Friday, September 7, 2012

The word you are looking for is "Congratulations!"

So it's been a busy year. In short, I was trying to squeeze every minute of good togetherness out of my last year with Elliot before he went and grew up on me, turning seemingly overnight from infant to toddler to schoolboy. No longer a brachiating 'baby,' he's now in preschool. He still spends days full of wonder, excitement, exploration, joy, and a good deal of mischief too. Keeping up with him has brought all those qualities into my own life as well, more and more strongly every year.

It hasn't left much time for blogging.

It's not that the last year hasn't had some major blogworthy developments (bumps in the road and the like), but they have come along and I've been doing overall very well with them. I just haven't had the motivation, for a lot of reasons, to write about it all. Or, rather, I've had a lot of motivation not to.

Part 1: The Scoop

A year ago I made a major decision. In some ways it was a gamble, and one with a lot on the line, but I saw so much more to gain than I had to lose. I am finally past the riskiest parts of this adventure, and feel like the time is right to open up and tell this story.

Slowly, over the past 12 months, I have shared with my family and friends the roller coaster I have been quietly riding. The ups and downs of hope and disappointment, along with plenty of excitement and fear, have given me a lot of sleepless nights. I'm not sure if I am crazy or courageous (the jury is still out) but I feel like I'm on the right track. One way or another, this is the ride I was meant to take.

Obviously, I haven't come up with the perfect way to just come out with it - I'm open to suggestions. What this all boils down to is that sometime in late December to early January, Elliot will have a baby brother. He's actually kicking me in the gut (I'm not sure if he is encouraging me or warning me) right at this very moment.

The looks I've gotten after telling various people this have varied dramatically. Right now you should take a picture of your face for me. Then, ten seconds later, do it again. One more time at thirty seconds, just to record the range of surprise, confusion, concern, and (hopefully) excitement as they take turns reorganizing your expression.

Part 2: The FAQ

Q) Are you seeing somebody?

A) Yes and no. Not romantically, but professionally I've had several rather intimate encounters with a reproductive endocrinologist. Romantically the landscape has been pretty barren - thus the relations with the good doctor.

Q) So, do you like, know anything about the father?

A) Yes and no. After doing a lot of research on all aspects of donor conceived kids, I chose to use a not-for-profit bank with a program to allow my child to contact the donor when the child is 18. The bank provides certain personal, medical, and physical information about their donors. Think sincerely written profiles without the photos, and with a family medical history.

Q) Does Elliot know?

A) Yes. He knew I was trying before anybody else knew. Right now I have two difficult tasks: explaining donor insemination and where babies come from in terms a 4 year old can understand, and explaining the equally difficult question of why we can't name the baby, "Rock Star."

Q) Have you thought about (insert your concern here).

A) Yes. Extensively. I've read articles, joined discussion boards, met with local women in all stages of becoming single moms, and raised my son since he was 10 months old not just on my own, but with the invaluable support of my friends and family. No, I didn't consult Everybody about this, but I did thoroughly research this little experiment for a year before going forward with any irreversible decisions. I know it will be hard. I also know it will be fulfilling, rewarding, and amazing.

You are welcome to ask other questions - believe me, if I don't want to tell you the answer, I will digress, but I won't be offended. Shoot. I'll catch or dodge.

Part 3: In Conclusion

As Karl's death so unequivocally taught me, we don't know how long we have on this earth. We should live our lives following our dreams. Karl and I dreamed of a family that included (well, we never did agree on what the number would be) children. More than one. We grew up with siblings who continue to be important in our lives. We wanted that for ourselves and for our children. I still do.

I recognize that society has it's (sometimes amazing, often absurd) views of single moms, and the rights of various people to become parents. I know that my choice will not sit well with everybody, but I will not cower beneath other people's ideas of what dreams I should dream - I will chase the ones I believe in. I am perusing what I want most for myself and for my family, and hoping that those around me who have loved and supported me continue to do so.

So there's my little bump in the road, my little kicking roller coaster. And here's his little face:

I hope you'll be excited to meet him next time we get together. If you are at a loss for words, "Wow" isn't bad, but I'd refer you back to the title of the post, and encourage you to go from there.


Ben said...


Laura Neeter said...

I'm so happy for you, Jes!