Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Children and Environmentalism

When I first met Mr. Gaia he introduced me to the idea of zero population growth (ZPG) and told me he never planned to have more than 2 kids. I had always thought 4 seemed like a good number, but I agreed with him that our planet was in crisis and we should have only 2 kids.

In my head in the stars view, I was sure that one of my children would be a girl. Ever since I was 7 I've dreamed of the day I'd have my own daughter (why yes, my childhood did suck, why do you ask?). I've planned and accumulated items based on the idea of passing them down to my daughter. I specifically had my mom make my wedding gown in such a way that it would be easily altered so that my future daughter could wear it in her wedding if she chose.

2 children later and I don't have my girl. I love my boys with all my heart, but my heart cries out for a girl. Hyperion has it figured out (he doesn't seem to feel that it in any way reflects on him, thank goodness) and has guessed that when I wish upon a star it's often to have a daughter.

This is where dreams and environmentalism butt heads. I agree intellectually with Mr. Gaia that ZPG is necessary and desireable. I know intellectually that even if we did have another child, it's just as likely to be a boy as a girl. But emotionally? Yeah, it's not so clear.

I would be open to adoption, but Mr. Gaia isn't. He's happy with our current family and feels that it is absolutely complete. I don't feel I can discuss it with him because I knew all along that he only wanted 2 kids. And, of course, with adoption it's still the same crapshoot. You can't say "I want to adopt a girl" and presto! you get a girl. You get what comes. Now there are things you can do to stack the odds in your favor - you can adopt from China, for instance. But adoption is expensive and international adoption is even more expensive, and even then you can't be assured you will have a girl. Plus, you get an older toddler and not a newborn - so formula would have to be used (I can easily relactate, if I spend time with babies I get the tingly let-down feelings and can easily express a few drops). My reluctance to use formula also prevents me from fostering a child (and really, I don't think I could take care of a newborn day and night and then give it back to its parents - which is another issue with domestic adoption).

So a few weeks ago when I was down? This is why. My period comes around and it's a reminder again that there will not be another baby. Ever.


Tanya Brown said...

I'm sorry. I sympathize. This was one issue at the core of a prior relationship of mine. It is one of the reasons I am no longer in that relationship.

Gaia said...

I think it's hard for me to accept how big of an issue this is becoming. It seems so wrong and shallow, but I find myself becoming bitter. I have days where I'm very happy with our life and those days give me hope that this will pass and I won't be the bitter old woman blaming my husband.

I don't know if therapy will help. I wish it was something I felt I could discuss with him, but I hate to "change the deal" since we do not live the life Mr. Gaia had always dreamed of living mainly because of me.