I really hoped that Kate would have a little girl, but I am very happy for her and William nonetheless. Goodness. I write about them as though I know them. I don’t.
My mobility problems make me disinclined to have children. I certainly want a family, but I don’t know if I am physically capable of handling pregnancy and early childcare. I understand that I could have a live-in nanny for the first few years of my child’s life, but I know I would hate feeling dependent on anyone to help me with the day to day responsibility of caring for a child. I would feel like a child myself if I relied too heavily on someone else to be responsible for my baby.
I have a lot of trouble walking and carrying heavy or unsteady things at the same time. This afternoon, someone graciously offered to carry my half-drunk cup of tea back to his office kitchen. I thanked him and told him I could carry the mug. It would have been different if the mug were brimming full. I think I could have carried it, but I would have had to walk slowly and more cautiously. This is true when I carry anything heavy. If I take my time and I am careful enough, I can carry cumbersome things. I don’t have a hope of carrying things in my arms down stairs if I can’t hold onto a rail, and there is no possibility that I would be able to carry a baby under one arm – or on one hip – while I hold onto something else to support me.
Several months ago, I took care of two young boys for an evening. My cousin had been hired to take care of them but I happened to be there too. I wouldn’t have survived the night if she hadn’t been there because I could not trust that I could carry the boys safely, especially when they had to be changed. The night went off without any concerns; both boys were safe and fine. I played with them and read them stories and watched television with them, but I couldn’t carry them. I know for a fact that – even though I have made monumental progress with my therapy – I could not lift and carry a baby safely if I gave birth tomorrow. Pregnancy itself is extremely worrying for me because it will throw me even more off balance than I already am.
There was a point in time where I wanted to be a surrogate mother for couples who couldn’t have children. I wanted to do something altruistic for others and I wanted to experience pregnancy. I know now that this is a dream that I need to shelve the way I shelved my goal of walking well in Christian Louboutin shoes. It’s a beautiful dream, but that’s all. That isn’t to say I’m incapable of handling a pregnancy. It’s just that my limitations would add an extra layer of complications onto an already complex situation.
If I ever found myself pregnant unexpectedly, I think I would lie on bed rest and then give the child up for adoption, simply because I don’t believe I am physically capable of giving a child the care and love she needs. That isn’t to say that disabled parents are incapable (because they certainly aren’t). I just don’t think – given the fact that all of my still-present problems directly relate to what I would face with pregnancy and birth and raising a baby – I should have children. At least not any time soon. I would have to further strengthen my body, improve my mobility, and work more on my moving balance. That’s what this boils down to: moving balance. Funnily enough, moving balance has been ‘the last thing I need to conquer’ for a very long time, but the physical and metaphorical step that I have refused to take out of fear. Pregnancy might motivate me to overcome that fear and develop the balance I currently lack, but I don’t plan on falling pregnant just for the sake of rehabilitative motivation.