Birth Stories

I love them. I need them. 

I discovered a few months ago that I’m addicted to birth stories. That was when my first bloggy buddies who I’d been reading since before they conceived started having their babies, the women I’d followed along through struggle and heartbreak, through surprise and disappointment, through worry and bedrest, all the way up to the happy endings or the devastatingly sad ones.

I remember thinking something like ‘I can’t wait to join these ranks and type out my birth story and share it with the masses.’ I remember believing that I would join that club one day. I remember being excited and optimistic, even six years into trying. How on earth did I do that for so long?

Gradually, the feeling that I would one day write my own story dissolved away into nothing. I didn’t even hope anymore, I just went through the motions. But I kept reading, because these stories are so amazing. They can’t be anything but, they’re about making people. It doesn’t get any cooler than that. I mean, fridge art is awesome and all, but making real people is too impressive for words. Hats off to you guys who have done that.

I’m not going to make a person. I’ve come to terms with that; I’m okay with that. Childbirth is one of those things that I would have liked to experience, but it’s cool if I don’t. The parenting has always been more important to me than the pregnancy, even in my moments when all I thought I wanted was to be pregnant. Pregnancy is not the part that lasts forever. The relationship lasts forever.

I’ll co-opt the travel analogy that I’ve heard used in reference to infertility. Childbirth is like that trip to Lithuania to see where my family is from that I’ll probably never take. It would be cool, but I’m perfectly happy with my road trips to Los Angeles and Vancouver and Yellowknife. I’d be thrilled beyond belief to tramp around Lithuania, but I have a lot of fantastic memories of North America that I’ll enjoy forever. Heck, I’ll probably never have a passport. 

I’m mildly amused to note that I’m calling genetically related children exotic and adopted children ordinary; don’t most people view them the other way around? 

Even so, I still need to know what I’m missing. I need to live vicariously through the words of others. I need to read your travel books, so that even if I never go, I still have a picture in my head of what it’s like there. So I can populate my imagination with reality. So I can speak with borrowed authority when my children ask how they got here, not just how they got home.

In other news, state certification classes for foster/adopt start next month–we should be home study ready by Mardi Gras! Can I get a hell yeah?

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