A few days ago, I was at my yearly gyne. exam. (Worry not, there are no gross details forthcoming). I was there, aside from the annual check-up, to get my birth control (BC) prescription refilled. My doctor is nice, I like her well enough. Even now. But....but.
Well, after the usual pleasantries and questions, my doc confirmed my preferred BC method and proceeded to ask: "You want it refilled? No plans for babies soon?"
Not phased by the question, as I have become accustomed, as a 27 year old single woman, to several varying forms of "What the hell is wrong with you?" (read: 'You're not seeing anyone?' 'Oh, you're not married?' 'Well don't you want to get married?" 'What, you don't want to have kids?' What do you mean you don't want to have kids?') I answered in stride.
The exam proceeded, and thankfully was over quickly. And then came round two.
"OK, I'm going to write you your prescription, but you know, you should start thinking about it, start making some plans. You're ovaries are getting older, you know, so...I'm not worried, you're still in your prime time, so I'm not worried, but you know, you should think about. Ok, see you!"
As she closed the door behind her, I let the polite, amused smile fall from my face and rolled my eyes so far I was actually afraid I snapped an eye muscle. Or whatever. I promptly texted my two best friends and decided that a bottle of wine was in order for the evening. Because if my ovaries were getting old, than by god (or whoever) they were gonna fuckin' get drunk too.
Now. I get it. Nice, older, traditional OBGYN/GYNE probably assumes everyone with a uterus plans for and wants kids. I guess. But, my question is, why? In 2011, in Chicago, IL, U.S.A. why is this still the expected norm?
For one thing, I get I was asking for BC, and so she could assume I'm having any, if not regular sex. That I'm not, at the moment, is knowledge she didn't ask for, and so didn't have. So I can see why she may think I am even CAPABLE of thinking about having kids. Just, logistically. But there are 1,000 other things she didn't know. Even if, for example, I did have one steady partner, who is to say that is a person I would want to have a kid with? What if I'm broke because I work mopping floors at McDonalds? (I don't) What if I'm broke because I spend all my money on travel and records? (I do). In that case, do I have ANY business, whatsoever, entertaining the idea of bringing a new, completely dependent person into that knuckleheadedness? This list goes on of things she, and hundreds like her, never bother to ask.
I wasn't angry about it, but I am bemused by it. And maybe it's partly my fault. Coming into my 20s in a post-Sex and the City world, I guess I mistakenly thought a road had been paved for women that said--"some of us don't want marriage/kids (or at least, it's not our main goal), and we've told everyone else, and the social norm expectations have changed, so now you young'uns don't have to deal with this nonsense." I thought, being 27 in 2011, when I said "I don't want to have kids" I would get an "Oh, OK." as opposed to "Ohh," with a connotation of "You're one of those" or "Oh. Well you'll change your mind."
Granted, I might. I'm 27, what do I know? But at the moment, I'm not. And I haven't for several years, it's something I've put a lot of thought into. And it is, ultimately, my decision and no one else's. But I'm straying from my real point.
Which is, WTF? (To use internet...is that technically lingo? Whatever.) Why is it that, theoretically, I am going to have to spend some portion of my life justifying my life choice? Who am I hurting? (And that is a rhetorical question--we all know by now that NOT polluting the earth with more people is actually HELPFUL to everyone--the planet, the people already on it, and the person you're saving from being on it). How is it that in 2011, on some level, I'm still met with the same expectations as women in 1951? And 1931? And 1871? If the top hats are gone, why isn't my societal requirement for pregnancy gone?
Maybe, it occurs to me, because I have to help get rid of it.
Next year, I'm telling her that I've thought about it, and all things considered, my aging ovaries are pretty happy as they are.
|The only baby I'm interested in. "Little Baby Bear."|