My Biggest Regret

Hello dears,

I've been struggling with whether or not to talk about this for a few days now, and have decided I will, even though it's very personal. There's only so long I can avoid spilling out my feelings, so it's time to attack it head on before it festers.

I've mentioned flippantly a couple of times recently about James having a vasectomy. We had the consultation on Monday, and his procedure is in less than 2 weeks.

When he and I met 11 years ago neither of us wanted kids. Then 3 months in I got pregnant despite using 2 forms of birth control and I had my first ectopic pregnancy. It was such a shock - being pregnant at all, losing the baby before I knew it and the horror of being chucked out of hospital 3 days later with a couple of leaflets to 'inform' me. It put me off the thought of having kids. In fact I was terribly scarred by it all and probably should have had therapy, but instead I ate my feelings. 

For many years James and I were happy to be childless. It only started to change in about 2009-10 when I was really late for my period and I thought I might be pregnant. That got us thinking, and we started trying for a baby. 2 days after Christmas 2010 I found out I was pregnant again. It all seemed pretty effortless really. I was on top of the world, and never really entertained the idea of having another ectopic pregnancy. Of course, it was another ectopic pregnancy and I nearly lost my life when my fallopian tube ruptured in hospital after 12 hours of tests and monitoring. Dems the breaks.

It was a horrific ordeal for me - losing a much wanted baby, losing a fallopian tube, losing so much blood and feeling so bloody ill, having a huge scar and a 3 month recovery period, yadda yadda. I was the one going through it, and it's always easier to DO something yourself rather than watch someone else go through it. 

All my family are 90 minutes drive away and I'd been telling James to call my family from the hospital for hours but he didn't get the seriousness of the situation until I passed out from acute blood loss, and then I was immediately rushed into theatre. For most of the time I was in theatre James was on his own while everyone travelled, contemplating a future without me. My family only got there shortly before the operation was over. All this time James was alone with his thoughts and was certain I was going to die. I can't imagine what kind of effect this had on him, but I think it has a direct bearing on his feelings about us having children.

After I started to heal my GP told me how long I had to wait before we could try again, and the hospital ward I had been on told me to come down for a scan as soon as I found out I was pregnant again as early treatment of ectopic pregnancies is so important. We did start trying again, and I was so caught up with that (and our upcoming wedding) that I didn't realise that James's heart wasn't totally in it. Sometimes you want something so bad you don't actually stop and ask if the other person feels the same way, you just assume, and James got carried along in my enthusiasm and thought he'd 'come round' to the idea of parenthood.

One day, in a rare moment of clarity and frustrated at the lack of commitment coming from James I made a statement more than a question: "You're not willing to make any time in your life for a child, are you?!" And he answered me honestly: "No, I'm not." This prompted the most honest conversation we'd had in a long time.

Our friends M & T have committed to a child-free life, and after talking with them we floated the idea of James having a vasectomy. Since James had been able to speak more freely about the child situation, he told me that he doesn't like kids at all and doesn't want kids. Having seen him handle our niece (who is bloody adorable), it shows. He holds a baby like he's holding a hot potato - he can't wait to put it down. He has no paternal urges at all; in fact if something doesn't come with a USB port he's not really interested.

Recently we've been talking about the kid situation again, and because of my age, my health and the high risk of having another ectopic pregnancy (and possibility of stiffing it) we came to the decision that a vasectomy was probably the right move, since it's far easier to sterilise a man than a woman. My head knows it's probably for the best, but my heart tells me something else. 

When we were at the clinic on Monday there was a couple there with a newborn, and the baby was crying a lot. James was probably sitting there thinking 'I'm here because I never want that!' and I was thinking 'I just want to hold him!' It made me realise how poles apart we are, and when at the end of the appointment we were given a date for 2 weeks later it really brought home the finality of me never being a mum. That's why this post is called My Biggest Regret. I will always regret not being maternal earlier, I'll regret having ectopic pregnancies, and I'll regret not making a priority of stating my case re: kids when I first met James. 

But it's not that easy is it? What people want change, and it can change all the time. It has with my feelings about kids. James has even expressed doubts that he's doing the right thing. Whether or not to have kids is probably THE biggest decision anyone will ever make. Although the decision might be right for us now, in 5 years time it might not be, and it'll be too bloody late then. 

I choose the man I love over the hopes of motherhood, knowing in my head it's the right decision for us. But I'm not happy about it. Not at all. You know, my head tells me we can have a rich and full life without kids, and have more disposable income, travel on a whim and look after our parents when they need us, but my heart still sings me a sad song.

Sometimes, just sometimes, life is a bitch.

Hugs to anyone out there doing life tough for any reason. 

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

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