You came out of my vagina, but that’s not when our story began.
Seven months before you came out of my vagina, I got a positive pregnancy test on the day my grandmother died, and I hoped this time I was really pregnant so that my dad (your granddad? weird.) could get some cheery news. Also, it would make me happy. I guess. Yes, of course it would. Happy. Obviously.
Five months before you came out of my vagina, I saw you on an ultrasound and found out you’re a girl. Bummer. I don’t like girls. Don’t get me wrong: I like women; I just find little girls to be annoying as shit – all that squealing and crying and frilly pink shit. It’s so much easier to deal with boys’ broken bones than girls’ broken hearts. But hopefully you’ll be an athlete or a lesbian or into cool music, and you’ll hate pink, too.
Three months before you came out of my vagina, I was scheduled for another ultrasound to get a better picture of your hands because so far it looks like you have no fingers, and I don’t know if I can love a kid with hand stumps. But no matter what the ultrasound shows, 50% of you comes from your dad’s genetics, so I’d be stuck with you. I wondered if this would be different if you were also 50% me, and this is when it becomes clear that I may not have been the best candidate for using a donor’s egg.
One month before you came out of my vagina, conversations with your dad go something like this: But what if I don’t love her? Don’t worry; you will. But what if I don’t? I know you; you will. But what if I don’t? Stop over-thinking it; you will. But what if I don’t? Etc. etc. etc. You can see why this is a problem, right?
The day you came out of my vagina, labor was short, and during the last few minutes, I wondered whether I could stop pushing and change my mind about the whole thing, but there were all these people around me saying things like “you’re almost there” and “I can see her head,” so I plowed forth.
When it was over, a gross, slimy, wrinkly thing was handed to me, and I asked, “is this her?” Considering that the other end of your umbilical cord was still inside me, it should have been obvious that I wasn’t looking for an answer from the nurse as much as I was looking for an answer from myself.
“Is this her?” meant “Is this it?” It meant is this really happening and did seven years of wanting a baby just come to an end? It meant who will I be as a mom and who will you be as a daughter and what will we be to each other?
It meant that I really wished someone would help me figure out a game plan for what to do if I don’t love you.
During the first couple weeks after you came out of my vagina, you wouldn’t look at me. You just peed and cried and ate and slept and shit. No eye contact whatsoever, which – frankly – wasn’t a great way to get started on your part, now was it? As it was, what with our lack of genetic connection, how did you think we could build a relationship if you wouldn’t even look at me?
It was during this period that your dad asked me if I loved you. I said I didn’t know yet, which upset him. I guess he thought that the reality of your existence would melt my heart, but he overestimated my capacity to adore people that come out of my vagina.
I felt fiercely protective of you, though. I got pissed when you were left unattended on the changing table for a millisecond as if you could somehow leap to your demise at 2 days old. I woke up several times a night in a panic that you’d been scratched or had a fever or died from SIDS. And every time I picked you up, I was terrified that I’d trip and fall and smash your tiny skull into a wall. My every moment was riddled with anxiety that something awful would happen to you, and that with that, my world would crumble. But anxiety is not the same as love.
And then some time later, you looked at me. Not a passing glance with untamed eyeballs, but actual eye contact. And that’s when I thought, “Oh, hi, baby. How nice to meet you.”
Was it love? Well, let’s not get crazy. I mean, we don’t really know each other yet, and one can’t rush into things like this.
But you came out of my vagina, and a little while after that, we met. And now that we have, and our story has begun, it’s possible that I’ll love you after all.
And as it turns out, you look seriously fucking cute in pink.