Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How To Answer The "Why Don't You Just Adopt" Question

Or at least how I did.

Okay, let me explain.

Yes, I am currently the "p" word. Almost 22 weeks, or 5 months, or just about halfway done. (And still checking for a heartbeat every night. But I digress).

I am far enough along that we've started telling people. Friends first, then family, then other folks.

And a bit ago, after hearing my good news, a someone who knew I'd been trying for a while exclaimed in response, "It took you so long! Why didn't you just adopt?"

I was struck by the freaking irony of it. I mean, how many of us have heard that while we tried to get pregnant, and there I was, still hearing it.

And I said something that I thought was kind of clever.

"Well... I don't think that people are interchangeable."

The speaker in question had children of their own, and I asked would they be willing to "exchange" their children for someone else's. To give up their children. To give away their children. To deny their children life. This brought a jovial response ("when they act up, you bet I would!") but I stayed still and somber and simply said "I wouldn't."

This, oddly, brought out more ribbing ("Just you wait! You'll get to that point!") but I maintained eye contact and calmly shrugged. No. No. You might, but not me.

Now, don't get me wrong. I want to adopt. And I'd like to be a foster parent. I've wanted to do this since before I've wanted a child of my own, since before I was married or even knew my husband, and even though now I'm pregnant, I still want to do it. (It's not even an option right now, as we don't have space in our apartment to pass home inspection). But it's something that H and I have agreed on, and as soon as its feasible, I know it will happen.

And I would have been, could have been just as happy and content adopting and fostering and what not. (So could H). But we wanted one of our own. And I never would have stopped wanting for a child of my own. And no disrespect to my future adopted kids... Children aren't interchangeable. People aren't interchangeable. Just because I've got an 'organic" doesn't make me not want to adopt, just because I want to adopt doesn't mean I don't want one that has my genetic material.

I want them both. Uniquely, specifically both. No exchanges, no substitutions. Both.

They're not interchangeable.

And Then I Went on Vacation

Sixteen hours in a very small, very PACKED car with H and Mama.

Good times.

We went to visit my family down south, to share the "good news" and show them my big fat belly. But H didn't want us to fly because (a) he's convinced it causes miscarriages (b) it's expensive (c) Mama LOVES to flirt with the security men ("I have a gun and YOU need to find it! Tee Hee!")

So we went.

And we told.

It was weird.

First, we told me Dad. We had to tell him over the phone, before we left. He was seriously pushing for us to fly down, offering to pay for tickets (yeah, right). So H broke down and said "We can't fly, Nica's pregnant."

I immediately punched my husband PLAYFULLY in the arm and grabbed the phone. And (tried) to talk to my father. Who did NOT want to talk to me.

But I'm pushy (have you noticied?) and I pressed. I told my father stuff he didn't ask, and didn't indicate he was interested in. Like how far along I was, how I was doing, the baby's gender. I did NOT tell him about the various horror stories associated with this pregnancy (how Scrappy didn't make it, etc.).

And if my father was interested in hearing about his first grandchild, (or in any way excited) you could have fooled me.

We told my brother a day or two later. Even though we live in the same city (a few miles away from each other, even), my brother and I don't see each other that often. It's not my choice, but that's a post for another day.

Anyway, we told him/he guessed and it was the same as with my father. My brother could have cared less (and in general, just seemed weird). I pressed again, telling details. And he nodded, and waited to speak until H dived in and rescued him by talking work and football.

So a few days later I was bouncing along in a car and a few days after that H was telling the rest of the family. My one cousin screamed and cried (as I knew she would; she is a screamer and a crier). The rest of the family was happy and supportive. My grandfather kept fading in and out on the fact that I was pregnant, but was enthusiastic and supportive when he remembered it.

My father, present, was still reticent. A zombie. Which, come to think of it, he was most my life.

And a few days later we came back. All of us (me, Mama and H) still battling colds and coughs.

And here we are.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ah've Beehn Sekh

Okay, I will now QUIT with the cutesy spelling. As that title (attempts) to say, I've been sick. Just a bad cold, but a BAD cold. And a bad cold where I cannot take anything, because, well. YOU KNOW.

So I spent the last four days under blankets and a heating pad attempting to "sweat it out." H kept trying to get me to gargle with c.ider vinega.r and honey. It made me vomit, but H decided that I just must be gargling "wrong" (how can one gargle incorrectly?) and made me try again and again.

Finally we settled on my two gargle favorites -- salt or baking soda. (Good times).

The oddest part of it all was that when Mama would wander by, attracted by the sound of my hacking up a lung or whatnot, she would occasionally ask me, "Nica, are you sick?"

"No, Mama." She'd always be content with that, and toddle off.

(See, I can't tell Mama I'm sick, because then she decides SHE'S sick. And that's worse than c.ider vinegar gargle ANY day of the week)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Step into My Office

Mama came up to me today as I was starting my morning (reading blogs and eating cereal).

"Nica," she says, "I should be your psychoanalyst."

If I've not mentioned before, English is NOT Mama's native language. (She's from Argentina). So this comes out not only from a crazy person, but with an adorable accent.

I asked her to repeat, because I am sure I misunderstood.


"You should tell me all your problems. I think that I can help." At this point, she starts giggling. So I am not completely sure how to take this.

She walks away, still giggling.

I still don't know where it came from...

Scan Went Fine

You may all proceed to call me a whiny baby.

They want me to come back in a month and get a new scan because

(1) "We do that sometimes"

(2) "You're as old as the hills."

So I will get to worry YET AGAIN.

But at least, today, for them moment... I am not so scared.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Anatomy Scan Tomorrow

The big anatomy scan is tomorrow. For normal folks, this would be the big Boy or Girl moment. For us, or at least me, it's the big Hope Everything Looks Okay moment.

Sing it with me now: I am so scared.

H is, of course, convinced that everything is okay. But he giggles that I am so worried, which he says is perfectly normal.

Mostly he's confident because we heard Spunketta's heartbeat last night. He got me a fetal doppler stethascope for Christmas, and when he or I are feeling especially anxious,we whip it out and go in search of the heartbeat.

Yesterday, Spunketta was up to her usual tricks. It took more than twenty minutes to find her heart. I searched for five, then handed the wand over to H. I closed my eyes and focused on breathing. In. Out. In. Out.

About the time I could barely hold back tears, H found it. Spunketta is SO grounded.

In other cheerful news, Mama has decided that my having a baby is not a good idea. She gave me a long talk about it this morning. I should just adopt, she says. It's better.

Um. But Mama, I am *already* pregnant.

She blinked a moment and shrugged. "Doesn't matter. You'll need to adopt, anyway."

Living with crazy people is not for the weak.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Our Christmas was small, but sweet. I shrewdly waited for the last-minute shopping sales and was rewarded with being able to gift everyone nicely and stay within my paltry budget.

New Year's is Mama's FAVORITE holiday. It's a tradition in her family to (try) to eat 12 grapes in the first minute after midnight, saying each month as you insert a new grape. It's not really that hard, but it helps to be prepared. And have seedless grapes. (This was the first year I was successful).

We've made arrangements to drive down and see my father (and that side of the family) in a few weeks. Because H is paranoid about my flying (and because we're broke) we're ging to be driving. We're going to be driving for 16 hours. Between Mama and me, we're going to have to pee every twenty minutes. (We may never get there).

I'm a little stymied about what to post these days. Everything I think about putting up basically boils down to I'M SO SCARED. Which I think is a bit boring. And kind of whiny. Such as, "I got what I wanted, YIKES!" I do want this. I am grateful. But this is new. This is different THis is something that I've failed at before. And I am scared.