Are we defying nature by not making babies?

Women’s bodies are baby factories. It’s not all we are, of course, but if you look at our bodies, they are definitely designed to produce babies. Our breasts give milk, our vagina is designed to take in sperm, the ovaries to produce eggs which unite with the sperm, and the uterus to provide a nest for the resulting embryo to grow into a baby. Somehow, when it’s time, the body knows how to send the baby out through wide hips and a cervix that expands tremendously. Women carry extra fat reserves to help nourish the babies they carry. Hormones flood our bodies to keep the process going.

Every month of our fertile years, our uteruses prepare a cushy space for a baby then flush it away through our periods. That monthly flow of blood is the reminder of what’s not happening in our bodies, that we’re not making babies. I had periods for 40 years. Mostly it was a nuisance, messy, painful, and embarrassing. I didn’t think much about how it meant I was not pregnant because I wasn’t trying to get pregnant. I was using birth control with my first husband, and my second husband had had a vasectomy. Between marriages, I was trying NOT to get pregnant, so the arrival of my period was a relief. But think about how amazing this whole system is and how different from men’s bodies, for whom it’s all about sex.

Of course, we’re not JUST baby machines. We think, we love, we create, we dance. We’re CEOs, doctors, lawyers, teachers, ministers, artists, actors, bakers, gardeners, and so much more. But we do it all with bodies designed for motherhood. In modern times, we can decide we don’t want to be mothers. Sometimes our partners make the choice for us. Sometimes something goes wrong and we can’t get pregnant or carry a baby to term. But four out of five women still have children. Why not us?

Every other animal reproduces without questioning whether or not to do it. But we humans with our fancy brains sometimes say, “No, I’d rather do something else.” Not to get all Catholic on you, but is this right? I would love to know what you think about all this. Women’s bodies are designed to have babies. What does it mean when we choose not to use those parts or let someone make that choice for us?

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6 thoughts on “Are we defying nature by not making babies?

  1. What separates us from other animals is that we have the brain power and abilities to not be defined strictly by our biology. We can defy the limitations that biology may seem to impose upon us and choose to follow different paths in life.

    To look at it from other points of view: our bodies are equipped to consume and digest meat. Yet many people choose to eat a strictly plant-based diet because of religious or ethical objections to killing animals for consumption. Some would argue quite vehemently that they are in fact in the moral right being vegan, even if it seems to go “against” human biology, because they are enlightened enough not to want to use animal products.

    The biology argument could also be used against those who are homosexual, which I find deeply troubling. But then I’m not Catholic so I feel more guilt/horror over the idea of suggesting someone is in the wrong simply for loving someone of their same gender because biologically man+woman is the way to make babies.

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    • Nicole, you give us a lot to think about here. It’s interesting to ponder what makes us different from animals. Our ability to think and choose certainly changes the equation for us. Thank you so much for sharing this and for following Childless by Marriage.

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  2. Sadly not a day goes by that I ask myself “what the hell was I thinking????” Out of all the baby producing men on the planet.. I go and fall in love with the guy that isn’t.

    I remember back in my twenties that I knew of a lady that was married to a guy who decided after they got married that he didn’t want children. His wife did, so she lift him. She later married a guy and had a baby. So envious of her that I didn’t have the courage to do that. But yet, I’ve now been married 31 years and my husband still loves me to the end of the earth and for that I do feel blessed.

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    • I agree Candy, I often think about why I never left, I am ACOA and wish I had had the courage to leave. To this day I don’t know if we could have had children as we never tried. My husband never showed any interest in them and intimacy was limited I was 35 the last time I am now 47. I never told anyone. I hope others in similar situations get help and move on. Such a waste of my life.

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      • a life lived to the fullest it can be is never wasted. There are all sorts of joys out there. Sure we have our hard days, but in the days in between we must live and enjoy the life we have been given as there are so many people that would love the lives we have. I’m not living in a refugee camp, I wasn’t born where women are required to be covered up and are only considered property, I have the ability to walk and use my arms, I could go on. The waste is only there if I chose to and today I’m not… Today I’m helping my neighbor who had her 9 sheep break through her gate and are out roaming the streets. If I were home with sick children I couldnt be a blessing to my neighbor.

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