The swoon and growl of baby making

I spent the morning with a friend whose 2 boys are the same age as mine–her first is 9 days older, her second is 9 days younger. I love the symmetry there.

She’s rounding out nicely with baby number 3 and told me with a knowing grin that they had the test–it’s another boy and we laughed and joked. She admitted that sure, there’s a pull she feels towards having a girl, but the boy will be just fine, she’d expected it. A couple of times, after running over to distract her middle son from overly smother-hugging another kid, she said, “I must be crazy. I don’t want another baby.” This was the ‘I don’t want another baby’ of the ‘I’ll totally have the baby, but Lord, what was I thinking?’ variety. The anticipation of something you know will be both joyous and hellish. Admitting you might have been overly optimistic before sperm met egg. You can see now that this thing you made will take what you have and then some.

And before that, I stood on the sidewalk listening to another pregnant friend, who also just found out she’s having another boy. I hugged her for a long time and let her have her anguish. I knew how much she wanted a girl. I saw the craving and dream in her eyes as we sat with our boys in the sand one afternoon. Given the teeny-tinyest Godly spark, her energy and intention and manifesting magic would have crafted a fully formed and smartly dressed girl baby right there in the sandbox between us. But instead, she made a baby the heterosexual way, and his penis and scrotum, or whatever comes before those are fully formed, are floating all sea-anenome-like in his watery cocoon. I found a strange comfort in her wrecked grief.

Maybe because it balances out the giddy joy I see in other pregnant ladies that I can’t relate to–rather, could relate to but can’t anymore. Maybe because it carves out ever more emotional territory for all of us in a life that can seem one day magical and fated and the next utterly bereft.

There’s something about that time on the verge of creation when you just open up your arms to the sky in welcome. And then boom. The shift into form–from the hazy fluff of what might be into the sure and solid thud of what is.

“Tiny Roots” by Todd Moon

There’s such a thrill to the idea that you could make a whole, alive person. And sometimes a terror in realizing you have.

Creation is no joke.

Given the chance to root, it so greedily becomes its own thing. Just like we did once, inside our own mothers.

20 thoughts on “The swoon and growl of baby making

  1. Ah. Lovely, and yet: “There’s such a thrill to the idea that you could make a whole, alive person. And sometimes a terror in realizing you have.” And how about: “There’s such a thrill to the idea that you could make a whole, alive person. And such abject grief when, for whatever stupid reason, you can’t.”

    1. AMEN sister. I thought of you this morning when I posted this and realized that part was missing. But I hit post anyway, as part of my “I cant speak to everyone at all times and that’s okay” resolve. Thanks for adding that dimension. It’s big.

  2. Love this post, Steph! I too can relate to that moment of intense connection with wanting to create a baby, and then the remorse that ensues. I’ve fully experienced both! (however I didn’t know the sex of the baby either time. But it was the very idea of there being a “baby” which caved in my reality! Of course, everything worked out fine, but there were moments when I wondered what the hell I was thinking, wanting to do this creating thing!

  3. You are an incredible writer who’s posts unfailingly move me, get me thinking, and make me laugh every time. Please write a book. And keep feeding us. -Suzanne

  4. Awesome post! Most often, everyone thinks that pregnancy is a time filled with just pure joy, and most times it is, but theres also that bittersweet feeling and “longing” for “this one” to be a girl or “the next one” to be a boy. All babies are a blessing but as women, I think we still can’t help but to keep our fingers crossed that the baby is the gender were wishing for.

    1. Thanks, travellers. I have to say, though, I don’t know if its most women’s experience that most of the time pregnancy is filled with pure joy. Based on my very small sample of myself and my friends I’d say the optimistic results are half joy. More realistic: less than half. I definitely hear the love and acceptance in “all babies are a blessing” and I want to make more room there for all of us. In my experience, sometimes they’re not.

  5. You are such an talented and ‘down to the marrow’ writer, who tells it as it is with no strings attached, rather than wrapping up your words in tissue paper and fabric bows. I always look forward to reading your honest, insightful and brave words …….

  6. Ah yessss…while 99% of me is SURE that I do NOT want more babies (I have two grrls), there is still that 1% that whispers, “what if…” and tells me that I’m crazy not to do this wonderous thing again while I still can. AND my factory is closed ~ no more diapers, sleepless nights, etc. for me. Makes me relieved and sad in the same aching breath. ❤

        1. Hm…my content is about faith and crotchety aging… the flow in talk about sperm and egg, penis and scrotum…a bit abrupt, I think…

          …but I’m thinking about it… 🙂

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