• midwife michele

I Always Wanted To Be A Mother



(TW: infertility & miscarriage)


Despite all of the jobs I have held or various hats I have worn, I have always wanted to be a mother. From as far back as I can remember, I fantasised about being a mum and how I would not only do it differently than my parents, but that I would do it consciously and intentionally. (I am a product of Prom Night, which in and of itself is not bad, but that just is not my style.) Having the right to decide when, where, and how to have my babies was always a focus and concern for me.

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I had names for all my babies, because I was going to have a litter you know, picked out for years. I never fantasised about my babies’ father(s)/other parent(s), because frankly, I never intended to “need” a man/other parent to become a mother, but as the Universe likes to remind me that I am in control of very little, I did indeed end up falling in love with an amazing person who just happened to be a man.

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[Skipping teenaged experiences here for good reason. We’ll save those for the #memoirs.]

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I was very close to my mother’s sister, my aunt Sheila Renee. I think because she was only about 15 years old when I was born; she was more my older sister than my aunt. Sheila always wanted four children and I think like me she had their names all picked out when she was a young girl. She loved to bake, drink wine coolers, cheer on the Dallas Cowboys, kept a hidden stash of cigarettes in her kitchen drawer, and she loved literature like no one else I have ever known. I do not hate Shakespeare because of her. She would have made a fantastic mother. She died from liver failure due to colon cancer before she could have any children, when she was not much younger than I am now. I did not go to her funeral, because I just do not do funerals, but I did promise her in my own way that I would have those four children for her come hell or high waters.

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One of the very first things William ever said to me was, “One day you and I will have beautiful children together.” I was 14 and he was 16 and I laugh-snorted at him. He did not look like a lesbian to me. Five years later in 2001, we found ourselves married and then pregnant with twins. Though I have only had a few miscarriages, that one was probably the hardest on me. Then we found out in early January 2003 that we were pregnant again and later that September gave birth to our amazing son, Elijah Uriel. One down.

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Once E was about one and a half years old, we stopped doing anything to avoid another pregnancy. Years went by with nothing. I began to think I was broken. Years of being a homebirth midwife having to field the question, “So, did you just decide not to have any more children?” Years of assuming the Universe just hated me and did not want me to have more children. A couple miscarriages, relationship stress, incredible depression and quite frankly some mental instability not too many years ago. Why could I not have these fucking children for my aunt, for myself?

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It was like telling a librarian that they could never look at or touch another book. Books do not exist in your future. More children apparently did not exist in mine. Finally, the rational side of my brain decided to take over and save me from myself. The Universe is smart; science works; there are just some things we have to learn to trust, despite not understanding them; there is genetic information within each of us that just should not be carried on and Nature is usually pretty good at not letting it happen when we do not meddle — being someone who does not believe in IVF for myself. It was okay, really, I mean we had always talked about and planned to adopt older children anyway, so I should just ‘let go and let G-d’ for my sanity.

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So, I gave up on making babies. I started giving things away that I had held onto, you know, just in case I might need them one day. I cut off all but one of my dreadlocks on their tenth anniversary in an effort to rid myself of some of the negative energy and self-pity I had built a chrysalis out of. The last few years I just tried to focus on being me and the best and truest me that I could be. Right before we moved last Summer, I finally parted with the last remaining stash of baby and toddler clothes and hundreds of dollars in cloth diapers that I had squirrelled away.

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Late this April I was talking to a friend about not having any more children and that I was at peace with it. I knew that we would adopt older kids and change lives for the better. Besides, I was pretty sure that I was over the whole newborn thing and potty-training and whatnot now that my son would be 12 years old this September.

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This May when I had this weird feeling come over me and I thought that I might be pregnant, I tried to ignore it, you know for sanity’s sake. Mother’s Day came and I was hit emotionally with a ton of bricks. On the 12th I finally could not take it any more and I decided to take a test. Those damn lines appeared. I cried. I peed on another stick. I cried again. I peed on many more until I could finally smile. I took pictures of those damn lines and sent them in a text message to William — because I could not wait for 30 more minutes for him to come home and find out.

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So, yeah, like a friend on Facebook said, “This is fantastic news for anyone to find out of such a wonderful gift… But, I suspect this announcement is wrought with much pain/excitement/anticipation/love, which makes this “congratulations!” Come with even more well wishes for such a tender celebration!” They could not have nailed it any more perfectly. After almost 11 years of failing it is definitely a surprise. I believe that I have gone through just about every emotion possible.

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So far this pregnancy has been uneventful and healthy. I have no reason to really believe it should be any other way. I have just been trying to wrap my brain around everything in the midst of being doula and midwife at several births back-to-back; I have not had much time since I found out that I was pregnant to really get in touch with myself and the baby. I am looking forward to a reprieve in August. I am looking forward to a lot of self-care that I did not get while I was pregnant with my son. Soon I will start regularly visiting the chiropractor and then find a weekly or bi-monthly prenatal yoga class to attend until I pop.

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I have already been approached by two birth photographers and six people wanting to be my doula. It seems that everyone wants to be present for this birth, which is sort of not surprising, but is a little overwhelming for me. While I would love to open my birth space up to many and allow my labour and birth to be a learning experience for some of the many wonderful birthworkers and birthworkers-to-be in my circle, I am also a rather private person when it comes to birth and plan to exercise way more control over environment and people with this birth than I did with the birth of my son.

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Yes, I will be birthing at home; this seems to be the number one question most people have right after, “So, will you be your own midwife?” Yes, I am doing my own prenatal care, but I have many, many birthworkers of various stripes to consult with, if and when needed. It is not like this pregnancy and birth will happen in some kind of weird vacuum void of solicited input. (It is the unsolicited input that can find someone else to bother.)

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I look forward to writing here and there about this pregnancy, as I know that I will have lots of feelings and thoughts between now and sometime in January 2016. I invite you to come along for the ride.


#pregnancyafterinfertility #pregnantmidwifeispregnant #pregnantmidwife #becomingamother #rainbowbaby #memoirs #transandpregnant #genderqueer #nonbinary

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