Cjane is talking about it today and I received a formspring question that kind of deals with it, so here we go......
*last summer with one of 'my' babies.
here is a question I received on formspring today;
'Does any of this doula stuff make you want to, or want to more, have children?'
Please forgive the 'rant style' of this post. I didn't spell check or proof read, so there will surely be some errors. I also had to complete the question within the thirty minutes I get for lunch. It's majorly rant-y.
This is a good and complicated question and is something I think about daily. You are going to get SO much more information than you wanted, but too bad.
In short, no. Becoming a doula has not changed my desire to have children. I have always wanted to be a mom. How I have children, however, is an entirely different matter. When I was 17 I was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Swyer Syndrome (it's totally freaky! wiki it. I am genetically male and physically female) that affects my reproductive system. I know that I can never have biological children (I had to have the tissue that should have been my ovaries removed as soon as they diagnosed me because of increased cancer risk) and there is a small chance I could carry a child.
Not only has being a doula made me want to experience pregnancy and childbirth more (A LOT MORE) than before, but starting about a year ago my 'biological clock' starting ticking. Before this happened to me I didn't really believe in the biological clock. I thought they were just a socially constructed myth. It is not. There are times when every ounce of my being screams for a baby to hold. There's just nothing sweeter. I also have some close friends who are pregnant right now which makes me want to experience it. I think it's the coolest thing that WE, we stupid humans who mess up so many things, can reproduce. I don't know why this is so mind blowing for me.
I know being pregnant would be an amazing experience, but I am morally conflicted about spending so much money on an egg donor and in vitro fertilization when I could be using that money to adopt a child who REALLY needs a loving home. I feel that it would be very selfish of me to do that when there are thousands of children around the world who are sitting in orphanages. I also believe that we have a major overpopulation problem and that it would be better for the environment and out natural resources if people did not give birth to as many children (I'm talking to you, DUGGARS!!!:)) The biggest impact on my desire to have children, and how I have them, was nannying for five years in college. I was employed by the same family all five years and they have children who are adopted and who the mom has given birth to. The mom is in a similar situation to me fertility wise. Weird, that I became employed by a family whose mother has reproductive issues, right?! It further confused me because I thought that the adopted children would feel differently or be treated differently by others and they are not. They are loved in the exact same way, are treated the same way and are as well adjusted as the other children in the family. I thought that maybe seeing a situation in which the adopted kids were treated differently would make me say, 'No way I am giving birth. I am only adopting because I don't want anyone to feel different,' but this family proved my theory wrong. Also, I still have a great desire to experience pregnancy. The obvious resolution to this is to just do one or the other; adopt all of my children or carry all of my children. The problem is that I really WANT to adopt. I have such wonderful adoption examples in my life that I can't NOT adopt. The obvious solution to THIS conundrum is to simply say, 'I'll just adopt some and give birth to some.' But then I run into the moral dilemma of, 'I will spend tens of thousands of dollars getting pregnant when I could have spent that money adopting babies who are already alive and need love.' So then you might say, 'why don't you just carry one baby and adopt the rest? It will be a happy medium!' But then I thin, what if the one child I carry feels left out because they're not adopted. What if the rest of the kids feel resentful of the one I carried because they feel they're 'more' my child than the adopted ones? I know that the family I nannied for disproves that theory, but what if it is different for me?
I am really good at giving my future children complexes, by the way.
So, again, to answer your question, my desire to be a mom has not changed. Since nannying for the family in college I have wanted a family. Since becoming a doula, I still want a big family, regardless of how the children come to me. I am still confused about how to have them and probably will be until the time comes to start a family. Also, a lot of this depends on whether I have a husband/partner when I decide to have children and how he feels about the situation.
Until then, I will argue with myself because that is how I roll.
If you have any questions about Swyer Syndrome or infertility PLEASE don't hesitate to ask. There is so much stigma associated with these topics and I think talking about them is the only way to fix that.