I’ve been wanting to write about this part of my life that I don’t openly share with people. Previously whenever I thought about writing it, I often ended up feeling angry and hurting. Therefore, I had decided to wait for the right time. It’s mostly for me to have the right mindset so that I am able to share my experience at best without judgement on most of my part.
At the time of writing this post, I’ve been married for more than 11 years. While some other married couples have at least a child with them, my husband and I have none.
If you’re asking have we tried to have children, my answer is yes, we did.
We were entering 3 years of marriage when I finally decided to get pregnant.
The good news was after 2-3 months of trying, I was pregnant and we were to be honest surprised with the news because we didn’t expect it at all.
The bad news was the pregnancy ended up to be ectopic.
We were in the hospital when the doctor told us that my urine test was positive.
We went to the hospital that morning because the night before I had a severe cramp (it was like a menstrual cramp) to the point I couldn’t bear the pain and I passed out from the pain. I was lucky, I was at home when it happened.
I woke up the next morning. I went to toilet to pee and I felt “something” hanging out of my vagina. I held it by its edge, pulled it out and it was a thick pink flesh. I called my husband, showed him the flesh and he said, “Better go to the hospital.”
Since the pregnancy was confirmed ectopic, I was admitted into a ward for the doctor to monitor my condition. I kept on having painful cramps since the that night I passed out. There was a day when I was in so much pain that one of the doctors injected me with something to help ease the pain.
They did several ultrasound just to be sure that there was no fetus in my uterus. They checked that my left ovary was swollen. Looks like the fertilization process happened and got stuck in my ovary. They also took my blood to check the level of my β-hCG (pregnancy hormone).
After all the check ups, 2 doctors came to see me in the ward the next morning. They mentioned that I have to undergo surgery to remove one of my ovaries. I was shocked and my mind immediately went into shut down. I had stopped listening at all. Thank God my husband was there with me. He heard whatever it was that they needed to inform us.
After the doctors left, I turned and said to my husband I don’t want surgery. I don’t want doctors to wreck my body and remove anything. My husband, being the smart and intelligent man that he is, did his research on ectopic pregnancy.
Turns out there are several methods to treat ectopic pregnancy. Surgery is one of them and it is an invasive method. There was an alternative non-invasive method.
The next day, we informed the doctors that we don’t want surgery and we opted for the non-invasive method which was using methotrexate.
One of the doctors didn’t like it that we chose methotrexate. We were told that methotrexate only works on early pregnancy and they needed to confirm with my β-hCG level. So more blood was taken from me. It felt like once we made the choice of no surgery, that one doctor, lost interest in me.
In my head I was thinking of course that doctor wanted me to opt for surgery. I was just another money in the bank for him.
His concern was he didn’t know how far along I was and it was to prevent internal bleeding just in case my fallopian tube ruptured which could happened at any time.
During the whole time I was in the ward, I was already scared and I felt vulnerable. I didn’t need a doctor to scare me further with the possibility of death by internal bleeding.
The other doctor was nicer. She said I don’t have to go through surgery if I don’t want. I remember she hustled the nurses to take my blood and also to order methotrexate asap.
A few days later, after a different doctor had confirmed my β-hCG level, she administered methotrexate injection into my upper arm.
The doctor informed me that methotrexate stops any fetal growth and it’s like a poison. Her advice was for us to stop trying to conceive for a year because methotrexate can cause birth defects.
I was released from the ward (despite having several cramps) after the doctor has seen the decline of β-hCG level in my blood. I was unfortunately got admitted again because of the painful cramps.
I got my period weeks later.
A year had passed and I had my first fertility related appointment. I remember the doctor was asking if I wanted to get pregnant and I said yes. She then signed me up for a second appointment.
It was before I attended the second appointment that I had a big realization.
I realized that I held a belief that there was something wrong with me for not being able to get pregnant and have children.
And I was also quick to realize that having a belief that something is wrong with me (just because I’m not pregnant and not having any children) can damage my own mental health.
That was a light bulb moment for me and that was when I made the choice to believe that nothing is wrong with me. For me, not pregnant and not having any children is not wrong.
I also made the decision to not continue with the appointments anymore. I told my husband that I wanted to stop. My husband respected and still respects my decision.
I remember that was the moment when I told myself that I didn’t need to undergo all the hassle just to get pregnant. I wanted no drugs whatsoever. I didn’t want to put my body nor my mind in distress. I said to myself, if it happens then it happens and if it’s not then it’s not.
Fast forward today, I don’t deny that there were times when I had thoughts of what my life would look like if I had children. The thing is I can only imagine it and there’s no way for me to truly experience it.
Do I indulge my imagination? Most of the time no. If I did, often they don’t last more than mere seconds.
Do I regret for not continuing the fertility appointments? My answer is not at all. I made the right choice for me at that time.
I’ve come a long way to be okay and even to be able to be grateful at my current situation. (Believe me because I used to bitch about this a lot)
I used to believe that it was my fault that I had the ectopic pregnancy. I had blamed myself for years.
Facts are, it happened and we don’t know why it happened. If we’re looking at the science of it of course anything was possible. However, it happened inside me and it was not in my control. And so I came to accept that there was nothing more that I could do about it other than moving on with my life.
Along the way I also encountered several rude people (interestingly, they’re women themselves) who made snide comments about me not having children.
Dealing with these rude people who clearly don’t care about my feelings took a huge toll on me. My own mental health spiral down hill. Those were my dark times. For years, I was the worst version of myself. I was suicidal, my own negative thoughts were my close companions and the constant thought that I had everyday was to end my life.
The only person who kept me sane was my husband. He comforted me and he was there for me whenever I had my breakdowns.
All these negativity that was happening affected our relationship. I even remember asking for a divorce from my husband. I was a fucking mess, I was depressed and I could see that my husband was slowly being affected by my own negativity.
In the midst of my own turmoil, all I wanted was to be happy and to reciprocate the unconditional love that my husband has for me. It was a struggle for me to do just that being depressed and suicidal.
I knew it wasn’t easy for my husband and I had a rough idea of the tremendous emotional pain that I had caused him. At some point, it was just too painful for me to see how “broken” we were as a couple and I knew it was because of me. Finally, I couldn’t stand for us to continue living in (my) hell anymore.
I had to step up. I confronted my own demon and I had to make difficult choices.
With persistence over time, I eventually found my own inner strength to crawl out of the hell hole to transform my life and save my marriage.
I admit my journey isn’t a pretty one. Most of the time, I was suffering mentally and emotionally til I decided enough was enough. I told myself that I had to toughen my mind for the sake of my own mental health.
Once in a while, I still come across women (either relatives or strangers, married women with children) who think it’s appropriate to ask me if I’ve checked myself at the hospital after they hear that I’m married for more than 5 years with no children.
I used to be angry at that.
Now I get it.
For these women, they believe that it’s not normal to be married and have no children. To them, since it’s not normal, there has to be something wrong with the wife or the husband.
The part that used to get me really pissed was when they wanted me to buy in their beliefs, saying it’s not right for a married woman to have no children, saying (stupid) things like husbands would leave their wives if their wives don’t give them children or (bullshits like) how lonely our life must have been since we don’t have children and also we won’t be happy for the rest of our lives til we have children.
In my head, I thought to myself, why these women don’t try to understand my situation? Instead they paved (for me) the road to hell with their “so called” good intentions.
I used to blame these women for not understanding my current situation.
Now that I’m wiser, I realized that there is no way for these women to understand and fully grasp my situation.
For these married women with kids, there’s no way for them to truly understand married women with no kids. Being married and have no kids is not in their reality because that is not their experience.
And of course vice-versa.
I got “don’t you want to be happy?” question when I told some people I don’t have children.
That question made me really think.
It made me question myself. “Am I not happy?”
After I attended The Landmark Forum, a huge insight that I got was for me to be happy, I choose to be happy. My own happiness isn’t attached to “things” or of me having “things”. My own happiness isn’t depleted just because I don’t have certain “things”.
My answer is I am happy regardless.
It’s rather unwise to be unhappy just because you don’t have children, “things” or “whatever”. If one person’s happiness is attached to them having children, “things” or “whatever”, what happens to him/her when they don’t? Are they just going to be unhappy for the rest of their lives until they have whatever it is that they want? What if that day never comes? What then?
I also got “you don’t know what you’re missing” speech from these people.
I agree. I don’t because I don’t have children to begin with. And I am fine with that. There’s no way to miss something if you don’t have it in the first place. Just like fasting. The only way for you to miss food is when you have it and then you have to fast and refrain yourself from eating it. If you don’t know what food is and never tasted food, there’s no way for you to miss it.
Another question that I got is “don’t you want to have kids so they can take care of you when you’re old?”
I say bullshit to this. Look around. If you’re that old and you can’t take care of yourself and you have your children who are willingly to take care of you then, you’re very lucky. I don’t see that for myself. So I’ve made a deal with God. I told Him, the moment I’m incapable to take care of myself, I give Him the green light to pull the plug.
Have you heard this little gem, “don’t you want your DNA to live on forever?”
You know what, knowing what I know about DNA and topics related to it and more, I’m happy to put it at end with my death. Enough said.
Now, here’s a bonus question, “what about your husband? don’t you want to give him children”.
To be honest, I find that question irrelevant.
When I chose to marry my husband, my first and foremost intention was for companionship. And to this day it still is. The question “when or will we start a family?”, my answer is it’s not a priority for me.
And I’m not going to lie, one of the best things of being married is to have sex. Believe me, sex was an incentive for us to get married. (I said that because it’s haram (illegal) to have sexual intercourse when you’re not married in Islamic religion)
I know some people said sex is for procreation. However, for me, as much as sex is sacred, we do it because we wanna have fun and experience pleasure at the same time. Getting pregnant is just a side effect.
I have to say that my husband is one of a kind. He doesn’t fret about us not having kids. He doesn’t push me. He doesn’t stress about these petty little things. He genuinely doesn’t care what other people say/think. He accepts the reality as it is. We don’t have kids because we don’t have kids.
I also used to get people around me pushing me to get pregnant. And these people are often married people with kids. My reaction is often to ignore them. I remember thinking to myself that I won’t be pushed and battered into it just because other people are expecting me to join the club. I’ll fucking do it at my own time.
I get that some people may think that I am selfish for the choices that I have made.
As much as I want to say f**k off, I say just mind your own damn business please. You don’t get anywhere in your life by being nosy in someone else’s. And yes, I have a right to be selfish. It is my life afterall. I get to call the shots about me and my life. I choose how I live my life. Other people’s advise and opinions mean nothing to me.
I acknowledge that I am not getting any younger. I am soon to be in the veteran category in any sports.
The older I become, the more apparent to me that I’m in no hurry to catch the motherhood fever.
I realized that I have a choice.
I can choose what I want to experience.
I can choose to be upset just because I don’t have any children, I can be stressed about it, I can blame God or my body or I can accept it as it is and go with the flow.
I am done feeling sucky about me not having kids anymore. So I chose the later.
I’ve accepted that it is okay for me to be married and have no children. I am good with just being a wife and I am also good that I am not a mother.
I don’t see me not having children as wrong anymore. I’ve adopted a new perspective. Married with no kids is just different, that’s all. My husband and I often joked about this, saying that we’ve been single for the last 11 years. Despite the hardships and ugliness that we went through, I love being married to my husband with no kids. I’d rather appreciate it.
The truth is, I am reeling in my existing freedom, I am grateful that my husband loves me unconditionally and I am mostly in gratitude for my life the way it is.
I am happy with where I am.