Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

#255: BABIES FREAK ME THE FUCK OUT (AND SOME BRADSTREET)

I have been thinking about why I have such fear and trepidation when it comes to the idea of my having children. Normally I don't dwell on this topic for too long or too hard, but the Fiery One has brought up babies a few times over the past week or two, and so the idea has become firmly lodged in my mind. It's hard not to think of it when your husband: a) spontaneously pops out of the kitchen to ask you what your thoughts are on telling your future child about Santa Claus (my thoughts are that, no, I don't want to, because what do we tell those weird lies for anyway), and b) when a mutual friend asks if we've been thinking of baby-making, the husband says that he would like to get a start on that very much and acts surprised when you say you didn't know that he wanted them now.

Yes, so, I have been giving some thought to my baby issues, and I have found out that it is not so much that I don't want them as that the whole idea freaks me the hell out. My issues are numerous and varied, and so although I now know that I may actually want to procreate, my issue with it has been complicated by what turns out to be a swiftly bifurcating maze of issues. Whatever happened to Occam's Razor? In no particular order of importance, here is a brief summary of some of my issues with bringing forth offspring:

I only want to give my love to the Fiery One.

Yes, I have the desire to be stingey with my love. This first issue is definitely somewhat selfish, although in a kind of twisted and devoted-to-my-beloved way. The next thing you know I'll have the Fiery One quit his job so that I can keep him chained up in a closet; he will be mine, all mine, and I won't have to worry about sharing him with anyone.

Sorry, that tangent was misleading. It's not that I don't want to share the Fiery One. It's that I don't want to love anything else as much. Or more. Actually, I'm worried about the more. I don't doubt the depth of my love for him in the slightest, and I've never loved anything in this world more than him, but I know that the love of your own child is another kind of love. What if my love for my child is bigger than the love I feel for the Fiery One? I don't want anything more than him in the love department. That terrifies me. If I loved anything more than I love him, I would probably eat it. Seriously. I would stick its foot in my mouth and suck the whole kid up like an udon noodle.

Reading the above, I see that I am such a twat. I have stated that I love my husband deeply, that I have great capacity for loving deeply, and that it's my fear of my own capacity for love that is scaring me. That's ridiculous, unless social services takes children away from couples who love too much, but they probably only do that if said couples slurp up their children like udon noodles.


I hate the idea of losing control of my body.

Stop looking at me like that. This is my weblog, and I'll be selfish, have my wacked-out fears, and be brutally honest if I want to.

Once, years ago, I became pregnant. I was terribly ill, weak, and in pain, and as much as I had strong feelings about the little lives inside me (yes, I said lives, and you're not allowed to ask me about this), I felt as though I had been invaded. There were interlopers on board. I was being taken over by alien forces. I had strong and uncomfortable feelings of losing control and personal power, of giving my life completely over to something quite aside from me, of my body taking me places I had never bargained for. I wanted to know when I had signed those consent forms. These feelings were probably due, in large part, to the fact that I was awfully young, immature, in an unstable relationship, on welfare, and oh god, I have come so far since then.

I know that my experience way back then was affected by a bunch of factors that are not in play now (THANK GAWD), but when I think of child-bearing, I think back to that time and remember the emotional and physical toll that it took on me. Anyone would shy away from the experience I had, but the experience I had is not the quintessence of what it is to go through pregnancy and bear a child. I think it would be a grand shame if I chose to never have children because of the baggage I carry from a completely different era of my life.


What if one of us dies.

Okay, even I know that, of course, this will happen. If it doesn't happen now, it will happen at some point within the next seventy years. Still, it's a worry of mine.

I've always been death-obsessed to varying degrees. There were periods of my childhood in which I would lie awake nights, pondering the Nothingness and waving my little mental fists at a god that would create us mortal. There have been periods in which I find myself worrying about mine and the Fiery One's health, nagged by a constant worry that one of us will leave the other alone. When I think of having a child, I worry that it could die, too.

It's about protecting myself emotionally, I suppose. The more love you allow into your life, the more opportunity there is for your heart to be torn beating from your chest, but this is a cup-half-full way of looking at what love and human relationships can bring to your life. I only start thinking like this when I forget to take stock of each of the people I love and how much my life has benefitted from having them in it. Should I divorce myself from Frances or Starcat or even the Fiery One because each of them will surely die one day? Absolutely not. I would turn into some weird old lady who spends her days talking to her finches.


My childhood was not so great.

The what-ifs really rule the day when it comes to this issue. What if my child is different in that way that I was? What if the other kids tease the kid? What if she/he is too short/a brainiac/buck-toothed/near-sighted? What if my kid has to go through what I went through, fighting her/his way to adulthood by the skin of her/his teeth?

The pain of watching my child getting beaten up, teased, ignored, or abused in any other way simply for being themselves would kill me. Actually, I would probably have to kill the people doing it, but I would bide my time and do it much later after my child had grown up so that she/he wouldn't have to bear the burden of having a mother in the slammer during her/his elementary/highschool years.

This topic's ove/r, because /my over/use of the / is getting really an/noying/.


I generally don't like people between the ages of five and twenty-five.

If you are between these ages, don't take offense. I don't choose to dislike people solely based on age, but a pattern to my dislike of people has emerged over the years. Also, in my defense, I didn't even like people between those ages when I was that age.

The issue I have with this one is obvious. Is it okay for a mother to secretly dislike her child for, oh, say, twenty years of its life and then pick up again with the deep motherly love when the kid has stopped being a monstrously hormonal fucktard?


And there you have it, folks. What it seems to boil down to, most simply, is that I am afraid of being emotionally hurt, which is no way to live a life. But it's also obvious that I need to mull this kid-making thing over a little longer. I assume that doing a little freaking out and wondering if you're out of your mind to consider such a course of action is a fairly normal part of the decision-making process. Gone are the halcyon days of no access to birth control and praising god for the fruit he hath seen fit to bestow upon our wombs. Damn, because then I could have had eight kids already with another on the way and never have the time to worry about all my nonsense. Some people think that the not-so-distant past must have been hard with its poorer nutrition and higher mortality rates and rampant poverty, but I'm starting think that it had its benefits.


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"Before the Birth of One of Her Children" by Anne Bradstreet


Fun with Google: "rapture index".

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The Uncle And The Pendant (And Some Berry)