Making a Fucking Baby

December 9, 2009

We have found a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood in the fair to middlin’ city nearest us. It is two bedrooms and one bathroom big. It has a fenced yard and a washer/dryer — our two big extras.

It has a basement and an attic, but no place for the cars.

The landlord is a very rich woman, or should I say her husband is rich. I have a number of cues pointing me in the direction of her socio-economics, but I will highlight the fact that she reports having had four children in private school in New Orleans as my illustration for you readers. She has chin length hair that is brown and frizzy. Her glasses are leopard print. She says she is an artist.

When I asked if she would be available to meet the next day, she said yes. Because I was “lovely” and she wants “lovely tenants”. But that if I were not “lovely” she wouldve said no.

(Racist, classist bitch, basically.)

She also told me that her mother has been diagnosed with both bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. This, and the fact that Wifebian and I would have to come up with 1900 dollars by January 1st, are reason enough to say no to the place and I called her to say as much. But she didnt pick up, so I left a message. And she replied.

With a message saying that she was willing to drop the rent by 25 bucks per month, and I called her back. But she didnt pick up, so I left a message  saying could we spread the security deposit and the pet deposit out over three months? And she called back saying, bring your partner out to see the place and let’s talk. So I called her back. But she didnt pick up, so I left a message, saying could we meet at 7:30 on Thursday?

And she hasn’t called back yet.

I picture painting the office in bold stripes for the baby’s eyes and I picture a foster child drawing on the walls, and I picture the dog scratching the hardwood floors, I picture tying the Wifebian up in the unfinished basement (I turned out to be a top), I hear the whistle from the train riding the tracks that run parallel to the fence, I picture planting basil, I picture cooking dinner and I picture hanging a wind chime fashioned with forks from the nearest sturdy thing.

In other news, I tested again this morning and the answer is no. My period came four hours later. When I said this was a sign that the baby didnt want to be conceived in this environment, Wifebian said, why do you blame everything on my mother? And we laughed. Then I said that my uterus did not want to end her wild ride, her 19 year relationship, with the phases of the luscious moon and proceeded to drink two glasses of white wine.

So, I’m left with wanting.

I decided that I should want to be pregnant more than I want to be a mother, because it will be easier to give up the dream of being pregnant than it will be to give up the dream of being a mother to my very own half-way flesh and blood child. Then, I decided I should want a pregnancy and a foster child at the same time. That I should, as I did in paragraph 6, hold each hope in my heart as a tandem bicycle holds its riders. Then I decided that surely it wouldnt be too much to put 4,000 dollars on a credit card for just one cycle of IVF.

Then I decided that I should not squander the high of a good day at work by coming home and worrying about making a fucking baby.

(Finally, the smaller of the two bedrooms is in the back of the house.)

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Mother Business

October 20, 2009

Yesterday, I met a new client. He has a genetic disorder and a difficult social history, which has led to a number of  medical, behavioral, learning, social, occupational and speech problems. If I were to really do justice to the breadth and depth of his flaws, if I were to describe his physical appearance or things that have happened to him, I would come closer to his identity than I am comfortable with, so unique and fantastic is his constellation of differences. But, within five minutes of meeting him and his guardian, they were mine. Their problems were mine and their possibilities. And everything good or great about their habits or personalities was something special just for me. I have a thing for underdogs and outsiders. I attach quickly.

Tonight, I was listening to two foster parents describe their challenges with one of their foster kids. When he got to their house a few years ago, he deficated and urinated daily, sometimes at school, sometimes at home, sometimes during the day and sometimes at night. But now, he only wets the bed nightly. I found myself thinking, I want that kid. And I pictured me and the Wifebian banding together against such a disgusting, scary problem and how much fun it would be to research and make little charts and think about the problem and cheer one another on. (Notice my daydream did not include doing the laundry).

Then, I think about having kids and ask myself, “What if?” What if a fetus I carried was diagnosed with some physical or genetic defect? My first instinct is to say that I would abort the fetus. But, then, I reflect on the amazing capabilities I demonstrate in my professional life and think, “Of course I could do it.” The other what if goes a little something like, “What if my teenagers steps beyond moody and into suspensions, arrests, drugs, rages?” I think, oh that wouldnt happen to me, but genetics are not on my side when it comes to raising a biological adolescent. I’ve noticed the contradiction though, in the sense that I look forward to the challenge of parenting very difficult foster kids, but that I would really, really like to bear a biological child as beautiful, smart and promising as I fancy myself to be.

Sometimes, I try to imagine what I would do if I was an unpoliticized heterosexual woman being told that my “baby” was “deformed”. Would I “refuse to kill my unborn child”? Would I cling to some concept of “destiny”, some understanding of my egg and my husband’s sperm uniting to create a “soul” and “keep the baby”? Would I wither or recoil faced with the idea of bearing “an ugly, slobbering, dumb kid”?

As it is, I am a queer, politicized social worker to special needs children. I understand every moment of this conception, pregnancy and birth to be weighted with a million choices that Wifebian and I get to make. I believe in disability rights and honestly see the common practice of aborting fetuses with physical and genetic abnormalities as a kind of genocide. I also believe entirely in a woman’s right to an abortion on demand. But, finally, I know that I could not only handle parenting a kid with that kind of diagnosis, but thrive from the challenge of it.

Writing all of this out really brings to mind the moms keeping two blogs in particular and I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a minute to do justice to them and acknowledge that they are living the lives I am currently just imagining.

I don’t have any conclusions about what I would or wouldnt do, what we are and arent capable of, just a little more clarity on the position I’m putting myself in with all this mother business. This weekend, Wifebian signed us up to attend an orientation to foster care at the local DSS. We will be leaving three days after the orientation for sunny San Francisco, where we will be inseminating for the first time.

November’s gonna be deep.

The Earth Couldn’t

August 21, 2009

I’ve been sleepless lately. This past year, I heard on the radio that researchers are looking into the anti-depressant effects of sleep deprivation. I have two things to say about the subject. One, it’s true for me.  And two, it’s only true for one night. This morning, whenever I put my head at or below the level of my heart, I get a momentary, but splitting headache. Also I’m fucking tired.

I stay up and watch Housewives of Atlanta or Facebook. Last night I tried to meditate — for about 11.2  seconds. Last night’s bout I blame on wedding pictures. They all came back around 10:30. I stayed up until 11:30 perusing them and then couldnt sleep until 3:00am for thinking about the pictures she didn’t get and which missing pictures were her fault and which were mine.

This insomnia first happened almost two years ago after my father died. I took it to be a concern-worthy sign of depression, as I really like to and am very good at sleeping. Then, I worried, for no good reason, that it was s symptom of mania, mostly because my therapist at the time did not laugh or gently shake his head when I suggested it. Now, I think I just need a schedule that includes real work.  I am coming up on 8 weeks of unemployment.

All of this is relevant because on my biological mother’s side we have an uncle who committed suicide young and on my father’s side we have four dead aunts and uncles — three involving drugs, alcohol and assorted Axis I behaviors. A fourth involving domestic violence and cancer. The story goes that my uncle-in-law wouldn’t let my aunt out of the house to go to a gynecologist.

Although I know I am mostly off of the hook when it comes to these pitfalls, my wifebian would argue, as she did this morning, that I’ve suffered from depression for my entire life, except of course on our wedding day, when, she says, I felt the way other people feel all the time. I said, “The Earth couldn’t spin on it’s axis if everyone felt that way everyday.” She smiled.

It’s just that I’m trying to get pregnant this fall and don’t have time for all that pharmacological nonsense. If I can make it through the first year of motherhood without visiting a psychiatrist though, I will be roundly impressed with everyone involved.