**Part of the "Reasons Why I No Longer Believe" series
Yes. YES. This is how I feel most of the time. I left Facebook once my friends started getting married and having kids ~3 years ago. At the time, I was still in the church and pretty actively so. I had temporary custody of one of my sister's sons. They were my everything at that time. I am infertile and have known that kids were never going to happen for me since I was a teenager. I have a rare genetic condition called Nonclassical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. I don't want to bore anyone, but basically what it does is screw up my hormone levels. I am cortisol insensitive and diabetic. I have high testosterone levels and have developed severe cysts on both ovaries. I take medications and eat a restricted diet. I do my best to live my life, but there was always this ONE thing that hung over my head.
"You'll never have children..." that's what the doctors have told me over and over again for years. I accepted it as fact and tried to go on with my life. When I was younger, it didn't matter much. I didn't really want kids, wasn't into relationships or marriage. That's not to say that I didn't date or whatever. I did. Having a family wasn't really a priority, so I didn't think much about it. After a couple of years in the church, I noticed that a lot of my friends and family members were settling down, starting families.
First, there was Mariah. She had her son Jules and did a 180 from wild party girl to uber-responsible workaholic single mommy.
Then there was Andrea. She had her daughter Mona and we fell out of touch for awhile. She was staying at home, breastfeeding, trying to make things work with her new husband.
Then there was Alex. She had her son Ryan and was all "oooh and ahhh" for awhile. Total mombie.
Then my ex-girlfriend Red got pregnant. That was really hard to take. We had been together for ~6 years and I loved her so fucking much. I knew she was messing with this guy from work but she swore they were using protection. I saw myself building a life with her. Red was my best friend, my lover, all of it. She put up with me during my righteous child of Christ phase. She went to church with me sometimes. We did have our differences, separated a dozen times in the time we were together, but I felt what we had was fucking legit. Then she got pregnant...
We drifted apart despite my taking her to doctors appointments, going to the ultrasounds, helping her pick out names, buying shit for the baby. My heart was wrecked when she chose to move in with the baby daddy. We quit speaking around the time her son was born last spring. I still hear about her from time to time, but things are not the same.
After that, my younger sister Beth had a baby. My little nephew Elias. Such a beautiful little boy. I look into his eyes and I love him, but I know in the bottom of my heart that I can't have it. That motherly love. And I wonder why it fucking matters. Why are my eggs crying out to be fertilized? I'm a lesbian, for fuck's sake. I don't even like men, not in that special way that leads to sex and babies.
Yes, that's the solution. A nice drink or 5. If I get hammered, I won't have to think anymore about this bullshit....
At church, I'd look around. All of the people my age were sitting with their partners, holding hands and here I was, by myself. Some of them had kids, babies, swollen bellies. And here I was, sitting in the back of the room by myself, hood up and ducking out to smoke every 20 minutes or so. Church was supposed to be like Disneyland, a happy place where we were at peace for at least 1 hour a week. Singing and dancing, surely God heard us all.
For me, church was like a graveyard of a dream that I didn't even know that I had until I was there. I'd spent 5-6 days a week in a world where I was a-ok being a single 20-something woman with a job that I hated and then I'd go to church and be sad about the baby I'd never hold. I hate screaming babies and yowling toddlers, but I'll be damned if an hour in a church full of smiling, reproducing Christ-bots didn't make my eggs itch in a peculiar way. The ticks and tocks of my biological clock was never as loud when I found myself in that room full of dull cut and paste folks.
When I had my nephews, I was instantly accepted in that fold. People thought I was a mommy. They greeted me with knowing looks and held doors for me. I loved those two boys and I let that love blind me. I'm not going into all of that here, but I did want to point that out. That hypocrisy.
"13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control."
Good ol' Paul in the book of Timothy! Women are saved through childbearing. The barren woman is one who cannot be saved, or so it is implied. Of course, no good church will say that because single women and childless widows usually make up a significant portion of their body. They tithe dutifully and that's part of the economical equation that makes the church machine go, go, go.
Even if they don't say it, they believe it. The toxicity of that teaching permeates the depths of all that is within the church. A woman without children is suspect. She is just waiting for the right guy to come along, get it in and pull it out, and 9 months later, a little one falls out and the church knows she's more likely to stick around and raise her brood with a generous helping of Jesus. It's all a racket, old as time.
Mothers are respected and if a woman is going to get anywhere in the church, she has to be married and preferably have at least one child. If you don't, you are weird, not really a woman at all but held in some precarious pre-saved state. Of course, you can earn your penance by serving God, but in non-Catholic contexts that is verboten. After all, free will and all that shit means that you can totes serve God without moving into a convent and pledging eternal servitude to the Trinity.
I will end this by saying that reason #34 why I left the church was that I knew that I could never be a member of the fertility cult. I prayed for healing and miracles, got two, and lost them both. Maybe I was a sinner, maybe I was never really saved. I can't say as much. But this I can say: I am no longer willing to be a member of an organization that teaches that the highest calling for any woman is that of mother.
if a woman wants to be a mother, there is no shame in that desire. Likewise, if a woman does not desire motherhood, she should not be ashamed.