Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mother's talk

I never wanted to become a mother. I never even wanted to become a wife.

When I was 23 I promised my dad that I would never get married, and at the time I meant it. I was preparing to take my GREs, I had just finished taking my TOEFL and all I could think of was moving to another country and getting my master's degree.

When my friend Twinkle told me she was getting married, I spent long hours trying to convince her that it was a ridiculous idea. We were only 23 (well, she was 24)! The world was at our feet. She was supposed to go to law school, the same way I was supposed to get my MA. After her wedding reception a bunch of guy friends and I went out drinking and toasted our wonderful single-ness and vowed to never let ourselves get caught in the same trap.

Then 6 months later I met John. At first there was no cause for alarm. He was a die-hard bachelor who had never had a serious girlfriend. On our 3rd date he told me that if I was the kind of girl that just wanted to get married and have babies then may be I should date someone else. Because he wanted to get married at 40, if he ever did decide to get married. I told him that by the time he was 40 I'd be 33, so that would be perfect because I didn't want to get married either, and by then I'd be old enough just to be his live-in girlfriend without killing my parents.

Three months later he proposed. I don't know who was more surprised by the words that came out of his mouth, me or him. Or by the fact that I actually said yes.

A year later I found myself married, but at least we both agreed that we didn't want to have kids. At least not right away.

After a year of marriage we decided that we would "casually" try to have children, thinking to ourselves: "how hard could it be?". A year later we found out just how hard.

Nothing makes you want children more than finding out that you can't have any. At least not in the easy, normal way that other people could.

So we got on the 3 year roller coaster ride that was our (well, more like "my" really) life on fertility medication. First we tried the oral drugs, but those only caused more cysts on my ovaries --- none of which resulted in a viable egg. We switched doctors. And then again. Until we finally met Greg. Then the shots in ass started. And oh what fun they were. But at the end of it all, I finally developed 5 eggs. Which promptly started dying. One by one. By the end of our cycle we only had 1 left. And Greg was doubtful that it would get fertilized. He recommended that we do artificial insemination, just to increase our chances of fertilization. So I got the turkey baster up the wazoo --- and when we got home from the clinic that night, we did it the old fashioned way. Just in case.

2 weeks later they said the words we never thought we'd ever hear: you're pregnant. Followed by: now you have to go on bed rest. For the next 9 months.

The next 35 weeks were the most beautiful, harrowing, nerve wracking, fantastic 35 weeks of my life. I was hospitalized twice. Once when I started bleeding for no reason and almost expelled the little embryo that was growing inside me. Another when the placenta partially detached itself from my uterus and almost caused us to bleed out again. On my 35th week check-up Greg saw that my placenta had started shriveling and was threatening the baby, so he delivered me via c-section the next day.

On November 13, 2004, I met the person who changed my life. Forever.

Pilar Zita T. Medina, 10:54 a.m. November 13, 2004. 6 lbs. 4 oz. 18 in.

Changed it so much that 3 years after she was born I quit the job I loved so that I could be with her all the time.

I am now Mother. And I can't imagine not having wanted to be this person. Because I am a better person now for having had her, for knowing her, and for helping her grow. I am now the person that I know God has always wanted me to be. Far from perfect, but always struggling to be better --- so that I can help her be the best person that she can be, whoever that is 15-20 years from now.

She has shown me how much love there is to be found in the tight embrace of arms that can barely enfold you. In hands so small they fit in your palm. In the sweet breath that blows against your face at night when someone snuggles up close.

So much love. So much that I found myself wanting more. Willing to go through the shots in the ass, the turkey baster, the petri-dish, the catheter.

I was blessed to hear those magical words: you are pregnant, 3 more times. Never losing hope, even when two of those magical times ended so abruptly, with so much pain and loss.

Soon we will be meeting the next person who will change our lives. Forever.

And I will tell her, "you know, I never wanted to become a mother. But may be that's only because we've never met. Not until today. But today I know I have always wanted to be yours."

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