Before I go on about what I was starting to find out, starting in September, 2011; I want to tell you a bit about me and my dream of having children.
I grew up, independent as encouraged by family, to be self resilient. I did that despite the frustrations of communication. Why communication? I am Deaf. Yes, you read it right, I'm Deaf. I use both English and American Sign Language. I loved to read as a kid, and I still do. What I didn't like to do- was playing with dolls (like Barbie or baby dolls), dress-up or house as a kid. I have read of women saying they dreamed of having kids while playing with dolls, changing diapers or feeding the dolls, even collecting numerous baby/child dolls and clothes when they were girls. Me, I didn't like dolls, but for stuffed animals (horses and wolves) and Breyer horses.
Nevertheless, when I could see real babies during my childhood, I'd dash toward the baby just like a bee to honey. Looking at the mother, wiggling my hands, my eyes questioning. Often than not, the mother would smile and hand the baby into my arms (or on my lap if I was sitting). I loved holding the tiny hands, staring at the sleeping baby's face, smelling the baby powder. I loved carrying the baby and would try to play with the baby "goo-goo" babbling, laughing, and peek-a-boo, before I'd reluctantly hand the baby back to the mother.
Throughout my young adulthood, so many friends exclaimed how their babies would be fussing and screaming, and I'd come and say, "hand 'im over here." Once the baby settles in my arms, something amazing occurs.... silence, or soft cooing. You could hear a pin drop in this content silence. Babies would curl up in my arms, studying my face as if they are seeing something that is there that makes them calm.
My jobs throughout years included care-giving and supervising group homes, rehabilitation instructor and other human services that included working with clients, the range covering from mental illnesses to development disabilities. People, either co-workers, supervisors, or parents/guardians told me the very same thing, "you are a natural!" as they look at the clients who had caused high turnovers among staff, now calm and self confident, or at least starting to become semi-independent. "You have so much patience. You listen, you believe in them, even when they didn't believe in themselves in the first place." Often I had heard "you're a mother hen!" when I'd walk in to team meetings or staff meetings with my nose flared, with angry determination to advocate for the clients in whatever they need toward independence, autonomy and support. "You should have children, you'd be a good mother!"
I'd smile and say, "Thanks- but not now. But I'll get to that later!"
I imagined that I'll get to experience motherhood, to explore the swelling of my belly, the hormones and morning nausea and at last, to hold the baby in my arms after labor. I'd walk through the baby section at department stores and smile while imaging my baby wearing this piece of clothes, or playing with that toy. I touched baby comforters and quilts, dreaming what the nursery would look like, and what the kid could want in his room while growing up. I looked at books, with hoping that the child would like to read too, me introducing her to worlds at her fingers. I hiked and fished, thinking "it'd be more fun with the kid, seeing the world through his eyes!" I handled an adolescent godchild or two, with their attitudes, with delight, knowing that it is good practice for when I'd have a child growing into a teenager. I saved things from my childhood in goal of passing them on to my kid, knowing that they'd even like that, such as my childhood books or the quilt that was given to me as a baby from my great grandmother. I would look at cousins or friends' babies, holding them, kissing them, and think, "I can't wait to have my own baby!"
Guess I shouldn't have put all my eggs in that basket.