Monday, October 27, 2008

Birthing

I saw a friend on Saturday who I haven't seen since my wedding in April of 06. She announced she is pregnant, and although I was surprised, I can't say I was altogether overly surprised, as I've apparently reached an age at which I can expect many -- if not most -- of my friends to get pregnant and have children. I am resigned to this fact, even though I am still mentally not "there." I don't expect to ever mentally be there, and, in fact, me becoming pregnant is probably going to need to involve some serious cajoling and a couple bottles of wine. If I am privileged enough to birth a child, I am sure I will still not be "there," and then my child will be stuck with a mom who's pretty much winging it.

So on Saturday night we were happily eating fish & chips and discussing a family you may have heard of -- The Duggars. They live Somewhere Out There and they have 17 children. This woman, who's only in her early 40s, has birthed 17 children. And what I did not realize but discovered the following day whilst folding laundry, is that the Duggars have their own TV show, and you can watch them make cake and take road trips and be altogether too happy. Anyway, I happened to be watching the show in which Michelle Duggar, the mom, gave birth to her 17th kid. I figured that anyone who has given birth that many times would basically just kind of lean sideways and the kid would slide out. But it was not quite like that. She experienced what seemed to be significant pain. So. I don't know, it just kind of blew me away!

2 comments:

  1. Dude, the Duggars freak me the fuck out.

    Did you see that episode where the son gets engaged? And then he and Duggar-to-be go out to dinner, but they need to take one of the other 16 kids as a chaperone to make sure the happy couple doesn't do anything beyond hold hands?

    Because, yes, they're saving their first kiss for their wedding day.

    So if you're keeping score at home:
    - Birthing 17 kids = Okay
    - Engaged couple kissing = Not okay

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  2. Ahhhh, you KNOW I can't resist commenting on this post. Hahahaha. I did see the above-referenced episode (by accident, I swear) and I agree it was most unsettling.

    I have to say, I never considered myself a very spiritual or emotional person until I had a child. Since then, I sort of feel like being a mother was what I was put on earth to do as it is definitely the most profound and fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life. That said, I can see why some people want to do it over and over again, having several children. HOWEVER, there's something about 17 (almost 18, right?) children that strikes me more as I'm trying to prove something (even if it's to God which is, perhaps, the most unsettling) or maybe I'm trying to fill some sort of void in my life or I have no other identity/don't know who I am outside of being a parent.

    Having said that, and I know you know this, yes, you are never "there." Even if you think you are, the reality of becoming a parent is terrifying. But, at least in my experience, once you're there it's so worth it. It seems cliche, but there is nothing like it and if there's even the slightest inkling you think you want to, I say go for it.

    And I really believe everyone is winging it. I know I am.

    Even a mother of 17 is winging it somtimes. Well by then you have enough older kids to take care of the babies for you. You're just a womb at that point.

    Okay I'll get off my "please join the parenthood club" soap box now. ;)

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