May 28, 2008

Making your choice

Having a hysterectomy (an operation where a woman's uterus/womb is surgically removed) is such a hard decision to take for any woman. Because this procedure spells the end of a woman's ability to get pregnant / becoming a mother. Normally, most doctors will persuade you into trying other non-surgical options first (hormonal treatment etc) unless the patient already had children. But the fact that any other treatment to cure my adeno aren't helping --and the pain has begun to consume my daily activity--a hyst is definitely the best way to go. My sisters (I have four sisters) weren't happy with my decision but they honored it anyway.

Here in Indonesia (maybe in other part of the world too), having children will be on the minds of most women. I would say there is a cultural expectation from families, society, colleagues, etc...that women have to marry and have children. "How many kids do you have?" or "When are you going to have kids?" questions is just so much part of every day conversation that it gets asked all the time when you meet your relatives, friends, etc. My eldest sister was devastated when she miscarried and had to wait for six years before having my niece, V.
If you’re married and choosing not to have kids, you won't get congratulations but questions. "Why? Are you sure about that? You’ll regret it later when you’re older, Oh you'll change your mind!", etc ... People are so interested in making you conform to the same standards they have.

I love kids - and considered myself lucky since I have two nieces and one nephew. I find that renting my siblings little critters is much more effective for me than owning. The kids love their auntie and I find an equal joy in pampering them. I am not worry with "who's gonna take care of me when I get older" either. Because there's no guarantees--even if I had kids--that they will care for me when the time comes. Life isn't about what happens to you but how you react to it - you have a choice!. That said, I admire people who want to be / already be parents. Do you ever feel under pressure to have kids?


Toni said...

Life is a choice indeeed El. Sometimes I feel our family become too involve in our personal life and put situational pressure. The classic questions : when you will married?, why you haven't pregnant?, when you will have other kid, and on and on. Crazy isn't it? Yes, having a kid is a bless amidst the pressure from our family who think they have the right to do so.

Therry said...

To answer the question:



I personally think parents who expect their children to be their caretakers when they're old are selfish. It's like putting pressures already to the unborn child, because that's one of the main reasons why people have children.

rimafauzi said...

Hi elyani.. I dont know whether this is the first time I commented on your blog, but i think it is.
salam kenal.

Anyway, I am sorry to hear that you have to go through something like this, i wish there were other ways, but if this is the only solution to your problem then you should definitely do it.

as for being pressured to have kids, well, i have been pressured to have kids for years. by my husband, by his family, by my surroundings. you know how indonesians are, once you are married or reach a certain age, kids are the norm. they cannot get the idea that i do not think it is a priority. maybe later on in life, but not now.

but if and when i do decide to have kids, i wont do it just for the sake of having kids or hoping to have someone to take care of me when im old (nursing homes here are quite adequate), i will have it because i really want to, from the heart. until that feeling comes, i will just enjoy being a woman 'tanpa buntut-buntut kecil' :)

Finally Woken said...

El you're not alone. Lots of Indonesian girls already think about living without kids. And I like the statement that borrowing is more effective than owing. You can spoil them rotten and become their cool auntie Elyani and send them back to their parents and enjoy your own time :)

Elyani said...

@Toni : Yeah, deciding whether or not to have children is a purely personal choice. Everyone should have choice to procreate or not, without pressure for their decision.

@Therry : I couldn't agree more. If you choose to have children, you should ensure that you can provide for them - financially and emotionally. But then again it is common in our culture to take care of our parents until they grow old. My eldest and youngest sisters took care of mom until her death last year.

@Rima : salam kenal and thanks for your thought. I’ve found out that it’s not going to be easy as I have extensive problems with my reproductive system. Now the “choice” has been taken away from me for good.

I can relate to you. In our society, too many people have children for the wrong reasons: mom & dad want to be grandparents, it's what's expected, etc. But it is not right to have children because familial or biological pressures. Like you said, you have to do what feels right for you because people will always have opinions on what you chose to do or not to do.

@Anita : consider yourself as an environmental protector for not polluting the planet with all of those disposable nappies :)

Fun said...

wuah mba..jangan kau tanyakan itu padaku... merit aja diriku belon siap apalage punya anak? hehehe :)

the writer said...

I am one of those girls who are still unsure of wanting kids or not although I have reached a certain age where my peers mostly have two or three kids (perhaps). I get these questions all the time but what do I care? If someday I will have kids, I will have it for my own sake, not for other people's.

It's just that I am not ready and I am not afraid if I will never get ready. Maybe it's just me, but I see having a kid on my own as being burden more and more lately

Elyani said...

@Fun & the writer : as the old saying goes, no one is in charge of your happiness except you.

sima said...

hi Ely..
i have a kid with four legs,
you also have one, don't you :)

Lorraine said...

The quality of being a woman is not only about baring children. So your question: Do you feel under pressure to have kids? No. I have one daughter, don't plan to get another one(s). One is enough for me. I don't really love kids, but I love my precious one very much, thru her I recognize things of me or my husband's.

Such questions won't stop being asked. Once you have a child, people start asking you when the second would come and so on..and on...