Saturday, 12 January 2008

Maternal instincts. Or not .

This morning I was reading RDHmom's blog about her and her husband's journey to have children. I'm finding the insight into the emotions of someone desperate to have children incredibly interesting.

You see, ever since I was old enough to understand what reproduction was all about, I have always known that I did not want to have children. I do not know if the maternal gene just passed me by, whether my fear of pain meant that the thought of giving birth scared the pants off me (or, more literally, not!) or my mother's dire warnings of what would happen if I ever became pregnant. The latter, of course, was meant as a deterrent against having sex as a teenager, rather than not ever becoming pregnant, but I think that one backfired on her a bit because it certainly worked and she has only just got over the fact that she won't have grandchildren. It was also a bit ripe considering she fell pregnant with me at 19 before she got married but I guess she just didn't want me to repeat her mistakes. Not that she regretted having me but it meant she had to give up her nursing training and that, I think, she did regret.

There have been times when I have had the odd twinge, particularly if there is a newborn around, but within seconds the reality of having a screaming little person relying on me for every need comes crashing into my brain and the twinges soon disappear. Add to that the fact that I simply do not understand children. I cannot relate to them on any level at all. And they always cry if I hold them!

So not having this driving need for children, it has always been difficult for me to understand the emotional pain that couples who want children, but can't, must go through. I have been known to say in the past that I could not understand why those who are not able to have children just can't accept that there is a good reason why they can't, whether it be medical or indeed, divine, if you are of a religious mind, and move on. Now that I am older I can see the callousness in that statement and realise that it's not quite that simple. Having a driving biological need to do what it is we are here to do and not being able to fulfill that need must be absolutely heartbreaking.

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