Well, my friend finally had her baby girl this morning, she’s healthy at 5 lbs, 4 oz. I cried a lot. My friend asked if I would like to hold her and of course, I just melted and cried some more. I brought some bubbly, cause it’s not a celebration until there’s delightful Italian prosecco! It rained all night and all morning, but when she was born, the sun shone brightly. I was so happy for her and proud of her. She is an amazing woman, so full of light and strength. I just wanted her to be happy and safe.
Hubby came by and the jokes started and he got a peek at the little angel too. We both know from the minute they got pregnant it would be a girl. I looked at him and knew (as I always do when he comes to see his friends’ new child) that there is a touch of bitterness. A sadness pulling at the corner of his eyes. He would have had cigars. He would have had that undeniable machismo swagger that biological connection gives you (I imagine). He is so good at putting things behind him, but I could see it. I could feel it.
I have only dreamed of giving birth myself, I could only offer support and daimoku and wait patiently in the wings. I tossed and turned all night thinking of her. I just wanted to be a good friend, a best friend. I took a few pics, wanted to DO something useful. I saw the typical images in a maternity ward, walking swollen mothers to be, anxious families waiting, excited chatter, soft moaning, the doula at her feet. I could watch and be a witness, but never experience this ritual of giving birth. Mind you, at my age, I should consider myself lucky for not experiencing the agony of a 13 hour labour. Yet I still, damn it, still, feel haunted by the spectre of the old dream. The one where there are no lawyers, no papers, no social workers, no single young women. Yes, they did IVF plus bells and whistles as well, but it worked for them the first time. Like it does for a lot of people. Her age and her uterus were on her side. I am careful to remind myself that I am on another path, a different one. I should not compare. Had we not signed on for adoption, and chosen to be childless (as were pretty damn close to doing so), would I be further along my path to healing my ole infertile self? Who knows?
All I know was that just for one moment when I looked down and saw my friend’s face and I looked into the face of her beautiful daughter, I was so happy, so grateful to share in their moment. Grateful.
Ah, back to business as usual – waiting.