Today, I was going to write about hope, and about staying positive in the face of despair, fear and anxiety. And then I found out that she was pregnant.
I have mixed reactions to peoples’ pregnancies, and often I cannot tell, ahead of time, how I will react. Most days, I’m genuinely happy for my babyloss friends when they become pregnant with their rainbow babies. Other days, I think “why not me?” and wonder if I’ll ever be able to join the rainbow coalition. Most days, I rejoice with my erstwhile-infertile friends when they get that BFP. Other days, I selfishly wish they had remained baby-less with me, so I wouldn’t be the last childless one in the group. Most days, when friends who have done everything right fall pregnant, I’m benignly happy for them. Other days, I sulk with jealousy, wondering why that couldn’t have been my fortune.
But every single time I discover that someone I don’t like is pregnant, a tsunami of rage is triggered that threatens to consume every thought I have for the rest of that day (and night, and sometimes the next day).
There aren’t many people I don’t like. I consider myself a fairly friendly, forgiving person. Therefore, people I don’t like (particularly don’t like getting pregnant) involve chronic complainers, unapologetic drug addicts, abusers, etc. This particular person, however, I dislike because she used her religious beliefs and very faulty “research” to let me know that she didn’t think K and I should be having children because:
– “Women tend to be more nurturing and caring in the way they interact with children while men tend to be more playful and more of a risk-taker. As an example, it’s usually a man who will throw a baby up in the air and catch them while it’s usually a woman who will be the first to run to their child and pick them up when they get hurt. These different ways of interacting with the child help them develop fully.”
(My response, though I don’t know why I kept responding: “I disagree with your gender stereotypes. Every person is different, and I don’t believe it’s as dichotomous as you suggest. I think some aspects of parenting have been socialized into us rather than being a “natural” part of our aspect. I believe gender is more of a social construct than a biological imperative, and I have no qualms about my ability to both toss my child into the air and run to pick him/her up. Fathers and mothers parent the way they were taught to parent, and if men are less nurturing perhaps it’s because they are discouraged from playing house with dolls when they are young.”)
– “Men tend to be a lot more sexually aggressive than women, they have stronger urges that they need to learn how to redirect that energy or control. How can a boy be taught this from two women who have never experienced this and can’t give the practical advice that he needs?”
(Me: “I believe this is also the case with sexual aggression – it is taught, tragically, by a society that encourages the sexualization of women and the hyper-masculinity of men. How will I teach my son, should we have one, to respect women and control his bodily urges? First, by understanding that everyone is different, and your sexual urges will not be the same as your daughter’s any more than mine will be the same as my daughter’s. Will your struggles to help your gay son through puberty be any different than mine to help my straight son? Would a women who lost her husband be suddenly an unfit mother while shepherding her son through his teenage years? In my opinion, of course not. Having male role models ARE important, just as having female role models are important. Fortunately, our children will have two uncles, two grandfathers, and others who will care about them and be part of their lives.”)
– “Boys who don’t have fathers in the picture, tend to be sexually active very early. Girls without fathers crave a man’s approval and end up having sex early and frequently in their attempt to feel wanted.”
(Me: “Your research about girls and boys experiencing early sexualization are not relevant to committed, two-parent same sex couples. The key phrase is “from broken families.” Divorce, and the trauma that likely led up to it (or from it) causes serious damage to children. But every reputable study done (and granted, there have only been such studies since the 90s) confirm that children raised by two same-sex parents are as psychologically, emotionally and socially adjusted as children from two parent heterosexual households (let me know if you want me to cite examples of the research on this)”.)
I give you all this to say: this woman is pregnant with a baby boy. Of course, a boy. And it is really hard for me not to wish all sorts of voodoo evil on her, or at least hope that her son turns out to be gay. Poetic justice, and all that.