I'm not the sort of person who feels strongly one way or the other about whether I end up having children. I never really had a role model for the type of family unit I could see myself being a part of and creating for myself one day--a unit which would surely include a couple of children--and although I like the idea of 'family' the way it is taught to us, I feel mostly apathetic. If I meet somebody somebody who just really does it for me and we end up loving each other for a long time and deciding to have a kid, I'm sure that I would love kid with more love that I ever though possible to muster up from inside, but if I end up on my own, or with somebody who isn't particularly interested, then that's fine too.
Although I don't have a particularly strong desire to be a mother, at the moment, I fight against this gut feeling that I am actually unable to have children anyway. I could easily choose not to have children, but to learn one day while trying and failing that I actually don't have that choice to make, would be sort of heartbreaking.
We all hope that our bodies will do the things that they're supposed to do--that organs will work correctly for as long as we nourish them, that our limbs will function the way our minds direct them to, and that we will be able to reproduce should we want to. I've taken these things for granted, and in the past, have been careless with myself in ways that I will probably pay for in later years.
I don't think about children very much throughout the day unless I'm babysitting or families come into the cafe where I work, but in my subconscious, I apparently spent a lot of energy considering the condition of my body and grappling with the fear that things won't work the way they're supposed to, should I want them to. This isn't just about pregnancy, but that's the imagery that shows up in my dreams the most. I generally feel anxiety about what goes on underneath my skin and I'm sure that my obsession with medical dramas is probably some strange way of normalizing all the stuff that goes on inside of us so it doesn't feel like my organs are just a volatile twisted up elusive mess.
Two nights ago I dreamed that I discovered I was unable to conceive because of an issue from the past that I had failed to reconcile, and found myself lamenting my decision. I reached down to put my hand against my stomach, wondering what could possibly be wrong in there, and after much contemplation, by fingers began remembering as they ran themselves along the scar I'd tried to forget. I closed my eyes and tried to remember what that terrible scar could have been from and slowly, the event began to come back into focus.
I remembered that time in the woods with the person I was dating, a few years before. We were chopping wood and because of the condition of his body, he was wobbly and had trouble really handling the axe. He brought the axe up and over and made contact with the blocks of wood, but only with lots of grunting and sweating. I went more and more closely to him to him with the cutting, but I walked too close. He swung the axe around and stumbled. Instead of making contact with the wood, the blade went into my abdomen. I pulled it out, and in shock, said everything would be fine, not to worry, that it was no more than a scratch, even though the wound bled terribly. I bent over and began sewing it up, thinking only about fixing the outside, and nothing about what was happening to me inside.
The memory shocked me into action. The idea that my own negligence could have caused whatever was going wrong inside made me scared of myself.
I found myself on a farm but it felt like I was on the landscape of a board game made up of trails twisting between ponds and livestock, the point of the game being to bypass the obstacles to get to the doctor who could help me. The closer I got to him, the larger and fresher the scar became. When he saw it, I thought, he would never believe I could have forgotten it was there for all that time. Each time I approached him, he had to hurry off to some other obligation, and he made no eye contact. He hurried away and I hurried after him, and this went on and on, and I grew weaker and weaker. My remembering made the wound real again, and I felt blood beating inside my body behind the scar. There was so much that my organs were choking in it, and the only way to save myself was to release it, so I opened up the scar again and watched it pour out around me, and I knew instantly that I would never have a child, and that also, I would probably die.
And then I woke up.