Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why not? I've just never wanted to

Guest post by Suzy Cooper - a 38 year-old writer and stand-up comedian living in Tasmania.

When I was twenty I visited a doctor to ask about getting sterilised. He said he wouldn't do it on someone my age because I'd regret it. Regret it? The only thing I knew I'd regret was getting pregnant and having to decide what to do about it. I was paranoid about getting pregnant even though I was super-careful - as a child of the 80s I knew that even thinking about sex was going to end with Death beating me at bowling, then giving me AIDS.

I remember at the time thinking that the doctor/society would be hands-off about me doing any number of regrettable and somewhat- to extremely-permanently damaging things to my life/body, including:

  • tattoos
  • piercings
  • collecting venereal diseases
  • having children I didn't want (and allowing me to treat them poorly - after all, mothers know best)
  • smoking
  • eating to excess
  • exercising to excess
  • excessively excessing in general.
Hmm. What did I learn? A doctor was allowed to exert control to ensure my reprods remained open for business. And to determine what I would or wouldn't regret. I was peeved by that paternalistic attitude. At the time I remember thinking, 'Well, if I do change my mind hopefully my body will be sterilised before any hormones kick in and over-ride my logic.'

At 38 I am still entire (as they say about animals). My choice to keep my reprods in their original packaging has usually prompted friends and family to say the boringly predictable, 'You wait. You'll change your mind.' 

A friend who was having IVF treatment once said to me bitterly, 'I bet you're super-fertile!' Much as I empathised with her struggles, I couldn't apologise for that. Besides, the only way to know for sure whether I am indeed fertile, is to get pregnant: a diabolical idea that would irrevocably affect my life, my bladder (by all accounts) and the unfortunate issue of my loins. 

Side-note: something that hasn't really affected my decision, but which sure doesn't act as sweetener: my family seems to create giant fat-headed babies. 

I still look at pregnant ladies and think 'There's no possible way that (contents of abdomen) is going to get out through that (pelvis). I've seen Alien.

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