I didn’t even want to be pregnant.
All my life I heard the story of how my mother had sex just ONCE with my father before marriage and “knew, INSTANTLY” she was pregnant with my older brother. Now that I’m a parent I realize she was telling us this story to ensure we grew up thinking if you have sex before you’re married it will immediately lead to pregnancy, but all I learned from this is that when I get knocked up I will know, and it will feel DIFFERENT.
I actually had that sensation with Lola. Not right away, but as time went on I thought “well, that was different.” And sure enough, 12 weeks later when I finally got around to taking the test I knew in my heart would be positive, a plus sign greeted me in the little stick’s window for “pregnant”.
I didn’t want to be pregnant then, and wanted to be even less this time around. I had a lucid dream mid-sex last month where I was, and in it I knew the gender of the baby and even what we would name it. In the dream I would have called her Mara, which means “bitter”, because this baby would surely be coming at a place and time of great bitterness in our lives.
I didn’t even want to be pregnant. But as with all little notions that creep into our sub conscience, I had grown attached to the idea, and even gingerly rubbed my belly every time I ate cookies, imagining I was definitely feeding a fetus’ needs and wants and not my own sugar cravings. I told models on set I couldn’t have a drink with them because we were “waiting on some test results”, as if this was a medical procedure in process and not a figment of my own deep seeded desires.
I told no one about my crazy baby sex dream other than my longtime friend Resa, who listened to all the details before politely telling me, “you know, you don’t HAVE to name her Mara”. But you see the thing is I would. Because I truly believe beauty can rise out of bitterness if we let it. And I was willing to let this bitter gnawing inside of me become something beautiful if, against all odds, yet again on birth control, I was pregnant.
Last fall while out in LA we made a promise to each other not to seriously discuss having babies until 2020, at which time I will be 34 and “ready”. We shook on it, reaching our hands over then-7 year old Lola who was three episodes deep into some disney show on her iPad, agreeing that her childhood was stable and she keeps us busy enough and we are growing an empire and you can’t be a in a happy marriage with a mind divided on these issues. We agreed, and for the first time in years I felt a calm serenity fall over my uterus. This could be because I was in the childless apartment of my LA best friends, whose beautiful golden retriever rescue puppy is their baby and they are perfectly fine waking up for early morning surf excursions and not midnight breast feedings, but I felt peace about the plan and that’s the takeaway I chose to hang onto.
If I wasn’t ready the first time I am even less ready now. We’re in the middle of ten thousand things, a baby would be a major detour on the path we’re on, and yet I found myself in tears at the “negative” window’s blue line and the absence of a plus sign in the window for “positive”. I felt a big hole, a wave of mourning for something that was never meant to be.
I didn’t even want to be pregnant.
Nothing Christian could have said would be good enough.
“I’m glad it’s just us for a little while longer”, he said as I stretched my body over his bones in bed.
“Me, too”. I lied.
Now enjoy this youtube video of Wild Horses in the pasture:
Wild Horses, by the Rolling Stones and covered by The Sundays (mislabeled as Mazzy Star)