For those in Canada and the USA today is Mother’s Day. It is a day on which motherhood is supposed to be celebrated and people are expected to recognize their mothers. According to our mass media and advertising this means we are supposed to spend a lot of money on them. For some of us, however, Mother’s Day is full of mixed feelings.
First, I have very grateful and fortunate to have a wonderful and supportive mother. She has always been there even when I went through difficult times with schools and had to deal with them more times than I can remember. She has also been amazingly supportive of my transition. She was the first person in my family that I told, and one of the first people overall that I told. Her response was, “Congratulations.” I could not possibly have asked for a better response.
Other emotions also come in to play around Mothers Day. I have no children that I know of and one thing that has surprised me over the past number of months is that I have felt the desire to carry and have a child of my own. The main reason this surprised me is that I had gone through this thought process and was extremely sure and confident that I was happy not having children. As someone who has transitioned male to female I don’t have the physical organs required to carry a child of my own. There are reports of uterine transplants, but they are still very much in the early days and would likely be quite expensive even if a donor were available. Even if a uterine transplant were available to me there would still be the problem of what the genetic makeup would be. I would not have ovum of my own, and sperm is also an issue.
Another option to have a child that was biologically my own would have been to make use of a sperm bank to store gametes prior to starting hormone therapy. This is an option that many people who transition from male to female take advantage of. In my case I briefly considered it and decided against it. The major factor in this decision was money. Prior to starting hormones I was in a tight spot financially and just trying to get myself stable enough to pay the rent and have food on the table. Thus, at this point, children of my own are no longer an option. This is a situation that many women who are transsexual find themselves in.
All that said, because I am at a point where I am analyzing my own feelings and thoughts I am also finding this an intellectually interesting experience. These feelings are not such that I need to stop what I’m doing to let myself feel them. I also know that I am quite okay moving forward without a child or children of my own. I embrace these pangs of feelings when they happen, let them flow through me and then move onward. I know that it is okay for me to have these feelings and to let myself feel them.
[correction: had not known Mexico Mothers Day is always on May 10]