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Single women? Women who are not mothers? Single women? Women who are not mothers?

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  #1  
Unread 07-30-2007, 04:30 PM
Single women? Women who are not mothers?

This site was recommended by a friend of mine, who had tubal ligation. Anyway, as I have been browsing through the various forums, I have noticed that there is a lot of stuff dedicated to parenting, children, family, husbands, all of which can in many ways be applied in a more oblique way to myself, but the reality is quite different.

I do not have children, I am not married, and I am not even straight. I am not looking for a niche, or a clique, but I am looking for others who have something in common with me, not necessarily all of the above, but something. I realize we are women, and the majority of my friends are not single, white lesbians, but anyway... I am just curious...

I have a close relationship with one of my nephews, and I am concerned about his reactions to my surgery. Also, my parents are freaking out, though I am an adult. What can I do? Though I am single, I could ostensibly acquire a girlfriend soon, possibly within the recovery period, what can I do to help her, if this hypothetical relationship occurs? How can I explain to people, that though I will not have children of my own, it is not a tragedy and I am not sad, and somehow make them understand that it is not because of some lack of maternal instinct? I don't want people thinking that I have some disfiguring injury, or that I should be pitied. Why is it so hard for women to be childless, yet still be respected as women by society at large?

Anyway, I have PMS, and am expecting my last period any day now, so my post is tempered by my overall mood, and by some amount of pain. (Yay for over twenty fibroids.) So please pardon any brusqueness, it is surely not personal, it just is...
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  #2  
Unread 08-03-2007, 07:47 PM
Single women? Women who are not mothers?

Hello. I've been watching these boards for nearly two years and on the boards for maybe 11 months now. I do hear what you are saying -- that the norm here is women who seem to be married or in heteropartnerships, and women who have or who have wanted children. Yet I have read and responded to posts by lesbian women or women who want no partners at all and who are facing their surgery alone. I don't have children, and I have had a very unsual life, so some of the posts don't fit my situation, either. But I like the site because it makes it possible to share one's information. If anyone can learn from anything I've said, then I've just passed on the word, for my part, having learned from others about their situations.

Your central question -- about why women without children just don't seem to get the time and respect or understanding that women with children do -- I do hear you on that one. I don't have any answer to it, but on boards designed to assist women who are losing their reproductive capacity, one is indeed likely to hear more from women who were interested in children, I guess.

I did want just to reassure you that there are many here who would like to hear what are your issues -- for your sake. Not having sought to have children might make you different, but if you are having problems in your reproductive area, then there are common grounds on which we all can stand together. Very best wishes to you on your upcoming surgery. It's not easy, to be sure. But it does get over!
  #3  
Unread 08-04-2007, 06:00 AM
Single women? Women who are not mothers?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron2003
Hello. I've been watching these boards for nearly two years and on the boards for maybe 11 months now. I do hear what you are saying -- that the norm here is women who seem to be married or in heteropartnerships, and women who have or who have wanted children. Yet I have read and responded to posts by lesbian women or women who want no partners at all and who are facing their surgery alone. I don't have children, and I have had a very unsual life, so some of the posts don't fit my situation, either. But I like the site because it makes it possible to share one's information. If anyone can learn from anything I've said, then I've just passed on the word, for my part, having learned from others about their situations.
Yes, I do realize that. As I mentioned in my post, I am not concerned so much with finding other women precisely like me, so much as finding some empathy, and I am finding it here, which is nice... Also, I have a scientific background, and I am a problem solver, so it suits me very well to read questions and try to find answers... for others especially...

  Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron2003
Your central question -- about why women without children just don't seem to get the time and respect or understanding that women with children do -- I do hear you on that one. I don't have any answer to it, but on boards designed to assist women who are losing their reproductive capacity, one is indeed likely to hear more from women who were interested in children, I guess.
I think I think of my uterus as part of me, versus something that allows me to have children. I am very 'ancient greek' about my body, meaning I do not want to mutilated, and chopped up, so it is highly distressing for me to have to undergo something that will do this, but the greater good is being served. When I regain my health, I will be able to function much better and regain my life, I honestly cannot wait. I just wish there was some non-pain, non-surgery way of doing it...also, the odd thing about me, is that I am in fact very interested in children, I work with them, have so many nieces and nephews who adore me, that I cannot remember how many it is anymore, and generally get along very well with them indeed. Almost like it is a vocation, but though I seem to be blessed with a bounty of maternal ability and instinct, it stops where I would actually have my own. I have thought that I would adopt kids, even when there was nothing wrong with my body, or my uterus. I am old enough to have a seventeen year old child, and up until about five years ago, there was nothing stopping me from physically having my own. The simple answer is, that I have never wanted to have my own... and this is where I find myself misunderstood, and feel like I spend great amounts of time justifying my choices. I am told that it is such a waste, that my genes, (apparently I am quite attractive, physically capable and so on, whatever) and my character,and my supposed ability to be a wonderful mother, are going to waste. As if the only way I could be validated, is if I have progeny. What about the countless children I work with, surely they benefit from me, and as a whole, the world benefits more from me working with hundreds of children, versus simply having one or two of my own?

Some people who have heard of my upcoming hysterectomy, have looked at me with such pity, as if I am some sort of breeding mare that is no longer viable, or like I am damaged. I find it offensive, and infuriating. I am more than the sum of my parts, and sometimes, I wish people would simply see me, versus what they envision I should be.

Obviously I have some issues going on here, which is another reason I decided to join the forum. At least here I will not be regarded as damaged, or flawed, or less of a woman, and what I am saying can be heard above the societal din, such as it is...

  Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron2003
I did want just to reassure you that there are many here who would like to hear what are your issues -- for your sake. Not having sought to have children might make you different, but if you are having problems in your reproductive area, then there are common grounds on which we all can stand together. Very best wishes to you on your upcoming surgery. It's not easy, to be sure. But it does get over!
Thanks and same for you...
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  #4  
Unread 08-04-2007, 06:35 AM
Single women? Women who are not mothers?

Hello again. I do hear you, and I feel about my body as you do -- that it was perfect before my surgery, and now, while I can accept that it is still my body and while I embrace it as my own, it does seem damaged, and at times, when I think about it too much, I feel bereft still (my hyst was nearly a year ago). Yet life is quite good indeed, and I don't have the mood swings, nor the fear of the unknown (caused by pain from encysted ovaries) that I used to have.

I don't know what your work is, but I hear you about having many, many children. I'm a university professor, and my colleagues and my family have often said I should have had children. When I finally found a suitable partner, it was too late (I tried an IVF program and it didn't work for me). Like you, I too received the looks of pity, which, oddly I guess, hurt more than the knowledge that I was going in for surgery -- can't say quite why except that I don't like to be considered (and don't like to consider myself) as "less than" simply because not all of me made it through the journey.

I have had good talks with some others here, at the time of my surgery, about these matters. I can't remember the posters' names, but I imagine others will come along here soon who might chime in about their feelings about such matters.

One thing that has happened to me, and I wonder if it has happened to you, is that my original OBGYN did not seem to take the care or concern with me that she was taking with her clients who were pregnant, and I found that troubling. (This is in response to your remark about progeny making one seem "real" to others.) I did find that troubling and imagine that my doctor really didn't even know she was doing this. By the time I got to my third opinion -- alas, with an oncologist -- I discovered in him (!) a concern about me that was absent in my two other doctors. Cancer was, in my experience, the great equalizer, I guess.

I have found many women on these boards whose experiences have been far different from mine and who have much empathy toward me and others. If you stay on board here, you'll find them, too.

Best wishes to you today. I checked out your website, by the way. Your work is quite remarkable, quite beautiful and moving.
  #5  
Unread 08-04-2007, 01:23 PM
Single women? Women who are not mothers?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron2003
Hello again. I do hear you, and I feel about my body as you do -- that it was perfect before my surgery, and now, while I can accept that it is still my body and while I embrace it as my own, it does seem damaged, and at times, when I think about it too much, I feel bereft still (my hyst was nearly a year ago). Yet life is quite good indeed, and I don't have the mood swings, nor the fear of the unknown (caused by pain from encysted ovaries) that I used to have.
I have also been single since my Myomectomy a few years ago, so in many ways, I find that I do not feel in possession of my sexuality. (not talking about my homosexuality, but simply my sexuality) The lover I was with during/after my surgeries, (it took two) was too afraid to touch me, and could not handle my being ill, and since then, no one. So part of me is a bit tied up in knots about that as well. I feel like my physical self, and my mental self have somehow diverged from their united path. Another reason I simply want this all to be over with, so I can reclaim my body as my own.

  Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron2003
I don't know what your work is, but I hear you about having many, many children. I'm a university professor, and my colleagues and my family have often said I should have had children. When I finally found a suitable partner, it was too late (I tried an IVF program and it didn't work for me). Like you, I too received the looks of pity, which, oddly I guess, hurt more than the knowledge that I was going in for surgery -- can't say quite why except that I don't like to be considered (and don't like to consider myself) as "less than" simply because not all of me made it through the journey.
I teach kids sports. Little ones, and slight bigger ones. Good fun.. I also am a private coach in sports. Can't wait until I regain my fitness though, it is hard to teach sports, when you can barely run... (chronic anemia is a real killjoy)

  Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron2003
I have had good talks with some others here, at the time of my surgery, about these matters. I can't remember the posters' names, but I imagine others will come along here soon who might chime in about their feelings about such matters.
I hope so... but I am in no rush... I am not going anywhere...

  Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron2003
One thing that has happened to me, and I wonder if it has happened to you, is that my original OBGYN did not seem to take the care or concern with me that she was taking with her clients who were pregnant, and I found that troubling. (This is in response to your remark about progeny making one seem "real" to others.) I did find that troubling and imagine that my doctor really didn't even know she was doing this. By the time I got to my third opinion -- alas, with an oncologist -- I discovered in him (!) a concern about me that was absent in my two other doctors. Cancer was, in my experience, the great equalizer, I guess.
My doctor is superb. No concerns there. She specialises in oncology, not obstetrics... and she specialises in trying to save uteruses whenever possible, so for her to perform this surgery on me, means she has pretty much exhausted all other avenues and if it was not done in three weeks, it would probably be done in three years, and I would suffer even more misery, and perhaps even pay with my life for the delay. I think for her, even though she is not happy about removing my uterus, she is happy that I do not have cancer, so it is more of a happy ending for her. If that makes some sort of convoluted sense...

Are you free and clear of your cancer concerns?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron2003
I have found many women on these boards whose experiences have been far different from mine and who have much empathy toward me and others. If you stay on board here, you'll find them, too.
I am sure. I am not concerned with exactly what the differences are, it is more that we all have the uterus/ovaries, (etc.) problems so therefore we can feel empathy for women who have problems with theirs...

  Quote:
Originally Posted by blueheron2003
Best wishes to you today. I checked out your website, by the way. Your work is quite remarkable, quite beautiful and moving.
Thank you!

I have not been inspired as of late. Seems the past month, my artistic urges, have flushed themselves down the toilet... I hope they come back, I feel stifled without them...
  #6  
Unread 08-05-2007, 07:55 PM
Single women? Women who are not mothers?

A6000 - I wish I could think of a way to sum this up into 10 words or less so you'd have something to gently tell people...

It's the idea that women who bear their own children make the best mothers.

Often, that is true. But ALSO - children are frequently neglected, abused or otherwise hurt by their biological moms(and dads).

It stands to reason that women who do NOT bear their own children are WONDERFUL mothers, are gifted at mothering (as you seem to be), and are vitally, vitally important to children everywhere.

I don't have the statistic handy - but if a child is growing up in a bad situation, for any reason, the ONE thing that helps them get through and over that is the presence of a significant adult - teacher, etc., or AUNT.

Being a great mother has nothing to do with giving birth.

And giving birth does not a good mother make.

Oh! .....was that over 10???

I wish you full healing and peace.

  #7  
Unread 08-06-2007, 06:31 AM
Single women? Women who are not mothers?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Arly3
A6000 - I wish I could think of a way to sum this up into 10 words or less so you'd have something to gently tell people...
Most of the time, I do not feel the need to say anything, but sometimes... it grates on my nerves, probably PMS or something. I look a lot younger than I am, most of the parents I deal with have no idea that I am often older than they are, so when they find out, they are often surprised that I am not a mother, as they have seen me interacting with their children and so on. I suppose some of it is simply innocent, but I think some of it is simply thoughtless. Thankfully, the kids do not seem to care in the slightest. Which is nice... another reason I really like kids, they have not learned to bullsh*t, like adults have.

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Arly3
It's the idea that women who bear their own children make the best mothers.
Indeed...

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Arly3
Often, that is true. But ALSO - children are frequently neglected, abused or otherwise hurt by their biological moms(and dads).
True...

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Arly3
It stands to reason that women who do NOT bear their own children are WONDERFUL mothers, are gifted at mothering (as you seem to be), and are vitally, vitally important to children everywhere.
Yeah, which is why ai stubbornly proceed, regardless. In the end, the kids I am working with are what matters, not me, or my feelings, or their parents and their quirks.

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Arly3
I don't have the statistic handy - but if a child is growing up in a bad situation, for any reason, the ONE thing that helps them get through and over that is the presence of a significant adult - teacher, etc., or AUNT.
Very true...

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Arly3
Being a great mother has nothing to do with giving birth.

And giving birth does not a good mother make.
This is the case sadly quite often, which is why I think that good mothers and fathers should be given awards and should be lauded. It is one thing to give birth, it is another thing to bring up a new human...

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Arly3
Oh! .....was that over 10???

I wish you full healing and peace.
Thanks! Your post made me smile...
  #8  
Unread 08-06-2007, 07:10 AM
Single women? Women who are not mothers?

Dear A6000,

You sound pretty cool to me! I imagine the parents are very happy that YOU are the one working with their kids. People live inside their own worlds, as your original post indicated, and it's sometimes hard for them to imagine that some of us just don't fit into easy categories.

You've already had multiple surgeries, including a myomectomy. Your dr sounds very well informed about your situation, and she also sounds usefully conservative. I can see why you'd say you know she has done what she could do for you and why you feel such trust in her. Do I understand correctly that you are not under cancer concerns, but you have chosen an oncologist, just in case? That was wise, because during your surgery, your dr should be able fully to rule out any cancer.

I wanted to respond to your situation about surgery and your partner. I have written on the boards with other women whose partners have been unable to wrap their minds around the surgery. It's not that our partners think of us as "less than," I guess, but just, as you say your partner felt, they are afraid of hurting us. My own situation is complicated by the fact that my partner gave me the HPV that caused my cancer concerns in the cervical area, and our own decision together to try for a baby using an IVF program is what brought me severely encysted ovaries that prompted concern (because of other irregularities) about ovca. We're both dealing with a lot of emotional baggage from all of this, in other words. He is doing okay, and I am. But it's very clear that our relationship has changed. It has deepened in some ways, but it has lost a lot, too, in other ways.

Are you still in touch with your partner, or was it a complete break? I ask because it would be nice if you had a compassionate person there for you after your surgery. Do you have friends or siblings who can help you in the initial days? Several months ago (before the end of last year), I posted several suggestions to single women who were preparing for their surgeries. I believe there are locations where suggestions are available on this site, but if you'd like, I can try to find the posts I made at that time and send them to you in a private message.

I read some other posts here, where you mention not liking anesthesia. I don't, either, because my work depends on my ability to write my books and articles and use my brain fully for my teaching of undergraduate and graduate students. I was on research leave last year while my surgery took place, so I had no work stresses per se to deal with, but I wanted to say that the anesthesia issues are real, and recovery is not easy, even for those of us who began our ordeal in good physical condition. My surgery was supposed to be a 3 1/2 hour surgery, and it ended up being just over 6 hours in duration. It took place in August, and I was still unable to focus for a full day's work (writing, reading manuscripts, etc.) in November. I started out of the fog one day in December, as if the density of the fog had finally lifted. Other women had much less difficult a response to their anesthesia, I believe. My sense is that it hit me hard because 1) I don't do drugs at all except alcohol (and I have an ethnic and family background of toleration for that) and 2) I tore my internal stitches when only 2-3 weeks out and was ordered to total bedrest for three weeks, so my progress toward recovery was tremendously slowed at a point when it could have kicked into higher gear.

I had Da Vinci robotics surgery so have only 4 small extenral incisions, not the long cuts that some women experience. My problem was that these seemed to be healing so well that I started doing a little too much walking and bending, and my vaginal stitches tore. So if your dr says to take it easy, she will mean it. For someone as active as you have been used to being, that might end up being the hardest part for you.

Finally, thank you for asking about my situation. I have HPV and contracted it only beginning in 2001/02, when I met the man who is my husband. Prior to that I was in a committed relationship for nearly 30 years, and I had no other experience. My spouse dated all those years, and so he seems to have been the carrier of the HPV, and my immune system seems to have no antibodies or any resistance to it, because I led such a relatively protected life prior to meeting him. I had a second surgery -- laser ablation -- in my vagina (all the walls were lasered in an effort to knock out dysplasia) in June. So, so far, again, any sign of precancer should be gone. But I won't know for sure until December, when I have another appointment.

They did not find the cancer they thought was taking over my left ovary. Nor did I have the carcinoma in situ expected in my cervix. So I am cancer free and struggling to remain so. Thank you for asking. Life does have its twists and turns. It becomes a test of character, after awhile -- perhaps the hardest test of many that I have ever taken.

About creativity, I might say that I went through a doldrums for about the half year before my surgery (last August) until about March this year. Then, when spring started here where I live, things really started to feel like they were taking a turn for the better. The surgery in June dampened that urge to create a bit, but it didn't wipe it out, and I've been writing more and more, so things are looking up. I hope your creative urges return to you speedily. You have much to express to us about life and human relations.

Best wishes to you today. I would have written sooner, by the way, but I was visiting with my aging mother, who was having a big birthday party with all my siblings and their kids there. I recalled, as I watched all the parents and children talk about their lives (and few asked about mine) our earlier conversation about how the parents forget that others haven't shared their experience, and I inwardly smiled, recollecting your postings. So thank you for bringing all that up. It is important that others do see how those of us who do not have children can feel excluded from their joy, at times.
  #9  
Unread 08-06-2007, 08:23 AM
Single women? Women who are not mothers?

So how´s it going? I´m single, no kids, and I find it easier now than before the op to answer people. I just say I can´t have children. No need of sing and dance about my thoughts that don´t gain much respect when told.
Wishing you well and a speedy recovery.
  #10  
Unread 08-06-2007, 08:52 AM
Single women? Women who are not mothers?

That's exactly what I say too, "I can't have children." That usually leaves them feeling stupid for asking me in the first place WHY I don't have any kids at my age. Stupid questions will get short answers from me.

I know I'll be grieving the loss of my reproductive system in the months to come, but right now, my focus was getting anything that produces estrogen out of my system, as I have Stage IV breast cancer with metastisis to my sternum, spine, lymphatic system. God willing, the pathology from my TAH will be favorable, but if not, I will deal with that blow when it comes. At least everything is GONE.

All I ever wanted to be - EVER IN LIFE - was a mother. I have just realized that I AM a mother. So what if it's to a fur baby. ;-) So what if I didn't give birth to her. She's my baby regardless.

Wow, I sound like a freak. LOL. Sorry.
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