Motherhood, to do or not to do, that is the question. However in my case, it was more like; to cease and desist or keep on keepin on. How does one determine the right time, if ever, to close the factory? This can be a difficult decision to make, but for me it was easier than choosing an outfit in the morning. I was not bogged down by the idea of missed opportunities for other children. I was (and still am) perfectly content with two children. Here’s why closing the factory was the right choice for me.
While I love motherhood, I loathe pregnancy. I will take every poop explosion, late night crying, food throwing tantrums and “accidental head butting” from my children now over pregnancy any day. Pregnancy was not a wonderful experience for me like it is for others. The flutters weren’t magical, they were painful. There was no glow, just nausea. More than the physical ailments, my mental health was blown to pieces during pregnancy.
It started after my first child was born. Extreme rage, a pure hatred for my husband, lack of interest in things that use to bring me joy, I was the 1 in 7 women to get postpartum depression. When my daughter was six months old I was diagnosed and things began to get better. I started medication and was able to get a grip on my mental health and family life. Things were looking great and the world turned to roses again. That all ended when I got pregnant again. My children are exactly two years apart so I really didn’t give my body or mind much time to regroup.
With the second pregnancy I was diagnosed with antepartum depression. Since I chose to stop taking my antidepressants when I found out I was pregnant, I lost control of my thoughts and went into a dark, deep hole. I began fantasizing about suicide and imagining how much better off my daughter and husband would be without me. I envisioned driving my car into oncoming traffic during every drive I took. I didn’t want to bring a child into such a dark world that I lived in. At seven months I finally told my doctor about the issues I was having. We agreed to put me back on medication and hope for the best.
Two years later I continue to struggle with depression and anxiety. My children are amazing humans that bring so much joy to my life, but creating them almost destroyed me. So when my husband and I discussed further child rearing we decided two beautiful children was plenty for our family. My doctors all agreed it was the best option for me to end my procreating years at 33. The planning and approval went smooth. The procedure was easy, done as an outpatient procedure I was only in the hospital for four hours total. It took five days to no longer feel pain and 30 days to be completely healed. All I have left is two small incision scars on my lower abdomen.
A tubal coagulation was my version of self care. In order to keep my mental health a priority I knew I could never go through pregnancy again. It’s the best decision I’ve made for myself in a long time.
– Kristen Kehl