Last night I decided that along with getting my endometriosis straightened out (again) I am going to start talking with my doctors about my realistic fertility options. I am 23, and in no way am I in a steady enough state, financial or otherwise, to bring a child into the world. But, I know that I want children. Besides the physical barrier that my endometriosis puts up, there is the barrier that my bipolar disorder creates. As I have said before, I am hypersensitive to medication. I would have to be off of all three of my current medications to carry a child. Being bipolar makes me much more susceptible to dangerous states of postpartum depression. Long story short, I have generally been advised against it.
Mostly what I want to learn more about is harvesting and freezing eggs. I fear that eventually with the severity of my endometriosis, and how it does affect my bipolar states, I may have to make permanent surgical changes that would keep me from ever carrying a child.
I know that adoption or surrogacy would be the logical step, but I am selfish. I want to experience the most natural thing for a woman to do, to carry a child. I want to bring a person into the world that is half of me and half of the person that I love. I want people to tell me that he or she has my long dark eyelashes, and my mom to point out our parallel idiosyncrasies. I want to unconsciously place my hand on my swollen belly while I talk to people.
However, I know what all of that could do to me. The last thing I would ever want is my baby to grow up without a mother. And it goes even further than that. There is the possibility that I could pass this on to my child. With everything that I have gone through, even after finally receiving the proper diagnosis, the idea of taking that risk makes me sick. I would not wish this on the worst of people. BEING BIPOLAR IS A BITCH.
It’s painful to realize that I have so much love for the very idea of a future child of mine that I seriously question whether I should have one. At times when I have brought this up, I have been told to stop thinking about it. It’s a long ways away, and I need to focus on now and not upset myself like that. But that’s the thing, most of the time I’m not too upset when I think about it all. It’s painful, but for some reason it feels productive. Maybe because I am growing more familiar with the various things that may happen, and the choices I may have to make. In a sense I’m in denial about it all, and maybe it’s just helping me inch out of that state. I think it upsets others when I talk about it, and that is a nice part of the reason that I am prompted to push it all out of my mind. It’s an upsetting topic that causes a certain level of guilt and pity.
Which brings us to an article I just read. This could not have come at a more relevant time. This was written by a woman who has bipolar II (just like me) and was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She and her husband have made the decision to not have children. Here she talks about coming to that decision and the pain involved.