The moment I knew I’d never be someone’s biological mother was when I laid on the table of my gynecologist. I had taken a mess of drugs that were prescribed to prepare me for the insertion of my IUD. But literally in the seconds before she began the procedure was the moment, lying there on a table somewhere in the maze of halls of the Center for Cosmetic & Reconstructive Gynecology, I said to the universe “I am giving up on my dream of becoming a mother.” And as much as I was ok with my decision – my heart also broke into a million pieces.
There are some of us that are just born with the mom instinct. I believe that many of us develop it during the process of becoming someone’s mother but some of us are just born with it. I was just born with it. I have been a mom to pets, to friends, to campers, to the children of my friends – to random people on the street. When in doubt, my instinct is to mother. I don’t actually know another way to be.
But I will never give birth.
I remember when my first husband and I decided to begin trying to have a baby. I remember sitting at a Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball game where we weighed whether or not I should have a beer because I *could* be pregnant. If memory serves, I opted on the side of caution and I didn’t have a beer. And a few weeks later, my period came. And for the months to follow, it always came. I am pretty sure that the quickest way to get your period to start is to take a pregnancy test. And I took a lot of them. There were months when I was so very sure that it was THE MONTH. And it never was. I did so many of the silly “Old Wives Tails” things to do to get pregnant. And I never was. After some testing the reasons became clear but that didn’t make it any easier.
I remember so clearly lamenting the situation to my mom and her take was so simple and so true: “the only way to guarantee you get pregnant is if you are 14 years old and in the back of a Chevy.”
But I wasn’t. I was in my 30s and married and watching everyone I love get pregnant and have babies and as thrilled as I was with the arrival of each new baby in our lives, my heart broke. I tried so hard to visit my dearest girlrfriends in the hospital after they gave birth and I held their babies and I promised the universe that I would be there for them… forever. I sang to all of them. Generally, early Indigo Girls songs. But I sang to all of them. I held them and I loved them as I loved their parents and I begged the universe to bring me my own baby.
And the universe never did.
When I divorced for the first time, I decided that 38 was my “scary age”. For those not in the know – your “scary age” is the age at which you make some big decisions and for me – that decision was whether or not to have a baby. But by the time I was 38, I was remarried so I didn’t have to make scary decisions. Or so I thought. But I married the wrong guy, so in many ways I just put off my “scary age” and in some ways, I totally dodged the bullet.
I was a few weeks away from 41 when our divorce was final. So many of my friends asked me what I wanted to do about having a baby. I could certainly still have one. They all offered their love and their support and I believe with all of my heart that they meant every word of it. But they also had their own families, their own lives. If I was to have a baby on my own, I would be truly doing it on my own and I just never felt I was cut out for that. The idea of having a baby without someone else contractually obligated to be involved? That terrified me.
But as sad as I have been at times about the situation, there are moments when I’m actually quite happy about it. I can come and go as I please. If I want to lounge in bed until noon, I can. If I want to have a few too many cocktails and crash on a friend’s couch, I can. If I want to camp out at my boyfriend’s for a few days, I can. I don’t have to worry about the care and feeding of anyone other than myself and my cats. I try to enjoy the blessings of the situation as much as I can. I spend time with the children of my loved ones and I soak in all of their energy and love and I know how blessed I am to share the planet with these kids. And then I remember that above all else, “it takes a village” and I am so lucky to be a part of the village that I am.
I'm a single lady living in the suburbs of Philadelphia with 2 cats named Leo and Toby (after characters on "The West Wing" - one day I will have the ability to recite the entire series by heart.That's a noble goal, yes?).
I've had a varied career doing a bunch of technical stuff that isn't that interesting to folks who aren't doing it but my real passion is writing.I also get the fabulous pleasure of coaching people from time to time and that brings me amazing joy and energy.
If you want to hang with me there are things you should know:I curse.A lot.I like hoppy beer.A lot.I like big and deep red wines. A lot. I adore my friends.A lot, a lot.I am passionate about politics (or a big geek about them - you choose).I'm an accidental but rather passionate Unitarian and few things make me happier than my dining room table surrounded by people I love.And picking paint colors, let's not forget that. Find me online here.