My ex-husband had a baby last December.
Well, to be more precise his girlfriend had a baby last December, but he was (based on my vague understanding from producing 4 children myself) at least indirectly, involved.
While I was not consulted on this decision (I’m guessing the whole, “we are divorced, I have a new partner, you can’t control my reproductive activities” played a part, I dunno), I found myself slightly emotional after I was informed of the impending birth (a mere two months before the due date).
And the more I thought about the situation, the more complicated the emotions became.
It wasn’t that I missed the old chap, although I will always be grateful for the 13 years we spent raising our four (mostly terrific, only slightly dangerous) children together.
It wasn’t that I was envious of his girlfriend. I remembered all too tangibly the last weeks of my own weary nine month journeys, when my body, heavy with another life budding inside me, became foreign even to my own gaze. I remembered the bruised hue of my belly button as it screamed in mercy. I remembered the way my inner thighs rubbed and how my feet were…somewhere down there in the oblivion of swelling and slip-on loafers. I couldn’t see them. I had given up on fashion and bending down and mirrors and all the other former luxuries of pre-baby life, in lieu of just breathing. And maybe functional walking (to get snacks and put on bigger elastic pants). I was growing a FREAKING LIFE here, people, that was about as much multitasking as I felt should be expected of one person.
And I remembered the early infancy: the crying (mine), the hunger (mine), the kicking and screaming (both mine) the physical exhaustion (mine) and the sleepless nights (both of us). Perhaps I was, however, mildly covetous of the more gratifying parts. The ecstasy of warm milk morning euphoria. Those early sunny spaces in the bed, laying stretched out with another whole person that I had improbably made. A smallish pale skinned being that was growing in spite of me and becoming whole because of the food and love I was creating, organically (magically!)out of nothing.
And I was perhaps, just a little regretful, that I had made that decision, after my youngest was born and I was on the operating table for my fourth c-section in 7 years, to have my tubes tied. But it was the only thing to do at the time—who the hell has 4 c-sections? Who the hell has four kids for that matter, certainly not someone who wasn’t even sure if she really entirely even liked children.
My uterus was adamant, basically giving me a clear and loud ultimatum—sign the tubal ligation documents or we walk, lady. Don’t make us rupture this shiznit all up in here. You will NOT be happy.
It made sense. And I used to make sense a lot. I think.
I was happy with my choice to be done at the time. D-O-N-E, DONE.
But that was before I got divorced. And remarried to my best friend.
And it was long before my ex-husband got a girlfriend and got her pregnant.
I got jealous.
I wasn’t jealous of him, or their baby, or even having another baby.
I was jealous that I would never share the experience of having a baby with the man who has given me such goodness and hope.
I wished I could give that man a part of me that could never end in dissolution.
That would go on when there was no more going on for us.
I thought about the way our cells might grow and divide into one tiny perfect shape of all the love that multiples between us. And it made wells of tenderness swell into waves.
It sounds silly, but it’s my blog so I can be silly. I wanted to touch a feeling.
I wanted to see it’s chin, to suck on the round apple of it’s cheeks and know that as much as all things must end, they strangely, randomly begin again.
But beginning again isn’t what we were given.
What we were given is a chance to change course, mid-sail.
In the middle of the night with nothing but the stars and planets and moon to guide us onward.
Can I feel jealous? Can I feel sad for what I don’t have and won’t hold?
Of course I can. I decided I can.
But I try not to. I try instead to just keep looking up.
I chart the sky for our trip and hold his hand and ride the waves.
There may only be us two on this voyage and I can’t say where we will end up. We get tossed about and turned around a lot.
But I am contented.
Because I am sure that wherever we are going is someplace warm and nice.
What would a Mike and Nicole baby look like? The world will never know, except through the magic of
And…sooooooo…..drum roll please!
It’s cute isn’t it? 🙂