When I was little, my mom convinced me that dirt is worm eggs. I couldn’t remember the details of how I reached that conclusion, but I knew she would just repeat ‘dirt is worm eggs, dirt is worm eggs’ until I got the picture. Yesterday all was made clear.
I was cutting Abby’s nails, and my mom was sitting on the couch. She told Abby how Grammy used to bite Abby’s uncle’s nails when he was a baby because he wouldn’t let her clip them, then she reminded Abby how Mom used to bite her nails. My mom laughed and asked me if I remembered her telling me I’d get worms from biting my nails.
In my mind, my jaw dropped. I asked how many times I had worms; she sheepishly replied none.
That was the story; my mom told me so often not to bite dirty nails because I’d get worms. My baby brain translated that as ‘dirt is worm eggs,’ and here we are today, with me still psychologically scarred, fearing every gram of dirt is teeming with worm eggs waiting to hatch in a nice warm tummy, the yard veritably seething with wriggly invertebrates dying to get under my nails and into my mouth.
That is why I’m so anti-love-theory-of-reproduction. Love has nothing to do with sex; it will or won’t happen. Love has nothing to do with conception; it will or won’t happen.
Just because your baby came from love doesn’t mean your grandchildren will. And what if your child has to suffer through that, even secondhand, supporting a friend or loved one? How have they been prepared by being told that babies come from love?
It seems the same as that standby, ‘you can be/do anything you want when you grow up,’ often followed by ‘as long as you work hard enough.’ It’s simply not true. You can’t plan for things as small as colorblindness just as you can’t plan for things as large as infertility or infidelity.
We can’t protect our children from life’s unpredictability; we can’t even protect ourselves from it.
I’m not advocating learned pessimism. A child’s joy in everything is a treasure to be cherished for as long as possible.
But an attempt to protect them from life is doomed to failure from the first instant. Is a few more minutes of innocence worth the resentment that their parents kept the truth from them?
I can’t imagine how much more hurt I would have been if I’d believed that babies come from love.
It hurts to be protected from something that there’s no protection from. It hurts to find something you learned from the people you trust more than anyone to be false. It hurts when promises are broken.
PAIL’s January monthly theme for posts is “where do babies come from?”
A few weeks ago, I emailed the head ladies at PAIL in response to the ‘news article‘ Jules shared. More than a few readers were bringing up a hint of their answer to the question in the comments, and I suggested the question as a theme post, as I’d love to hear all and sundry’s views.
Now, as then, I am without a firm answer. But today, as I thought about what I’d say in my post, I realized that although, for quite some time, this has been the question that has me racking my brain for an answer that will be informative while not throwing me into a deep depression, it’s not really what’s important.
It’s just that one damn line that pisses me off, that beloved intro that you hear so often: ‘when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much…’
It’s bullshit. And we don’t perpetuate bullshit in this house. Except for Santa.
Science is what’s important. All babies come from sperm and egg, somehow. So yeah, we’ll go over that.
But the most important question, the real story, for Abby and for our future children who will come to us through adoption, isn’t where babies come from. It’s how each child joined our family.
And those stories do start with love.
For Abby, with how much we loved each other and how much we loved her, and that we had to fight and fight until finally a judge said that Abby belongs to Mom and Dad’s family just as much as she belongs to Mama’s.
As for the others, they’re still being written.
But they will come, because we love them.
Next week I’ll be starting an art project for my friend who’s pregnant with twins. I love this girl to death, but we’re not as close since her pregnancy. Go figure, right? Y’all know how that works.
Anyway, I’m doing four or five pieces to decorate the babies’ room. I’ll definitely be posting pics when I finish, because this is gonna be awesome.
Can you tell I’m excited?
But there’s always gotta be a ‘but,’ right?
But I’m now attempting to make myself fully crazy.
My husband and I had a talk over our Thanksgiving vacation. I asked what he wanted to do and he replied, ‘keep trying.’ So I told him that while I have no problem with continuing to try, I’d rather do it drug-free, and I’d like to get more serious about adoption instead of putting so much faith in fertility drug cocktails.
And then Sarah posted her weekly pregnancy update and I went nuts. I’ll quote myself here:
You look so good! If I was your real-life friend I’d totally be begging to feel your tummy. I don’t know what’s up with me, I never do that! Maybe it’s the drugs.
Um, April? What did you do with the real April? I don’t think I’ve touched more than two pregnant bellies in my life, counting my mother’s.
And then I got my friend’s request for artwork, and I realized something that I thought I’d talked myself out of.
I want that.
Who cares about the hours of soul searching I’ve done about what’s most important to me? Who cares that I decided a long time ago that it was the parenting, not the pregnancy?
I thought what I wanted most was to parent a child seven days a week, a child that belonged to me and my husband and no one else. I thought that it didn’t matter how that child was ours, just that it was ours.
And now I want that belly so bad I can taste it.
Biology has done me in. I almost wonder if I will actually grope the next pregnant woman I see. Hopefully that’ll be my friend on Monday morning. That’d probably be less awkward than some poor victim at the grocery store.
And Sarah? You do look really good. And I still want to rub your belly.
I’ve been home a few hours now, and had a chance to calm down a bit after all the fun I had this morning. It’s time to be more realistic. How am I going to make it four weeks? The same way I made it the last four weeks, or four months, or four years. One manageable unit of time at a time.
Right now it’s minutes, because I’m trying to avoid thinking about my husband having to go to work in two and a half hours…
And after a nap that wasn’t nearly long enough, here I am to finish this post.
I don’t know. I probably sounded like I expected everything to be all better when I left there this morning, but I didn’t really expect that, although it sure would have been nice!
I did not expect to have to wait another month to see a counselor, and that part really was disappointing. But what can I do?
I do feel a small bit better. Although I’ll be seeing someone else for counseling, I liked the social worker I talked to this morning, and I was able to tell her things that I may never be able to talk about here. So I guess that was a start.
Nope, not a pleasant surprise. This is about the show on TLC.
We enjoy certain TLC shows in this house. I’ll admit sometimes I won’t even look if I’m flipping channels during the day, because it seems like it’s A Baby Story every time. Tonight I switched from the Wii to TV, and it was I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.
Now, I used to watch this, albeit years ago. It just hasn’t seemed to come on at a time I would have to make a decision about watching it or not. Time has passed, and if I had thought about it, I probably would not watch it, just on general principles of not subjecting myself to something possibly upsetting. But, there it was.
See, today is a better day. I didn’t automatically jump into ‘bitter infertile’ mode. Instead I thought about how unlikely that would be in the infertility community. If we can take nothing else from our journey, we know our bodies.
I used to have to guess when asked for my LMP. I knew next to nothing about what actually happened during a normal cycle. Basically, all I knew was that my cycles were longer than average. Now I can give you TMI for days. It just goes to show you how much difference there can be in two different people’s lives.