Let me tell you the story of my life. I am a 35 year old Black woman who has never been married, is currently single (with no promising prospects), and has no children. There you go; apparently that’s it. People no longer recognize or applaud my life, but instead remind me my childbearing years are dwindling. Maybe people think I missed that day in sex education. Maybe people think reminding me will make me run out and get pregnant. I am being shamed, for what I thought, was a responsible adult. I practiced safe sex with the goal of not getting pregnant by a man who I could not see my life with. I’m learning that rule only applies when you’re in your early 20s. In response to everyone’s concern, I decided I owed my ovaries and ova an apology for the years lost.
Dear Ovaries and Ova, I apologize for not allowing you to have your time in the spotlight during your optimum years, my early to mid-20s. I selfishly put my needs to acquire a college education and seek suitable employment before your need to reproduce. No, I didn’t need a Master’s degree and I probably should have reserved those years for you. Although my boyfriend at the time did not see the same future with me that I saw with him, I should’ve made it work. If not my boyfriend, I could have bamboozled one of the many men I have met since and had an “oops baby” so that you could’ve done what you were created to do and live out your life mission.
I apologize for the years that I used birth control which prevented ovulation and would not allow you dear Ova to become fertilized. I was hindering you and standing in the way of nature. It was not fair that I subjected you to such levels of hormones that prevented you from doing your job as efficiently as you were designed. There was no flaw with you, it was all me. I thought I was doing the responsible thing for the both of us, preventing unwanted pregnancies. Although praised in my 20s, it’s not what’s up in my 30s.
I am now 35 and I apologize that you may never get the accolades you desire for bringing a life into this world. I apologize for all of the wasted ova that did not get implanted in my uterus. I didn’t realize it was waste at the time, I swear. I will say that I have taken very good care of you all these years, I hope you don’t think it was in vain. The safe sex prevented me from contracting something that would harm your fertility and my annual visits ensured me you were in tip top shape with no cancerous cells looming. On a positive note, women are having children later and later and I am healthy, so maybe you will still get the opportunity one day. I am doing all I can to find a suitable mate.
Ovaries and Ova, I know that if you could respond you would comfort me and say “It’s not your fault and there is no need to apologize. I am proud of you and I need you to know that you did make the best decision for your life and that of your unborn child.” You would remind me, “Don’t succumb to societal pressures.” You would reassure me, “Once that egg was fertilized and carried to term the beautiful healthy baby would require a great deal of responsibility that you were not ready for.” My ovaries would also thank me for the great care I took to protect my reproductive organs and for maintaining good health which may allow me to still be able to have a baby one day. “Yes, women are having children later. Yes, it may take longer, but you have options. Options afforded to you by the income you worked hard for.”
Yes, I would love to have a child one day. Single mothers, I recognize the struggle, I respect you, and I applaud you, but I’m not ready to join you. Not intentionally. A women shouldn’t be shamed for being an un-wed mother and I shouldn’t be shamed for not wanting to be an un-wed mother. My life is more than being unmarried and childless; I have value outside of reproduction. I am a woman, an artist, hard worker, and so much more. I am dynamic. I am wonderfully made. I will continue to live my life with faith that one day I will be blessed with a child, but if not then that is OK. I have made peace with it. My patience is thin and children get on my nerves anyway, LOL, just kidding, sort of.