Sitting around last weekend and nursing my injured pride, I remembered what one of my best friends who has worked as a doula observed: that birth, and specifically the cutting of the umbilical cord, is the first moment that a parent begins to let go of their child--it's all downhill from there. I took this wisdom to heart and, having spent the last month of my life as the Fertility Nazi, have now decided to apply it to the process of getting pregnant (in lieu of starting my parenting life as the controlling mother I'm determined NOT to be). Being me, however, I found another book to read: With Child: wisdom and traditions for pregnancy, birth and motherhood by Deborah Jackson. Here's a gem:
"A desire for children can be so powerful that in the West fertility is often regarded as a thing to influence rather than as a natural force. When we can control almost every aspect of our lives, it comes as a shock if we do not conceive the moment we intend...It may be better to...imagine ourselves in the hopeful state of being 'almost pregnant'" (19).
I am SUCH a cliche! So Western, so anxious, so out-of-body and thus out of my mind. How have I lived 29 years and not learned this one, essential thing? Boo. However, I do love the universe for sending me this timely reminder that I am not, nor have I ever been, in control--despite my very elaborate and convincing illusions.
SO, here is my latest vow: make the chart, take the vitamins, skip the booze, and even disconnect the caffeine IV until my 30th birthday in a month and a half, return the library books, ban mechanical sex, do some yoga, sprint if I damn-well feel like it and say my honest prayers to "the ancient and universal mother goddess, in whose fruitful womb the gift of life is conceived" (Jackson 11). Opening up to the mystery of this process is yet another chance to learn the fine art of letting go. In this spirit, I am going to think of myself as officially "almost pregnant."
(And on my 3oth birthday in late November, I plan to crack open a good, dark beer and toast my progress--and then have a cup of delightfully caffeinated black tea in the morning. How's that for trusting the universe? Well, for me, it's pretty damn good.)