January #131 : Tales From the Crib - by River Huston

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents
 

Labors of Love

The Kids Aren't Alright

With Honors




A Little Something on the Side

Even Combos Get the Blues

The Load Not Taken

HIV Bytes

Don't Get Fresh With Me

Discounted Labels

Thai-ing the Knot

Don't Leave Work Without It

Teen Angel

While You Weren't Sleeping

High Definition




Isn't That Special?

Prison Break

Anywhere but Here

Death and the Maidens

Diplomatic Immunity

Very Adult Education

On the Download

Face for the Cure

Tales From the Crib

Big Med on Campus




Editor's Letter-January 2007

Mailbox-January 2007

Catch of the Month-January 2007



 
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV



email print

January 2007


Tales From the Crib

by River Huston

Will River Huston trade her newfound health and freedom for motherhood?

When you’re told you have a terminal illness, the script requires that you do all the things you ever dreamed of doing before your imminent demise. Screw the consequences! You won’t be around anyway. But somehow, I’ve survived HIV’s “Oh, shit, I am not going to live” phase, then the “Oh, shit, I am going to live” phase and now, after 18 months of symptom-free treatment, the “Yippee, I am going to live well” phase. No more constant headaches, fatigue, unexplained rashes, anemia, weekly shots, IVs, blood work and doctor visits. I’m riding horses and motorcycles, ballroom dancing, working out, showing my face at parties. I love the new choices health brings. Each miraculous day is mine, not my sick body’s. But almost as soon as I got back up, walking around with a glow in my cheeks, people started nudging me toward another choice—one with lasting consequences. The subtle hints went something like this: “Wow, now that you’re well, you can have kids, right?”

Well, I guess that is not so subtle.

Here I am in the prime of my life with all expectant eyes upon me. Throughout my illness, not one conversation went by without someone asking in condolence, “Did you want to have children?” There was always the naive assumption that as a positive woman I could not have kids. In reality, for the past ten years, treatment options, when properly managed, could lower the chance of having a positive child to less than 1.5%. But rather than share that happy news, I was a lying bitch. I used HIV as an excuse to forgo motherhood. The people closest to me, especially my husband, know I’m just full of shit.

Why do I lie? Our culture presumes that every female must want to be a mother. That to be a “successful” woman, having a baby is a rite of passage—otherwise, she’s a self-obsessed ice queen. It’s not that I’m antichildren. I have given this great thought and have envisioned the possibilities. They range, on one extreme, from “I would suck as a mother” (my mentor was not exactly the best; thank you, Mom) to surreal, endless domesticity. I can see only sleepless nights, diapers, cooking, cleaning, financial sacrifice and, most important, surrendering my every free second. All I know is that I just recently found my energy. Now that I’m well, I want to get to know this new me a little better before getting to know some littler me.

I know this isn’t a popular decision. Whether a mother is positive or not, I hear it all the time: Her children are the best things that ever happened to her. Of course, I respect all my positive sisters who have struggled through motherhood, whether it was their decision or not. Not to mention all the women out there who desperately want children and can’t have them. This is not a condemnation of their choice, just a celebration of my being able, after so many years, to finally make one.

My husband, who is 14 years my junior, believes that if he could get me and an infant in a room alone together, my mommy gene would activate. He may be right. Having a child is so important to his life, his legacy. And I’m the type of person who has often said, “What the hell? I just want you to be happy.” But this issue can’t be reduced to a concession. He understands, he says, and the baby talk is off the table. I also know that just when I think I’ll never change my mind on a particular matter, doubt creeps in. So perhaps the kid thing isn’t completely out of the question. Meanwhile, I will enjoy the silence, the free time, basking in the notion that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Who knows? Once I’ve had enough recreation, I might choose to be nauseated and tired all over again—this time, from something joyful.


[Go to top]

Join POZ Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    guycmh328
    Columbus
    Ohio


    RyGuy00
    New York
    New York


    TaintedloveDC
    Washington
    DC


    daino1972
    Columbus
    Ohio
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Will decriminalizing injection drug use help end the global HIV epidemic?
Yes
No

Survey
PrEP Course

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.