This contains a LOT of background information. Some people may find it uncomfortable. When in doubt, skip it.
Beltane is nearly upon us, and I grow more and more depressed with each passing day. It happens every year. There are specific times of the year – around Beltane and around Samhain - when I really, really, really want a baby. I’d at least like to know it were possible.
Still, I know that even if it were possible, it wouldn’t be a good idea for several reasons. First, I’m extraordinarily fat. I had a lap band placed in April of 2009. It did not work. I am sick all the time, and almost all of the weight has come back. I am in the process of finding someone in this area to remove it.
Second, I have insulin resistance. It goes hand-in-hand with PCOS – polycystic ovary syndrome. I imagine that even without it, I would be fat, but not THIS fat. Good gods, I am trying everything once again. I will borrow against my retirement fund from Arkansas to pay for something else if my insurance refuses to cover it. This is getting ridiculous.
Third, I have chronic pain. I was in a nasty car accident in Alabama (not my fault), and since then, I have hurt. My neck, upper, middle, and lower back, shoulders, arms, legs, muscles, joints, all of it. I have TMJ disorder. I have tender areas all over my body. I can’t find a doctor who will address it. I am working on that. Pregnancy would hurt too much.
Fourth, I live with clinical depression. I take two medications for it, along with Glucophage for the insulin resistance. Those antidepressants could possibly cause certain serious birth defects.
And, finally, I am old. I will be 35 this August, and as we all know, the risk for Trisomy-21 increases after the age of 35. I don’t want to risk it. I don’t want to risk birth defects from my antidepressants, or autism due to my obesity, either. Fuck.
I don’t think fertility treatments would work. My partner isn’t a fertile person, either. We don’t meet enough adoption requirements for anywhere. I’ve been researching. We’re just destined to be pet owners instead. We have a cat, a dog, and two ferrets right now.
Okay, so where does that fit in with Beltane? Well, here we go with another story:
Twelve or thirteen years ago, my Sister (soul) and I were at a Pagan gathering about 7 hours from where I was going to school. It was Memorial Day weekend, but there was a May pole. An open ritual was planned. We attended. At the end, we were invited to come and dance around the May pole. My Sister and I got up and started walking down the embankment where we’d been sitting when the woman said, “Fertile people only!”
Sad and disappointed, we walked back over and sat down under a tree and smoked a cigarette to calm down. I was pissed. I get teary-eyed and pissed all over again whenever I tell this story.
So, I guess I would taint your magical workings or your ritual with my infertility? Well excuse the fuck out of me! It’s people like that who make my doubt my connection to the goddess, make me doubt my femininity. I feel like a gross freak. I was bullied mercilessly for years because of the side effects of PCOS – increased facial hair, weight gain around the waist, etc. Yeah, I feel incredibly ugly and vulnerable to bullying just by writing this.
Well, you know what? I don’t think I ruin anybody’s magic with my infertility, and I think that the May pole doesn’t just celebrate fertility, it also helps bring it.
I am trying very ,very hard to reconcile my spirituality with my physical body. It sometimes seems as though the gods enjoy torturing me. Then I remember: If they are really around us and paying attention to us at all, one little insignificant human isn’t worth their time or efforts. In other words, I stop navel-gazing and move on. If the Divine does exist, I will hopefully find out one day. If not, I won’t have lost anything because I refuse to give up this life in favor of an afterlife that may not even exist.
If another person insists on calling me names and making horrible remarks to me, that’s a reflection on that person, not me. That person is a piece of trash and deserves to be treated as such.
As for the spiritual side, there are childless goddesses such as Hestia. Motherhood isn’t the ultimate goal of womanhood. One doesn’t have to have been a mother in order to be a wise crone. Knowledge comes from many sources. So maybe I’m missing out on the Mother phase, but maybe I’m not really missing as much as I think.
I am still a woman, and I still possess the power and knowledge of my sisters before me. In my personal belief system, it doesn't matter if you are cis- or transgender, you're a woman. There is more to a woman than her reproductive organs. Mine may not work, but I can still work magic if I want to, this I know.