I have never, ever wanted to have children. I say this with deep respect and love for my friends who can’t have children and want them very much as well as the ones who have been through hell to conceive, anyone who has lost a child, etc. I realize how offensive it is to almost every woman to say out loud what I just said. I know it’s a purpose for so many women. I understand that. It’s just never been for me.

I have heard women describe the yearning and that they were born to be moms. I have heard that the proverbial clock is an actual feeling. I know that marriages can get all caught up in the tumbleweed that fertility treatments do to what was once, spontaneous, enjoyable, un-pressured sex.

So there’s really something you feel? I am not being sarcastic at all. I am deeply curious because my body has never once felt any urge.

Is it something broken in my love function? Is it my derailed train track of a brain where the chemicals don’t transmit the route because they just ride and ride and ride and fall off every time they approach the station? Or, is it an actual hormonal imbalance thing where I just don’t produce the amount of hormone necessary to feel that urge? I don’t know. I only know that I have never felt what most of you have felt. I’m not sad about it, just super curious. Imagine if I actually had wanted kids and turned out to still be me at 44 battling depression and PTSD knowing I missed the chance? Imagine how morbid I would be then!

I have tried to picture myself with kids. When I do, they aren’t white kids who look like me. I never imagined being pregnant. I am wicked grossed out by pregnancy and would never want something in my body but I saw adopted kids whenever I imagined being a parent. Isn’t that weird? I figured if I did get married and somehow that urge came along, I’d just adopt kids from other countries who need a home. I really did picture my family as culturally blended….if I had felt the need to have one. Never admitted that to anyone before.

I have been sexually active and responsible about it for 30 years. Yes, responsible about condoms when I was a teen. Never had the sex talk with the folks, never discussed safe sex in the Catholic school but somehow I knew condoms, condoms, condoms! I still had a pregnancy scare at age 16 with my high school sweetheart who was a bit older and in college. My mother found out and was enraged. Imagine how comfortable that was to deal with when this is the same woman who freaked out over me and a friend playing with maxi pads a few years before – like freaked out so bad my friend never came back to my house again. Yeah, not a nurturing “your father and I love you very much and are here to support you no matter what” moment. It was more awkward than talking weather with a gynecologist when your feet are in stirrups. WAY more awkward.

I remember her making me get an official pregnancy test at the hospital and then dropped me off at school. Heaven forbid we do this at home. She said nothing to me after that. It was like nothing was happening. Common response to everything in our house. She also never told me what the results were so I walked around for a bit thinking I actually might have been pregnant and was wondering what the plan was. She had made it quite clear there would be a plan and I wouldn’t have a say in it. There was one night I got violently ill in the bathroom and to this day, I don’t know if I was just violently ill or something else had happened. I just knew when I got my period awhile later I wasn’t pregnant and then I called my boyfriend at college from the school payphone to tell him that part. I never told him about all the rest of it.

Once all was said and done, my mother made an appointment to get me on birth control. I actually wasn’t interested. I didn’t see having sex with my high school boyfriend as a gateway into high school sexual depravity with any boy who walked by. I was a dumb teenage girl who loved her boyfriend and pictured having sex with no one but him for the rest of my life. The only problem was that even with my school girl naïveté, I think there was a small, undeclared feminist poking her head out at the boyfriend. I felt the birth control conversation should involve him. He didn’t respond as though we were in an equal partnership so I dumped him right then over the phone. I wasn’t having that response. And, by dumping him I solved the birth control problem. I wasn’t going to have sex anymore so I wouldn’t need it. Silly me. I actually believed in love then.

It didn’t take long after starting college to change my mind. I craved a guy who probably looked like a muppet which no one else could understand. We couldn’t stay off each other. It only took one incident of “um, Christine, I can’t find the condom.” No need to give detail on how we found it. Let’s just say I noticed it when I bent over to look for it somewhere else. Off to the campus health clinic for Plan B. No way I was going through a pregnancy scare again. We held hands in bed while I took my pill and stared at the top bunk above us knowing squarely the choice we had just made. I got on birth control by the end of that week and never looked back. Haven’t been off it since.

By not having children, have I made a mistake? Am I missing out on life’s greatest blessing? I will give serious credit to my friends on this one as they have never once said anything to me about it. They love their children but have never tried hoisting that onto me. They have never once criticized me or taken me less seriously just because I don’t have the knowledge that comes with being a parent. They treat me as just as knowledgeable as they are in that, if I needed kid advice they’d give it to me and if they need travel advice, I’d give it to them.

Most childless women crash right into people who are comfortable telling them how wrong they are or how they will change their minds someday. I am living proof that some women really don’t ever change their minds. We actually do make it through the dating and mating stage feeling nothing in the womb and come out the other side with no regret. No changed minds. No feeling of missing out. The only thing in the rearview mirror is the suitcase on the sidewalk we forgot to load in the car as we head off to the airport for a trip to Europe.

Is that right or wrong? Is it healthy? Is it some kind of denial? I don’t know. Hard to say. It’s just that I’m a pretty determined gal who feels sorry for myself on things for about an hour or two and then if I still want what I couldn’t have the traditional way, I find another way to get it. Meaning, nope, haven’t landed a husband. I am not happy about that….even filled with feminine rage at wondering what a man would do for my life anyway. But bet your ass if I had really wanted a kid, I wouldn’t have waited around for a man. I’d have asked my friends what resources they used and hook myself up with a bunch of folders of hot donor dads.

My mom always said she could tell when I really, really wanted something vs. just saying it. I would tenaciously go after the stuff I was very interested in. There was no stopping this hound on a scent when I was hunting down a dream. But I could sit on the couch all day eating pop tarts talking about how much I wanted to sign up for a gym and never actually get off the couch and do it. I suppose that’s what going after a kid has probably felt like for me…couch with pop tarts or baby. Frosted cinnamon pop-tarts, toasted and then butter on top has never gotten old. While I may not eat them for 6 months at a time, the pantry is never without them.