Awhile back I was having dreams about babies and such. As mentioned, a friend of mine was pregnant. Well, now she is not. She had some pretty scary health issues last week and gave birth to a 10″ long, 11 oz baby girl. They had to pick a name for the birth (and death)certificate. They had the baby baptized….which, for my somewhat lax Catholic friend, gave her great solace. I have been through a lot with this woman and never have I heard her in such pain as I did when she called to give me the news. We sat there in silence for quite awhile. I, not one to ever be at a loss for words, had nothing to say. I wished that I could reach through my phone and hug my dear friend. My friend who had just become comfortable and excited at the prospect of being a mom. I cannot begin to imagine what this is like for she and her husband. I fear that this will taint them for a long time, if not forever, at the idea of children. When/if they do get pregnant again, will they be able to enjoy the process or live in absolute fear of what might happen? I just don’t know…and I hope I never do.
This horrible news came on the heels of a few days of me obsessing over wanting a baby. It seemed like everywhere I went…there were adorable babies and happy little families. I vacillate on the idea of children a lot. Since my biological clock is ticking away, it seems like I think about the subject A LOT these days. I recently decided that what I want is the package, the baby value meal if you will. Sure, I could get the Sourdough Jack (my favorite fast food to eat when drunk) but what about the fries and drink. (To bring you up to speed on my metaphor, Sourdough Jack = baby, fries and drink = committed man and father to Sourdough Jack)
I simply can’t see myself as a single mother, at least not by choice (I’ve been around the block enough to know that commitments can end). I like to think I would be a good mother. I’d teach my child right and wrong, how to put together a snappy outfit, how to know JUST ENOUGH about a bunch of topics to make it seem like your smart, all the important things. But is this a reason to have a child?
This baby stuff ain’t easy….no matter what the teenage mother statistics may tell you. For every one of my friends who has had a healthy happy baby, I bet I have 2 that have had trouble getting pregnant, or miscarriages or general issues in the baby making world. This, too, scares the hell out of me. I have reason to believe that there may be issues for me in both getting and staying pregnant. This is where “fries and a drink” would seem to play the largest role. I can’t imagine going through what my friend just went through alone. It all seems so selfish to think of things in these terms…but in some ways, having a child can be a selfish thing. It’s bringing another person in the world and hoping like hell that they are part of the solution, not the problem. I understand that we live in a society and that our actions, in many ways, whether intended or not, effect all of those around us. So, I don’t feel right going all half-cocked into the world of baby making with the assumption that society will pick up my slack. It’s just not right.
So here I sit, spinning on the idea of babies. I have no answers. I have no fries and drink. I have two other friends who are pregnant and I’m hoping that access to their little munchkins can help quench this thirst I have for a baby. All while I am being so self absorbed, I can’t forget about little Erin Michelle, who was born and died in Chicago a week ago, with her father’s ears and her mother’s hands and hope like hell that tiniest of angels has my back, because I sure would have had hers given the chance.