It seems like a harmless question. "When are you going to have babies?" "Don't you want kids?" "Are ya'll going to start a family soon?" Or my personal favorite "Do you know the risks associated with a pregnancy over 30?" ( This was said to me by a man, and I was 28. Oh and also had a severe eating disorder.) I wish I could just tell these people to go and fuck themselves. Unfortunately, I suffer from this thing called people-pleasing, a rare thing for people with eating disorders (just kidding, about 99% of us suffer from this, ED or not.) Bottom line is, I'm not pregnant, not because I don't want to, but because I can't. At least not yet.
I spent 10 years of my life on birth control. Getting pregnant scared the utter shit out of me, so I was trying to avoid it at all costs (you have no idea the pressures of a small town, private school white girl.) even after I got married, the thought of being out of control over how much I have to eat and how much weight I have to gain leads me to "catastrophise" the whole situation. My husband wants a baby. He's going to be such a good dad. If he can put up with the fact that I keep collecting dogs, he can put up with a kid. Come on science, why are we wasting time engineering seedless watermelon when we could be developing a womb for men?!
So after all those years of being on hormones to prevent pregnancy, I decided to get off of them (much to the delight of my natural-family-planning-enthusiast-sister) only to find out that I would not get my period. My periods were getting weird on the pill for a while. They weren't always when the were supposed to be, and and towards the end, they stopped completely. I thought surely it wasn't my eating disorder causing this, I was too fat! (I wasn't but I thought that I was; I'm still not, but I still think I am) The truth was, my weight might have been within the normal range, but my body was going into survival mode, and that meant shutting down the reproductive section of the body to just simply keep my heart beating. I began to think that once I went to treatment, the period would come back, but it didn't. I spent almost two years with no period, and no idea why. When I came home, I had an MRI taken of my brain to see if there was a tumor pressing on my pituitary, and even that was negative. (I know that's a good thing, but I was disappointed. I just wanted answers!) So I wait. Part of me wonders if the universe is sparing me from a pregnancy because I wouldn't be able to handle it. Or maybe I just shouldn't pass on these crazy genes to anyone else. I'm not sure if I want to have a baby or not, but I feel like I do't even have the option, and that's annoying. After a year of visits to my Gyno and trips to a fertility specialist just to see what the fuck is going on in my body, I got a teeny, tiny, baby, period. Alas! It does work! It lasted 3 days and was very light, but it was something. But as a general rule, its an asshole move to ask another woman about her reproductive choices. It really is none of your business, and if I (or anyone else) decide to let you in on this information, it's a privilege, not a right. So the next time you think it's harmless to ask a woman when she's going to have a baby or jokingly (lets hope) give her a hard time for waiting, know that it may not be her preference. It may be a choice that was made for her.