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When It's Your Body That Decides Whether or Not You Can Have Children

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“It is highly likely you won’t be able to conceive and hold a pregnancy to full-term.”

I sat in my rheumatologist’s office on the cold examination table processing the news almost any woman fears of getting.

I never considered having children before. I thought I had my entire 20’s to live it up before settling down. It didn’t matter anymore. It didn’t matter anymore because of something called systematic lupus erythematosus.

In my case, I came back positive for something called the lupus anticoagulant – the “dumbed down” explanation my rheumatologist gave me is that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks a protein in our blood responsible for clotting. This puts people who carry it at a risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolisms and miscarriages.

It’s a sobering moment realizing your body made the decision of whether or not you could have children, while watching all your friends on Facebook post about their children or celebrating a pregnancy announcement. I try hard not feel bitterness towards them; they’re not at fault.

Instead, I try to rationalize it. I wonder if I did something to end up this way. Was I just not meant to be a mom? Did the big man in the sky deem me unfit? Will I never be able to keep a relationship because all my future partners will want kids?

I can torture myself with all these questions for eons, but it won’t change anything.

Talking with other women in support groups have taught me the valuable lesson that my worth doesn’t amount to my ability to conceive. And there’s always options like adoption and fostering.

I’ve come to the conclusion that life just has a different vision for me.

While I don’t know what that is right now, I am certain that when one door closes, another one opens.

Originally published: August 21, 2019
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