29 March 2010 Main Posts Get your opinions off my fallopian tubes Maxine Beneba Clarke Me: I really don’t want to have a caesarean. I don’t think I’ll need to, but if I do, I’d like it on record that I’d like my tubes tied while they’re in there Doc: (guffawing) You’re what, nearly thirty? Me: Sorry, how is that relevant? Doc: Well, it’s just that that’s a pretty major decision to be making at this point in your life… Me: Uh…so is having children isn’t it? Doc: Have you umm, spoken to your partner about this? Me: (raising an eyebrow) I don’t think any partner of mine would have a problem with what I want to do with my own body. Doc: (stares at me oddly) Me: The father’s only concern is that I might want to have more children at some later point, with other people. Doc: Oh (fiddling with pen, as if trying to decide whether or not to probe this statement further). Have you thought about how you might feel about having had this done if something were to happen to one of your existing children? Me: (mouth dropping open) I assume by that you mean what if one of my children dies. No, that’s generally not something I choose to sit around thinking about. You’re right of course, I daresay that if, god forbid, something happened to one of my children, the logical response would be to simply pop out another to replace them. Doc: Sorry, it’s just that you really need to consider the implications of this decision. Me: In any case, I was wondering whether it’s at all possible to note down on my file that I’d like this done, in the event of a caesarean… Doc: I’ll tell you what, why don’t you think about this a little more. You’ve got plenty of time. And then, if you’re still of the same state of mind in a few months, we’ll talk about it again. Me: I’ll tell you what, why don’t you think about this a little bit more, and if you’re still in the same state of mind in a few months, we can talk about the fact that I’m an adult and perfectly capable of making my own medical decisions and that, consequentially, you should take your archaic opinions off my reproductive system. Maxine Beneba Clarke Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian author and slam poet of Afro- Caribbean descent. Her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA Award for Best Literary Fiction and the 2015 Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her memoir, The Hate Race, her poetry collection Carrying the World, and her first children’s book, The Patchwork Bike, will be published by Hachette in late 2016. More by Maxine Beneba Clarke Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 11 November 202211 November 2022 Main Posts On the last day of Subscriberthon, our amazing online editor gives you one last (very good) reason to subscribe Editorial team What's in store for the last day of Subscriberthon? First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202210 November 2022 Main Posts On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, our favourite editor-duo give you reason #1002 to subscribe to Overland Editorial team What's in store for the second-last day of Subscriberthon?