life than my parents), and their trump; “What if you change your mind?”

Well, I knew when I was four and first meeting other children – They wanted to play with dolls and talked about having families, I was horrified by the whole idea. I knew as a teenager, when my classmates were naming their hypothetical children and theorising who they’d have them with. I knew when I was at university, and I planned to spend my life travelling. I knew when Dearest moved in with me, and he deliberately chose to be with me over starting a family, at least for now. I knew when I was diagnosed with an incurable genetic disorder. I knew when I saw my cousins proudly hold up their babies for me to approve of, and I saw something that I appreciated as someone else’s path, but not mine.

Why is the medical community obsessed with making me suffer twenty more years of uncertainty, and pain from incompatible methods, and miscarriages when they fail? Why not give me the snip and let me live out my days in peace?

We make bigger choices at younger ages.

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7 thoughts on “First and Last and Always

  1. I asked to be sterilised after my son was born and I had a total mental breakdown. This was in my 30s. I was refused too, even though I knew I would never contemplate a second baby.

    Have you received a final ‘no’?

    • Good grief. I’ve not so much had a “no” as a “When you’re older, silly sweetie, you don’t know your own mind yet you’re barely more than a baby yourself”.

      Thankfully, the Marie Stopes will do it, no-questions-asked, as long as I can raise the two grand to pay for the surgery, and transport and lodgings in Essex.

  2. You’re not a baby though Percy, and you have thought about this. In truth, I was never mentally robust enough to have a child myself…as was subsequently demonstrated…so I am respectful of your reasoning.

    Percy were you really that small at birth? That really is tiny!

    • I was genuinely tiny – Born at 26 weeks, barely survived. I think I’m what the previous four generations had counted as a miscarriage, but I was “born” in hospital so actually survived.

      And thank you – I think you’re the first person to ever say that it’s a sound line of reasoning, rather than either just shrugging or outright disagreeing.

  3. Wow Percy. I feel very very lucky to have you in my life now I know how close you were to not being here!

    And yes, I respect your point of view on children. There are occasional debates on this question on the bipolar forum. So it’s a very reasonable question to raise, and in a way, very responsible too. No one has to get permission to bring a child into the world in possibly very adverse circumstances, yet to take a step to avoid bringing children into the world requires medical permission. Sort of odd that.

    • Especially since, if anything, the choice (or indeed, the lack-of-choice) to bring a child into the world can potentially hurt a LOT more people than the choice to not do so.

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