“History goes to those who leave stuff.” ~ meHave you ever noticed that biographies and documentaries are most often about people who leave a paper trail or a video trail or photo trail? Coincidence? I think not.
Motherhood Isn't Always a Choice
For years, Tamara Linse wanted to have a baby, and she could get pregnant, just couldn't stay pregnant. So "choosing" to have kids isn't always that simple.
As I read the recent article “Having It All Without Children” in Time magazine, I was struck time and again with the word choice. Women choose to have children, while other women choose not to. Some variation of the word occurs throughout the article.
Choice is not a word I would have applied to motherhood in 1998. I was 29, and my husband and I had been married for five years. We wanted to wait to have children until we paid off our car payments and student loans, both of us working two jobs, and had remodeled the early 20th century Victorian we bought the year we married. We were nesting. We didn’t think of it that way, but there’s no other way to put it.
I should take a step back. Growing up, I was not a baby person. I was the youngest of seven, so there weren’t a lot of babies around for me to take care of. I didn’t gravitate toward babies, but I liked them, and I always thought I’d have a couple. Of course I would: My mom had had seven, and one of my sisters had seven, along with four step-children.
But then, at age 29, my husband and I lost our first baby at six months’ gestation. I went to that particular appointment by myself, and so I was alone when the matronly OB/GYN told me that the ultrasound showed no heartbeat. She had this look in her eye I will never forget. Compassion and empathy, certainly, but also a withdrawal, as if I had something, as if I were something that she had to protect herself against, the emotional equivalent of crossing herself.