Oxymoroning a Baby

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about having a baby in America in the 21st century. Posts on social media sites, Amanda Palmer talking about her pregnancy. Can I just say, I am scared, but here is what I have learned: I am not alone.

I feel in order to explain myself proper, I feel like you need some background or a lot of background.

My mother was raised very Catholic and subsequently very ignored about many thing for a very long time.  She made a promise that when her children asked her about things she would be open and honest. So at the tender age of 4 when I asked my mother where babies came from, she was honest. My reaction? Run out of the room and look back at her and yell, “OR YOU COULD ADOPT!” I don’t remember this, but it has become one of those family stories.

I kept this mind set for a very long, long time, until recently.

So now, almost two years after I’ve been married, we meet my dilemma. I know I took the extreme scene route, but it felt very important to lay this all out (my last post). Also once I got started I couldn’t stop.

Babies, that is my dilemma.

For most of my life, I felt the same way. Why would I want to put my body through that? Why would I want to contribute to the growing population problem in the world and all its manifestations? I am sure the explanation I received as a child played into this somewhere. No matter what though, I said I didn’t want kids.

I remember the exact two moments in my life when I realized I was wrong and I changed my mind.

The first moment was at my grandmother’s funeral. She was 96 when she passed. She had been living my Dad and Step-mom and her health had not been good. I had eaten dinner with her and my parents the night it happened. It was surreal when my Step-mom called me in the morning and let me know she had passed in the night. Her funeral was very large. This was my Step-mom’s mother, my Step-mom is the youngest of 7 children. She is the only one who did not have biological children. I always consider myself her daughter and I am proud of that. So I was sitting this little hippy church in Berkley with all of my family and I realize, “I want this. I want my funeral to be full of my children, my grandchildren. People who loved me and came from me. I want to be the grand matriarch.” That was the first moment, while I had one of my second cousins running around me and crying buckets, holding my Step-mom’s hand. (I had been dating Awesome for two months.)

The second moment was funny enough at my Dad’s mother’s 92 birthday. My Dad’s family is much smaller than my Step-mom. My oldest cousin was there with her newest little one. He was about 2 and thought that Awesome was the best thing since sliced bread. I had to agree with him. So little guy and Awesome become the best of friends. We had been together at this point for about 3 years. This was the same trip that we kind of proposed to each other. Sitting on the couch at my Aunt’s house, a causal conversation of, “I would say yes if you ask me to.” Later that same night we are driving my cousin and her kids back to the hotel. Awesome had to sit so little guy could hold his hand for the drive or else he would cry. I remember soooo clearly looking at his hand holding little guys hand and I just started to cry. The was the moment I realized I wanted HIS kids.

I realized I was damn in the best way possible. I actually started to think about it. After being on birth control for most of my life, I went off it. He is the only man I ever had unprotected sex with and felt completely safe with. In my hearts of hearts, I think I knew that this was it the moment we first had sex. I didn’t want anybody else.

Babies were not the only reason I decided to go off of birth control. I think I will save that for another time. Really now my mind has moved onto the logistics of actually having a kid. HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT? I have finally gotten to a point in my life where I didn’t feel, as Blade would say it, “Some mother-fuckers are always trying to ice skate up hill.” I have a college degree, I have a reasonable job that doesn’t make me want to kill my life or make me feel like I am killing myself every day and I have no idea how I would be able to do it.

I want kids, I have finally come to terms with this idea in my mind, but it just doesn’t seem possible. Yes we are making it by, but that’s it, making it by. Putting a little money aside, barely what I would call savings. We live on a tight budget and I just can’t see fiscally how we could do it. Babies are expensive. Doctor’s visits, toys, clothing, money and time. We don’t even have a washer or dryer in our tiny apartment. I have nieces, I know how important that can be with kids.

Then there is the time part, we NEED my job. I hate the idea of having a kid and then sending it away with a strangers every day and having somebody else raise them. My husband jokes about being a stay at home Dad. Sounds amazing! Again, we could not afford that. We need both our paychecks to get by with the cost of living.

Time and money. I hate it. I have this beautiful picture in my head. I have actually become that person who stores names in my head. This beautiful picture that just seems like a complete fantasy and I want to cry. I know my parents would love to become grandparents again,  but it just boils down to, how? How could I bring a child into the world and have no idea of how I would feed it, cloth and house it with what I am making these day?

Throwing out all my fears about having a serial killer or just a kid who doesn’t like me, but the how? I want it so bad, I am not afraid to work for the things that I want, just the money isn’t there. The time isn’t there. I feel selfless, selfish and greedy all at the same time and for a million different reasons.  I have even talked to my husband about it. He’s a big kid sometimes and he loves the idea and he gets where I am coming from.

For so long I was afraid to talk to him about kids. He actually pointed out to me when I switched from “if we have kids,” to “when we have kids.”

My Grandfather, funny old-crazy man that he is kept his speech at our wedding brief and too the point, “ From Genesis: As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

Sounds great Grandpas, want to fund that for me?

Why can’t I though? Why can’t I bring my screaming ball of love with me to work and make it work? It’s not like I work in a dangerous environment. Babies at work seems like a taboo, but why is it in offices? I don’t get it really. Yes they cry, scream, poop, but I have had bosses that were worse than a new born before. It’s a conundrum and I hate it. I don’t want to look back at my life and think, but why didn’t I have kids. I also don’t want to have kids and then realized I did something terrible because now we’re living in a car because we can’t afford the rent on our apartment without the washer dryer.

I am one of the lucky ones, I got my educations without debt,  but I still can’t afford shit. My car would be a freshman in college this year. My computer is actually about the go into it’s sophomore year of high school and my dog is almost of drinking age… Something seems very wrong in my life and I don’t know what.

$300-1,600 a month of child care, that’s the average in the states… I maybe put a couple hundred into savings ever month. Well hello depression my old friend. It’s like a torturous Mirror of Erised this biological clock. I know it’s not just the clock though. When my second niece was born I flew out to be with my sister. I stayed with her for a week, she was about the become a doctor and was in the middle of finals. I was there as an extra set of hands and to keep my older niece busy. I love my nieces. I love being there, making them laugh, comforting them when they cry. I want to be there all of the time. I want to teach them about life and read them books out loud. More than anything I want them to have cousins too. I have amazing cousins growing up. I want that for them too.

My other HUGE fear? Miscarriage. What if I make the decision and go through with it and loose it? I have about five people in my life who have children… All of them have also had miscarriages. My role model, my best friend, she also had a miscarriage and never tried again. I can understand that and I don’t know if I would be able to handle it if I did. The first time I did talk to my husband about having kids, really talked I told him this. He understood, his brother and his wife went through a time where they had many miscarriages. She actually carried a couple far enough that they actually had to name them.  That made me soul sick when I heard about it and still kind of does. It makes me think about Frida Kahlo and her struggles.

I have to say here too, I am Pro-Choice. I understand the difficulties of such a decision and at one point thought I was going to have to make it, it turned out I didn’t but I went through that thought process. I knew what I would have done and it’s nobody’s else business. That is always your choice and you are the one that lives with the choice so fuck all those people who think they know what they’re talking about with ultra sounds and three days before you can go through with it. The decision is already hard enough.

I have had a couple times where I though maybe it was going to happen, I was freaked out and giddy. When I did get my period I was reveled but melancholy. I felt like I had lost sometime important, but I had never had it. I almost wondered if you could suffer from a form at postpartum depression from not getting pregnant. It confused my husband and me too. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to go through with being pregnant or if I ever will actually get pregnant.

Last night we were talking again and I was talking about one of my friends with him and he didn’t know she was a lesbian because she has a kid. I even said it sounded like some weird joke almost. I am married and straight and my lesbian friends had a kid before me. There isn’t even a dick involved in that relationship. He laugh about it, it seemed funny.

I don’t know what I am going to do.

You know how you always have that list going in your head, “when I win the lottery”?

Top of my list: Have a kid.

Second on my list, adopt some kids.

I am material as fuck and I know it, but I don’t have anywhere to put this. I really don’t even know where to go from here. I’ll live my life and try to make it to a point where I won’t feel like I would be fucking myself and a kid over, but it just doesn’t seem plausible.

I am not really asking for advice. I really doubt anybody will bother to read any of these, just felt like I need to put it out into the world.

Another Girl in the World.

Growing up is never easy, especially when you look around and know you are and really don’t want to. This is just another drop in the bucket, another story about “becoming a woman.” It seems so insipid to use that term, but it apt.

I developed earlier than all of my friends. It sucked. It also meant I came to term and more comfortable with my body before all of my friends. I was the girl who got asked questions by everybody that hadn’t experienced it yet. I had just turned 11 when I got my period, I knew what it was, but that didn’t make the thing any less terrifying. Too late my parents realized the link between the hormones in the food we were eating and why their ten year old was getting breasts. More than anything this, “becoming a women” business was annoying. My parents split when I was 4 and my mom was out of town working. My Dad was remarkably chill about the whole thing and my Stepmom really stepped up to the plate as it were. The whole experience while terrible, I lived through it.

My menstruations were so bad when I first got them I would have to change my max pad every couple hours and sleep with a towel over my sheets in case I over flowed in my sleep. I was a swimmer too so I had no choice but to start using tampons immediately. I didn’t really think about it until some of my peers starting telling me wild stories about tampons. Some of which were completely bizarre. I think the strangest ones I heard was how one girl  was told a tampon would no longer my her a christian. Trying to dissuade some them for this asinine thinking was rather interesting. Eventually that novelty wore off and everybody else got to get the great experience.

To say I was precocious teenage might be an understatement. Many of my parent’s friends would say  things like, “yeah, 15 going on 40.” When I did finally venture into having sex it wasn’t because I found somebody who I loved that I wanted to share it with, I just wanted to know. That it. I didn’t find it all the great, it was simply something I wanted to experience. Why was it such a big deal? Why were people always talking about it? It was a science experiment to me.

I had promised my parent’s I would tell them when I started to have sex and I did. It’s still really embarrassing to think about. They reacted in the opposite manner I thought that would. I had become pretty good at gauging my parent’s reacting growing up and watching my siblings shenanigans. My Dad was long the lines of: okay, where you safe? Are you going to do it again any time soon? (I should be stated here that I had been on birth control since I was 13 due to a hormone imbalance; however; I still used a condom.)My Mom, flipped her lid. Apparently she had had some pretty terrible experiences with my sister that I was unaware of.

Here is something strange about virginity to me. Nobody ever told me it was something special that I should hold onto. No ever said it had value of any kind. I had heard some tripe about who it was a lovely flower from some religious people, but why would I believe them? (At this point in my life I felt like they had lied to me about too much already.) So why was it so surprising that I didn’t think twice about loosing it? I knew it would be uncomfortable to loose, there would be blood. That was okay it. Really it wasn’t so bad, I remember hearing and feeling a little pop at the same time and a little blood, but not the gushing fountain described by Sylvia Plath.

I might of followed the more normal channels if  had actually been a dating person. I didn’t really see the point in dating really. I had tried to have a couple boyfriend, but it always seemed stupid to me. Were we ever actually dating? No not really. I had boys I liked, boys I would kiss, but none of them ever actually asked me out. My very first kiss I was 3, I don’t remember it, but another family story. A little boy about 5 comes up to me shoves his gum in my mouth and says, “KISS ME!” Then pushed me down on the ground and and kissed me. Mother all over the playground freaked out. The first kiss I remember was by another such asshole I don’t like to think about. He tried to take it way too far considering I was 10, a horrible story for another time. For now let us begin the…

Boyfriend count:

#1. Does He Count? Had math class together in middle school. Was asked out by him by a mutual friend. He wouldn’t give me his home number, wouldn’t eat lunch with me and we never did anything together outside of school. Lasted two week, we never kissed. I ended it because it was stupid to me, in my mind we were never actually dated. Thus began the  school roomers that I must be a lesbian that lasted all the way into high school.

#2. Summer boyfriend. My best friend lived in San Diego and I spent most of the summer with her. She set me up with him, she knew him from the neighborhood. He was nice, cute and older. How much older? 16 to my 12. I had fun. I enjoyed it, kissing. First feeling of an ejection against me, I thought it was flattering. He never pressured me which was nice. Lasted 2 months, I did not, nor to I now believe in long distance relationships. Summer ended and so did it, c’est la vie.

#3. Friend Ex. This begins and kind of disturbing trend for me, I am not good at meeting people. So what end up happening? My friends meet people and I meet people through my friends. My friend had lived down the street from him and said he was nice and that he thought I was cool. He was nice, a stoner, we went out on a couple dates. Messed around, lasted three months. For two of which I did not see him. My thought? Do I really have a boyfriend if I never see him? No.

And that was it for a long, long time.

Again, I kissed boys, I hung out with boys, they never asked me out and I never asked anybody else out. It seemed simpler that way and nobody really kept my interest.

Can I emphasize now that I am not a role model?

So at 15, a friend of mine said there was a boy who wanted to have sex with me and her. My thoughts? I always hear people talking about sex, making it a big deal. What is the distinction between lust and love? Can you have sex with without any kind of love?

I discover yes, you can have sex without love. Later I learned, for me, sex is so much better when you’re invested and if not love, actively like the person. Also I later realized she was not a good friend.

I did it. It was over. I didn’t feel like I had to do it again any time soon.

Then I met:

#4. The Older Man.  It’s a trope, I know it. I never said I lived my life without clichés. I was on a trip with my youth group, (Of the UU variety), he was there, I was there. I really didn’t even think to think of him as an older man. He was 21 to my 16.

I am going to digress more than I already have here for a moment. Why do girls date older men? Because they ask and you feel flattered to be noticed. You feel more mature and worldly. In other words, you feel special. What you don’t realized until later? Why is an older man actively seeking a younger woman? Because his peers realize there is something wrong there and without experienced eye, you miss it. The term arrested development definitely applies.

So how did it end with the Older Man? In a cluster fuck. Parents didn’t like it, but dealt with me. My siblings found him creepy and I finalize realized he didn’t respect me and he was not a healthy or well-rounded person. It was borderline stalking for a while.

When it final ended, I felt broken. We had had sex and it was terrible (the sex and the situation) and of course my Mother found out, which it one of the many ways and reasons it ended in a fireball. We made promises, he did not keep them, I was done. The whole experience is what soap operas were made of.

I got over it, mostly, there are still many metaphoric scars.

Then like the idiot teenager I was:

#5. Stolen boyfriend. It wasn’t intentional, we just clicked. He was friends with all of my friend, he was having a shitty time a home, I was getting over my shitty time with the Older Man. He and my girlfriend had both been there and seen some of that drama. I though they were causal, I actually though there were breaking up. Then I realized after three months with him that I was just lonely and he was my first rebound boy. When I ended it after this realization, he didn’t speak to me for a long time. The girlfriend and I stayed friends. She comes back later.

Again I realized I was more than a little broken and I should be alone. How many 16 year-olds can say that? I didn’t want to date. I had one boy try and have me be his girlfriend. I told him flatly, “No we just made out, that doesn’t make me your girlfriend.” He ended up dating somebody else within a week, (found out years later he was still mad about that.)

Then

#6. Open Boy-toy. Remember that guy who took my virginity? Well, why not try again? I was 17 and it seemed earlier to tell my parents that we were dating then really what it was, watching movies and have sex. We did evolve into a couple over the three years we ended up hanging out together. He ended up influencing my life a lot. He was a great guy, my only ex that I am still friend with. The whole relationship was based on one thing though, it was open. His sex drive was higher than mine. When I realized it was more like a relationship, (because we hung out all the time), I laid out the ground rules:

  1.       No STD or pregnancies.
  2.      You always tell me before hand and get my okay.
  3.       You never sleep in their bed or let them see in ours.

Open relationships are not of everybody. You can’t get jealous about who your partner is sleep with and you have to trust them. I never really took advantage of our open relationship because I had come to realize at this time that I don’t enjoy myself unless I become emotionally invested in the person. And if I had become more emotionally invested in Boy-toy I would of ended up ending it. I also did a couple times. It did end when we moved in together, he skipped his half of the rent and then broke the rules number 2 and 3. I agonized over it for two months before I actually ended it. Breakups are never good, this one was about pare.

After Boy-toy I didn’t really want anything. The whole rule of it takes half the time you were in the relationship to get over it, was about right. I didn’t even look at a boy for about a year. Then took another six months for me to realize, no I was just horny. There is where a line of men becomes a bit fuzzy. I was working my way through school with a shitty job and slightly depressed. I slept around a little. I still had some standards. I was completely paranoid about STD’s so that helped a lot. I almost dated a couple. I tried OKCupid. I was weird, met some people. 19-21 is a weird time.

My friends saw I was becoming increasing depressed. Then my girlfriend, you know the one from #5? Yeah her, she meet somebody. He was the bees knees. He introduction to our friend was, “He is awesome.” What do you do when your best friend is very depressed? Well my friend thought, bring her on my dates with my new boyfriend! After they had been going out of a while she tells me she’s thinking about ending it. I was really starting to like him at this point. I had to prove to myself that no I wasn’t selfish and let her end it. She is awesome and he is awesome so awesome couple should stay awesome! I kept them together for four whole months longer than they should of. They did end up breaking out.

Two week later after my friend says me and He is Awesome should date.

#7. We go on a date. It was awesome. Of course there is backlash. My girlfriend is very upset, I tell her I could only take her for her word. Well we all end up getting over it, she and I are still very good friends.

After me and Awesome moved to Texas and being together for three years, Awesome became my husband. I was gitty, I know I am over using the word, but it was awesome. My girlfriend was maid of honor, it only seemed right.

Of course I was also the kind of girl who said she would never get married. When I announced in 2012 I was getting married, Boy-toy reaction was, “THE MAYAN’S WERE RIGHT! THE END IS COMING!” Love that boy.

It’s been almost two years now since we’ve been married. I never really understood why everybody told me it was so different. I had been very nervous about getting married. I had done research, culture traditions, asked all the females in my family for advice. I didn’t even start to think about the planning bit until I had thought about what it meant to be married. It’s amazing all the things you have to think of for a wedding, all things I had never thought about in my life. Really though, being married doesn’t seem any different than when we were dating. Awesome moved in with me after we were together for about 8 months because of a terrible roommate situation.

I have been very lucky in my life so far. I am not here to brag, I am not here to preach, I just felt like I needed to put this into words and send it out into the world. Maybe it will find somebody who needs these words.