Last month when I turned 30 (didn't you know?) I became at peace with never having children. I wasn't sure that it was my destiny, I just felt it would be alright. I could be Aunt Superior, Wife of Wishes (including wearing an occasional denim halter top for fun) and Daughter of Dreams (more rice pudding Father?) Though I would always want to be a mother, and have to combat urgent baby hunger, I could survive.
And that was that.
You know, there was a lot to learning that an alternate lifestyle would be worth living. (I think not having children is more alternative then homosexuality these days.) We could travel, sleep-in and basically do everything we are doing now but more! MORE! We would be the never-ending service missionary couple. I would reverse my sincere distaste of babysitting and babysit for the world! WORLD! Plus, there would be chances in the eternities. ETERNITIES!
Even better, I put the fertile/infertile world behind me and moved on. I felt like the mother who just gave birth to the last of her babies with a sense of gladness that a different season had arrived. A time to stop the planting to heed the harvest.
But something happened.
And suddenly I was feeling that old trickle of Motherhood Hope sink back into my bones. That same feeling arrives when your period is just a tad bit late. Or in mid-cycle when ovulation proved successful. And it grows with intensity until at last, you are convinced that this month was magic!...only to be astonished when you've started bleeding the next day.
I ignored it.
Then the signs were more and more apparent. Conversations here and there with friends. Confirmations at General Conference. And the killer of them all, Early Morning Awakenings. Maybe there was one more seed to plant?
Following an inspiration, I ordered Chup back on the fertile pills. We don't know the physiological reason why we haven't conceived. We don't really care. After spending generous amount of time and cash to find out nothing, I realized that the point was that our time hadn't arrived. Our fertile attempts were nothing but futile attempts. But we're going out on a limb here and listening to, you know, The Spirit.
Oh and Chup hates those pills.
They smell so foul, so rotten that it literally offends the olfactory epithelium (I didn't even Wikipedia that technical term) (I am lying). When I say literally offends I a mean these pills hurt Chup's feelings. The stench that escapes just by opening the lid is toxic, and produces massive coughs and phlegm. And even hours later, horrific burping. But every morning, and every evening, I hear that familiar rattle of the bottle a few heavy sighs and silence.
For most men it is their pleasure to conceive. How many men have to sacrifice their comfort to be called Dad? How many men first experience nausea before their pregnant wife? How many men can declare their sperm count and admit to several trips to the Awkward Semen Analysis Lab? (What kind of advertisements is Google going to post on my blog with me throwing semen into my post?)
Late on Saturday evening Chup left for Wal*Mart and didn't come home for awhile. When at last he returned he produced 3 bottles of Gatorade, 2 boxes of raspberry filled powdered donuts and a car magazine.
"If I eat half of the donut, take the pills, drink half a bottle of Gatorade, eat the rest of the donut while reading it is not so bad."
My heart melts.
For my part, I am wearing the fertile necklace my dear cousin Jamie made me from secret desert gems. It's not that tenuous, but I sure look pretty.
When that baby makes his/her way into this world I am not going to forget Chup's sacrifice.
"Sweetheart, go give Daddy a big, big hug before going to bed. One day I'll tell you what he had to do so that you could come to earth."
And I imagine a big hug for Chup.
And another from me.