Ever since I was wee, my mom has told me that ever since she was wee, she always wanted three daughters. She knew that was who she was meant to be, the mother of three girls. Even when she was tiny, playing with her dollies and letting my Uncle Andy burn all her hair off, she already knew. Three girls.
So, when she became pregnant with me, and was told, upon her first ultrasound, that I was a boy, she completely ignored my obvious, doctor-diagnosed dick. After all, it was a late 70s-quality ultrasound that looked more like a strangely pulsating peanut inside a round thing, inside another round thing, wiggling around on a black thing. After the second ultrasound much later in her pregnancy also disclosed my manhood, which I can only assume was AWESOME, she once again laughed in her doctor’s face and reprimanded him for not being able to tell the difference between a baby dick and a shapeless, smudgy white thing on a black thing inside some round things. And again. She had a third ultrasound. Presumably when I was knockin’ on the “biscuit express” (as Honey Boo-Boo would say). And again, her doctor was absolutely certain that there was a wiener inside her uterus. Not only was he certain, he also took a lighthearted jab at her determinism by saying, “You ready to go deliver that boy in there?” My mom didn’t laugh.
And clearly, as far as I have been able to discern over the past 35 years, I am, indeed, not a boy. Nor was I a boy on the day I was born. I do not have a dick. Nor do I know where my dick ran off to. If I did, I would have preserved it in a jar right next to my baby-shark-in-a-jar.
What is my point in all this? My point is to say that my mom always wanted to be a mother. Long before she ever got pregnant. Long before her baby factory even got cranked up. She knew. A lot of women do.
I, on the other hand, did not. As a matter of fact, I was exactly the opposite. From a very young age, I already knew that I did not want children. I didn’t play with dollies. I didn’t pretend to change diapers or walk around pushing a toy stroller. I never pretended to nurse dollies, even when I saw my mother nurse my sisters. I never imagined how I would decorate a nursery. And I never EVER wanted to be pregnant.
But I have 2 children. I have 2 children who are almost grown. And yes, they were surprise babies. Actually, no. They were “Oh Shit” babies. Both of them. Until the day they were born, that is. And then, of course, my memory of life without them disappeared and I was a mommy. Fortunately, fate spared me the worst possible outcome and gave the little girl babies to mommies who needed them. The fact that my children were boys is the only reason I am still sane. Because I have struggled. While I was immediately in love with my boys, I still struggled. My maternal instinct was ferocious, but my “mommy-ness” was not. My idea of a diaper bag was the glove compartment of my car. I breastfed not because I had strong mommy opinions about the nourishment of my children, but because I was lazy as fuck, and whipping out the tit was easier and quicker than making bottles.
Of course, I grew into my role. And I think I have been a really good mom. It hasn’t been without a struggle, and the only thing that saved me was marrying a man who truly was meant to be a daddy, and having a mother of my own who truly was meant to be a mommy.
I have always thought it curious when I hear a woman, or a couple, say they are “trying to get pregnant.” Admittedly, I have actually verbally responded to that with a big, rude, loud “WHY?!”
And admittedly, I do not know what it feels like to want a child I cannot have. I have never felt an overwhelming need to be a mother. I have never felt a desire to be pregnant. And even today, knowing that my boys are the most amazing things that have ever happened to me, I still find it curious to hear someone say that they want to be a parent. I often wonder if I had been more proactive with contraception, would there have come a time in my life when I would have felt the need to be a mother?