Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lickin' my wounds

It's Christmas time. DJ and I were just pulling out some decorations for the house this morning.  It's snowing out, and we're headed over to our neighbor's for an open house in a little bit.  As we decorate the house, DJ and I are going back and forth between other activities:  she with finding every Khan Academy YouTube video she can find on physics (she's had a change in career plans) and I with watching "Father of the Bride II."

It's kind of a cheesy movie but it held my attention because I like Steve Martin and Martin Short is hilarious as the gay interior designer.  The movie proceeds to where the daughter is going into labor with the first grandchild.  It hits me like a ton of bricks that DJ will not experience this aspect of womanhood and motherhood, despite the fact that she may very much want to;  nor will I be able to be there with her as she experiences this, which I know I very much want to.

I wasn't one of those women who treasured her pregnancies.  They were all a means to an end to me.  And while giving birth was one of the toughest moments of my life, it was amazing going through it.  Since that time, I've been fortunate enough to assist a friend as she gave birth and I've been very lucky to be part of other women's birthing processes.  I cry nearly every time out of wonder and joy.  Connecting with women as they get to the transition phase of labor  has always been so meaningful to me.  It turns out I am a good coach and I feel honored to be able to assist by offering them emotional and physical comfort and support.

Five years ago, I knew I would likely not be part of a daughter-in-law's birthing process as she might want her mother there.  But after DJ came out, I started to realize that I wanted all those rights of passage that moms of daughters get to have, if their daughters choose the path of motherhood AND are fortunate enough to go through the "old fashioned" path of becoming a mother.  But we've been so busy with loving our daughter in the here and now, that the future is not always uppermost in our minds.

So,  I'm watching this cheesy movie and truly, it hits me like a ton of bricks: she won't be able to experience this aspect of motherhood and I won't be able to experience it with her.  The unfairness and sadness was so acute, my eyes immediately filled with tears and my throat was aching.  I pulled Bulldog into our room because I felt like I needed to share it or it would never go away.

He, of course, wanted to fix me by reminding me of what may still be possible for DJ and I don't disagree. She is very likely to be a mother if she chooses;  she may find a lovely woman to share her life with who will give birth to their child, but what Bulldog doesn't understand is a concept that women who can't get pregnant and give birth will understand completely.  We can always be thankful for what we have, and we're allowed to grieve what we may not have, as well; not instead of, necessarily, but in addition to.

I won't share this with DJ.  It would serve no purpose whatsoever.  If and when she experiences this sense of loss, Bulldog and I will help her through it.  I'll just get  my experience of loss over with now so I can be there for her if and when she experiences her own sense of loss. Still, right, wrong or indifferent, childish or's still so unfair, once again.