Mother Love

09Nov07

Edited to add: I hope you’ll read the comments to this post.  I’ve realized since hitting “publish” that I framed this post as being address to infertile couples, but I meant it to be addressed more to my kid, if anything.  I meant it as a post about how and why I love him so much.

*****

I dreamt about writing this blog post last night. And while I know this is a delicate subject and while I suspect that maybe I ought to just keep my fingers shut, it just seems like it needs to be said.

I’ve been reading the blogs of some women struggling to have babies lately. Women in various stages of dealing with fertility problems. And obviously I don’t know what this feels like since my husband and I were able to conceive and my body was able to sustain the baby.

But still. In my dream I was writing a blog post about how I don’t think that the fact that Evan came out of me, or the fact that he was created spontaneously out of one daddy cell and one mommy cell, has anything at all to do with how much I love him. Or how much he loves me. Evan knows nothing of biology, fertility, or geneology. He knows that we’re the ones who feed him, hold him, and give him the opportunity to be happy each day. He knows that if he snuggles into the spot between my chin and my collarbone, I will snuggle back and probably hold him for a few extra minutes before I put him down for sleep. He knows that if he giggles, we’ll giggle back.

And me? I don’t love him because he came out of me. Other things have come out of me that I haven’t loved so much. (See stones, kidney.) I love him because he needs me. I love him because he lets me. I love him because I can see him learning new things and can watch the gears in his little head turning as he struggles to figure things out. I love him because he’s warm and squirmy and drooly and because it’s hard not to love something warm and squirmy and drooly, especially when that something depends on you for every single thing in its life. I love him because I have figured out how to get him to stop crying. Most of the time. I love him because he has figured out that he doesn’t need to cry because mommy’s here. Most of the time. I love him because when the time comes to ride a bike, read a book, and tie a shoe, I’ll be the one who gets to help. And the one who gets to watch when the lesson’s learned.

I love him because I was looking for a tiny something to love and this is the tiny something I got. It doesn’t matter how I got him.

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3 Responses to “Mother Love”

  1. This was a fascinating post, in part because I really don’t feel that way. My tie to my children has always felt very profoundly biological – not merely the fact that they came out of my body but also the constant delight of DNA, tracing family traits and resemblances. I love the way the Pie looks so much like hubby’s Aunt Sharon.

    I know that I could, theoretically, love a baby without that tie. But that knowledge feels theoretical at best.

  2. Hmm. Not sure what the underlying suggestion here is. It smells a bit like…adoption.

    We did fight infertility. It became—is—a major factor in our lives. Explaining how it feels to want to be able to do something you are promised your body is supposed to be able to do, but your body fails…it goes beyond one comment. Why we pushed ourselves through treatment, and all that went with it…some might never understand.

    It did, it does, matter to me how my tiny somethings came to me. The experience of pregnancy, and as B&P said, of seeing the history—my history, my husband’s—in our children is profound and amazing to us. We wanted that. We are grateful for it.

    It doesn’t mean that adoption doesn’t create a real mom and dad, or real children, or a real family, with the same amount of love. I hate that word real…the converse is “fake.” Of course it’s real.

    I’m not sure what I would have thought of infertility before I experienced it. I didn’t really encounter it before I personally experienced it.

    But I have experienced it, have gone through it with a lot of friends also going through it. We all experienced it differently and made similar and also different choices, but at heart, it was all for want of a tiny something, yes, but…

    Have you ever read my post about why you don’t tell an IF couple to “just adopt?” I share some of my thoughts and feelings there.

    Julie
    Using My Words

  3. Oh, I’m sorry if it comes across that way because my post was not meant as a suggestion. Rereading it I see that I phrased it as a response but I didn’t think of it that way before. I didn’t even think of it as addressed to infertile couples. It was just something I dreamt and that meant something to me. I don’t know what it’s like and I can’t tell anyone what to do and wouldn’t want to. I just think that reading those blogs influenced my thoughts and dreams and all. Plus I do have two adopted nieces, which I’m sure colors my own perceptions.

    Really the post was intended to be about how and why I love my kid. Which is lots, and easily.

    I guess I was just thinking about the fact that I would love this little boy no matter where he came from, not so much that there’s a better or a worse place for babies to come from than another place. I look back on this time last year and am sort of strangely nostalgic about the headaches and exhaustion, so I can definitely appreciate that there’s way more to it than just the baby at the end. I guess I was only thinking about that baby at the end and how I came to love him.


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