How does one decide when to become a mother? What are benchmarks that you have to meet before you decide these things?
I have wondered that myself because when I first became a mother I didn’t do any “real” planning. I wanted to, I had planned to plan. It was sorta-kinda planned because my boyfriend at the time (rest his soul) gave me an engagement ring and then prodded me to run down to the Justice of the Peace so we could sign the papers, take the vows and I could move with him to the Naval base in Chicago and there would be no more bi-weekend trips for him to visit me here in Cincinnati. I said okay, I can marry you. Then two months later I urinated on a stick that turned blue. Or was it pink? It was hazy, I cant’ remember I just remember running out of the apartment as if running around the block and coming back inside could change my fate like Superman changed the fate of the world by flying around the globe to save Lois Lane’s life.
To tell the truth, I had a dreams of my daughter before she was born. Three years before, when I was seventeen, I had a dream of being in a park and holding a brown baby girl with almond eyes just like mine looking back at me. I woke up from that dream with a quick pulse and twisted stomach. Being a junior in high school and pregnant was a nightmare for me.
Fast forward to the summer of 89 a month before I got pregnant I had another dream that I was going to get pregnant. I was engaged at that time and in love so I didn’t think anything of it, it was just a dream. Lapaz was insistent that we start a family right away but I was talking about going on birth control. A month after I found out I was pregnant I again had the same dream I had when I was 17 of a baby girl but this time I was left with a feeling of tranquility, which is odd since at that time I knew I could never marry Lapaz. After becoming pregnant it became suddenly clear that we were not right for each other. He wanted me to become a SAHM with a gaggle of children before I hit my 30s. I wanted a career and was feeling like he was becoming one of the children I would have to care for. We parted not on friendly terms. My friends wanted me to hate him but I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. He left me but he gifted me the greatest thing: Cricket.
I loved her the moment I pushed her out. No, I take it back. I loved her the minute she began communicating with me from the womb. She was my alarm clock when it was time to get up for work. When I put my hand on my stomach she would sometimes reach back or kick back depending on whether she wanted to be bothered or not. When she was born I was besotted; I could not see myself loving any other child as much as I loved her. She is literally my dream daughter. If I could have keyed in personality, character, attributes into a machine for a child she is the person I would have created. Now that she is a woman making her own way into the world I love the person she has become.
This time I did begin to plan for a child. Well, J and I planned for a child. More succinctly, J said, not now let’s wait and I said you are right. Now isn’t the time. I was the calendar watcher, the one with the tracking my time when it was right by the ticking of my body clock. But the time never did seem right: Cricket was entering her junior year and preparing for a European trip, then J started graduate school and J2 –well, he’s really always been just J2 with random spurts of “Damn, really? You did that? What the (bleep) wrong with you?”
So I was just as guilty of ignoring the signs –even more so– than J because mine were internal. But I wanted to believe that I was still youthful.
And I was waiting for the dream.
But the dream never came.
Or dreams did come, but I ignored them because they weren’t the signs I was looking for. Like there was the dream that scared me of having a toddler daughter and Cricket and both died on me. There were the dreams of being around friends who were pregnant but my arms were empty. Then I had a dream of my close friend Grace holding a baby girl and I realized it was my daughter although the child didn’t resemble either me or J.
I puzzled, trying to find different meanings into the images my body was obviously trying to send me at night. The dream that was the clincher came the night before my appointment with the fertility specialist. I dreamt I was looking into a pitch dark, long tunnel, that was winding and deep. The next day in the doctor’s office I sat with a long telescopic wand in my womb in search for eggs. I looked over at the screen, wondering what eggs would look like inside the Fallopian. The assistant marked little x’s on the screen but finally I began to recognize the black area she seemed to be exploring –my fallopian tubes looked like the dark tunnel in my dream from the night before. And just like the tunnel of my dreams the tubes were dark and empty. That is what was going through my head as I barely heard the doctor tell his assistant to end it, there was nothing to count or harvest.
I leave the doctor’s office thinking about dreams, babies and how things turn out. I wonder when we can evolve to the point where women can begin their fertility journey later in life and extend it later –without too much medical intervention. I think about how dreams are not harbingers of things to come and how much can I really put on them? Or even science for that matter?
Although statistically science has a better track record than my dreams.
But with both results in it leaves me with very few options on becoming a mother for the second time. Well, third time since the 2nd was a marital acquisition. And now I have to figure out which ones are the best for me or not good for me at all.