I’ve been in a mood all day and it’s because of my morning visit and conversation with my gynecologist. I hate going to the gynecologist, but it’s a necessary evil. This was my annual visit that was supposed to take place last December. My gynecologist got pregnant with twins and went on maturity leave which prevented me from seeing her for months.
Because I’m particular about who I let touch my vagina I put the appointment off until she returned. I’ve been seeing this lady since I was twenty-seven and I’m happy with her. She’s a white woman who is 43 years old (she told me this today). She had twins with her husband via IVF. She already had kids from a previous marriage. I like her. I trust. She’s the only doctor I ever had that has been able to do my pap smear without me feeling pain.
The first words out of my mouth…
“I don’t want to do a pap smear. My primary care doctor said I only need one every three years…and well…I’m happy to go with that.”
Doctor: “Ok…we’ll do a pelvic and breast exam. And then we’ll discuss age 36.”
Me (thinking to myself): Damn…I forgot about the pelvic exam. Shit, she might as well just go ahead and do the pap smear!
After the exam was over she and I discussed my heavy period and age thirty-six. She told me in so many words I have three options concerning my heavy period, which she stated sometimes comes with age….rather than health problems like the 3cm fibroid. I can look forward to it continuing to show up early and sometimes staying late.
- I can keep taking the oral birth control, which has become ineffective.
- I can get an intrauterine device. This could impact my ability to have/carry a child. I would never fuck with this because I’ve heard too many horror stories.
- She can operate on me and that will do something to the uterine line to reduce my heavy period by 60%. I can look forward to non-stop bleeding for 6 months. This could impact my ability to have/carry a child.
Needless to say, I’m pretty much assed out with the heavy period issue….at least until I have a child. Now about age thirty-six…
Why age thirty-six?
That’s the age I gave her assistant when she asked me when I was planning to have my one and only child.
Doctor: “Thirty-six is not a good number. ”
Me: “Why? You just had twins in your forties.”
Doctor: “I had help. After age 35 having children gets harder. It’s harder on your body and you have to think about your eggs. You lose eggs everyday. ”
Me: (thinking to myself): The fuck? I didn’t know that. I wonder what happens to them? I guess they die, crash into each other, etc
Me: “My eggs are sitting on ice at Emory University.”
Doctor: “IVF is expensive and you’re still young enough to carry a healthy child. Consider doing it sooner rather than later.”
Me: “I’m not married. I don’t want to be a single parent.”
Doctor: “There is nothing wrong with being a single parent. I was a single parent.”
Me: “It’s not a life I want.”
Doctor: “It’s best not to wait too much longer.”
Me: “I’m not ready.”
Doctor: “You’re never going to be 100% ready. There is never going to be a good time to have children. Every year I’ve seen you you’ve pushed back the age you want to have a child. You’re thirty-three now. It’s time to think about whether or not you seriously want to have a child.”
And with that I swallowed hard.
I can’t be mad at anything she said because she vocalized the ticking clock I hear in my head. It started ticking around age twenty-eight and it has grown louder with each passing year. The thought has occurred to me that if I continue to hold off having children until married I may never have any biological children….at least not the traditional way with me carrying them. And this shit depresses the hell out of me. For the life of me I DO want kids.
Years ago I would have never thought I would find myself in this position where I’m basically in limbo about starting a family because I have not found a spouse. I have tried to do it the right way and put the marriage before the carriage but it hasn’t worked out for me and I have sworn off single motherhood. It’s a helluva position to be in and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
I wonder how many other black women feel like me. I used to hear stories about professional educated black women having a hard time finding a mate to start a family with, but I never thought it would be me. In fact, I thought of this issue as a straight black woman’s issue because black men really ain’t shit. But I see now it really is an issue for black people who want a traditional family unit that begins with marriage.
It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight. If you’re black, and you want to marry BEFORE starting a family, you really are screwed unless you find a spouse early on in life. This is doubled over for black women.
I need to sit down and seriously consider whether or not I want to have kids…and if so…am I willing to accept the respectability of having them and raising them without a partner.
Basically, which is more important to me….motherhood or not being a single mother?