I didn’t want to think about babies, until, all of a sudden, there they were. There are some facts about babies that cannot be escaped. On a global level, they are the young of a species. On an economic level, they cost…well, a lot I’m guessing. On a social level they can create communities, bonds and conflicts. On a social media level they block up feeds, overwhelm me with so many cheeks of cuteness and almost sicken me with the sheer volume of pictures of the same frecking child in the same frecking rug with the same frecking toy. On a practical level babies are something I know a woman has, carrying them in their body, not men. On a personal level babies are not something that will ever be a part of my life. It has made relationships hard. It has been the end of them, sometimes even before they begin. It has made me reluctant to even try to start some, knowing how some people feel about the topic.
Now you see me
I have been, you may have noticed, more attentive to my blogging this year than I was last year. The reasons for this are twofold but let’s focus on the main one. The pertinent one. Facebook started to hurt. More of my friends have had babies than not. The ones that don’t see proud aunts and uncles. And when it wasn’t babies it was bombs. But that is a touchy subject for me so I’m not going there. So I ‘left’ Facebook. Which gives me a surprisingly large amount of time for ANYTHING else. Oh, sure all of you scoff at this. I bite my thumb at your scoff. My posts to this site, and to This Lupus Life on Facebook are no ‘afternoon scroll down the page’. I come to you to share, to listen, for advice and for comfort. You do not vomit your repetitive collection of Baby Bumpkin smiling at the camera while you wait for them to do that “Oh-So-Cute” thing that they do. Again. And all the accessories, poses and arrangements used to make near-magazine quality celebrations of ‘Their-First-Bite-of-Solid-Food’ for Instagram.
I’m not bitter or hating on babies
Yes, call me jealous. And I know, it’s not my time to be in a committed relationship. I’ve had chances and I choose the opposite of these. My lack of child is not a choice of lifestyle, or life-readiness. I would ace that parenting stuff if it accidentally happened to me. Nail it. I wouldn’t be upset either, I’d love to be a mother. Now I’ve been to Europe and swum with sharks, being a mother is basically the only thing left I want in life, if that. I had never planned on doing anything in my life that would require attending university. But, of course, now I am studying teaching. This is my other sore point and another reason I have found my overall life difficult this year. My degree is Early Childhood and Primary. This semester is my Early Childhood focus. I am in an Early Learning Center with babies and when I am not there I am reading, writing and thinking about babies. I need to get to know everything about them and how to help their parents. My heart is breaking slowly every day this semester continues. I am starting to lose focus and the love I held for my studies. At the same time my analytical side is strengthening as I withdraw into facts, isolating my emotions and storing them in a box that only comes out when I am snug in bed on a Sunday and Monday night.
Because babies. Am I right?
Lupus and Babies
There is an urban myth. If you live with an autoimmune disease and are female, becoming pregnant can send the illness into remission. How, I’m not sure. But statistically there is apparently a number that shows incidences have occurred to support this. (What an awesomely vague sentence!) Alternatively, the body keeps on rejecting the embryo. When I was first diagnosed mum and I would joke about how I could ‘just get knocked up and it would fix everything. Not seriously of course. Don’t be stupid! But honestly, it is tempting to know that a quick ‘9 month’ treatment could heal a lifetime of pain and woe. I’m not even going to try to suggest some kind of sciency relationship, or suggest I believe this myth. Or imply that I want to try it. I don’t. I think it is an irresponsible thought to say the least.
My Lupus and Having Babies
My lupus is in my body, yes, but it is also in my brain. When I get an infection or virus I can have a succession of seizures and then I collapse. When I have a lesion I am more likely to contract a virus or to lose vital cognitive function. When I have a lesion I need to be treated immediately with strong medicine for an ongoing period of time. Historically this is at least 8-10 months, but typically more like 15 months. If they do not cause my body to terminate, they cause the growth defects. Termination is the most humane option, where possible, but lack of a choice is most preferable. My body would not be able to cope with the changes that occur during the early phases of pregnancy, let alone the trauma of loss. Most importantly the unknown risk imposed on my body of going full term are too much to consider. There are other factors but I hope you can begin to see what I am saying. Let us also not forget I am already medicated with a range of drugs that keep my other lupus issues at bay. I cannot survive for two weeks without these, and I know. I have tried. So imagine what would happen if you compiled all this into my body with a baby.
There will be no child in me.
As an afterword I would like to add that I am not the type of person who needs to give birth to a child to be its mother. I do not need my child to come from me, be of my genes, be with me from day one, or even be of the same ethnic background to know that I will love it and care for it with all of my heart. I will be a fantastic mother and my time will come. But like me, not everyone with lupus can have babies.