Saturday, November 21, 2009

If you don't believe me, I can't believe in you

You never know where a blog is going to lead. Or how much you're going to reveal. This one started as a tether to connect me with family and friends when I moved overseas. To share funny experiences and keep in touch.

Then my Dad died and the content of what I was willing to share on the internet changed. It became more personal. Sometimes I just need to write and have it read, even if it hurts. Sometimes, especially when it hurts.

I have not often gone back to that revelatory space here, but this is one of those occasions.

I recently found myself in the office of the girly bits doctor, talking about some issues you don't need to know about. Then she suggested I have an ultrasound to get to the bottom of it.

And suddenly, I was hit with an overpowering realisation: This will be my first and probably last ultrasound. And it is in no way connected to those happy occasions for which ultrasounds are usually reserved. And it never will be.

I am not one of those women who got distracted by life and career and let child rearing pass her by until the decision became moot. My decision not to have children was targeted and well reasoned. And I stand by it. But neither was the decision an easy one to make. By any means.

Still, rarely am I so squarely confronted by it as I was in the office that day. So, naturally, I lost it.

Now, living in a country with socialised medical care means I get a doctor when I would not have one in the States, but it also means she has the bedside manner of a piece of petrified wood. She was, to put it lightly, flummoxed.

And, of course, she will never understand. She lectures me regularly about my age and about how it will only become exponentially more difficult for me to conceive with every year, or even every month, that passes. So telling her why I was upset was out of the question. She will never get my decision not to reproduce and so could not possibly understand that, while I am secure in that decision, it still makes me sad.

That's the thing about life on the road - knowing that you cannot have it all. There are no frilly white dresses or crocheted booties in my future. In their place are dreams of a PhD and memories of seeing the Golden Palace and diving Blue Corner. Life is full of choices and these are the ones that I have made. But foolish are those who think life's big choices are easy.

So I will go to the ultrasound and I am sure my mind will flash with movie scenes featuring hopeful and happy ultrasounds and, inevitably, I will cry.

Then I will go home and plan my next adventure. And hope that when I am adding up the balance sheet at the end of my life, I will have made the right decision for me, and I will come out ahead.