Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A self-indulgent chronicle of a girl wanting a baby.

When I was a freshman in high school, I regularly babysat my band director’s kid. He was generally a pain in the butt (one time he opened up a PB&J sandwich and threw it at the wall – messy side out. It stuck good), and I did it for the money, not because of any deep bond between the two of us.

One day at marching band practice (shut up), the director’s wife came to drop something off and brought the little tike. He saw me from several yards away, and I saw his eyes light up as he mispronounced my name (which isn’t really Lulu, btw) and ran towards me, excited to see me. My stomach flip flopped over on itself. That was the first time I knew that my life would always lack something until I was a mom.

When I started my final semester of college, I panicked. I had planned to get my English degree and move to The Big City to work in the publishing industry. But I had been dating A for several months, and all of a sudden it became very clear that I didn’t want to live in The Big City. I wanted to settle down here and have a family. And I couldn’t do much with my English degree here.

So I decided I would keep going to school to get a second Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. I got a couple of jobs working with kids. They weren’t as fulfilling as I thought. That’s when I realized I didn’t want to work taking care of other people’s kids my own life…I wanted to have my own. I didn’t ever get that second Bachelor’s and I entered the work force instead…at a daycare taking care of infants.

Right before college graduation I had a LEEP. I had cervical dysplasia and I had gotten HPV from an ex-boyfriend. I was hopelessly in love with A at this time and saw my future with him laid out clearly in front of me. I was terrified that the HPV (which can swim right through condoms, goddamnit) and the LEEP would hurt our chances at having babies, and I was (understandably) terrified at having part of my cervix burned off. As they prepared me for the procedure, I was crying, and the nurse looked up at me and said “Lulu, do you want to have kids someday?” I started crying harder, said yes, and she said “this won’t have any effect on that.” (The procedure was a bitch and I had ashy, foul-smelling discharge for 6 weeks. Afterwards, they told me they forgot to prescribe Valium like they usually do. Damnit! But the dysplasia and the HPV are gone!)

When A and I got engaged, I told him I wanted to go off the pill right after the honeymoon. I wanted babies NOW and what if (god forbid) it took a while to get pregnant? He wasn’t flipped about that plan, and we agreed to wait till our first anniversary to start TTC. I grudgingly admitted that this was a good idea. I had a countdown on my laptop to when I could go off the pill.


The summer of our wedding (2008), A and I were at the pool. There was an adorable couple with a brand new baby. They were splashing his toes in the water and he was giggling. It was like a flippin’ Hallmark commercial. We weren’t married yet, but I yearned for a baby of my own, and seeing them made me sad for what I didn’t have yet. A comforted me: “In two years, you’ll be pregnant!”

Last November, I went to a baby shower for S, my husband’s cousin’s wife. I don’t have any problems with her, but we’re not friends. My one-year deadline had come and gone with A and we still weren’t TTC. I resented my job and the company I worked for because they didn’t provide good enough benefits to afford a pregnancy and delivery. I resented A’s job for working him the way they did without providing benefits. I was angry and bitter. I wanted it to be me having the baby shower, so badly that I could hardly fake a smile. I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. I cried all the way home and berated myself for being a selfish, jealous woman…someone I did not want to be.

A year later, we have been TTC for 11 months, but I have desperately wanted a baby for much longer than that. When I started the TTC journey, I already had the feelings of jealousy and bitterness towards pregnant people. I already had the anxiety, the doubts, the frustrations…just not quite the same as they are currently. I know that I haven’t had a tragic or tough journey thus far. We haven’t experienced any losses and the procedures have been minimally invasive. But I was already fed up and impatient when I started. All of these memories are like bruises on my heart, and I don’t see them fading until we have a baby of our own.

These are the places my mind goes during the two week wait.

1 comment:

Still A Guest Room said...

Your honesty is so beautiful, and I see so much of my story in yours. I really really hope you get to be a mom soon, as you would clearly be a fabulous one!