Two

P & G have just turned two. Our friend Tess who has a kid born on the exact same day sent us some birthday wishes saying ‘Happy Birthday to the kids. Times flies by, doesn’t it?’. Wishes were answered as follows by a dead serious DH: ‘Thanks for the wishes. No, time does not fly. I felt every second of it.’Time does not fly indeed; it almost stands still in fact. However, the twins turning two made me reminisce a couple of things. I remembered the day I got inseminated. I was given a picture of the two chosen 5-days blastocysts, early stage embryos, by oddly emotional fertility nurses.My first thought was: ‘they look like unused condoms; it is weird‘. My second was:’So here are the winners of the race for the fittest, huh?’. I was also given a little plastic round dish in which the blastocysts have been carried around since leaving their ‘pool of creation’. It was tiny, simple, made of cheap plastic and thus very deceptive. Not only the contents cost thousands of dollars but were anything but simple. It was the result of unbelievable scientific prowess. Indeed, not in a million years I ever thought that one day my whole body and menstruation cycles were going to be taken over by a bunch of strangers with white blouses and plastic gloves. Since my fertility treatment, I have been loathing movies about women getting preggers after a one night stand. They basically say ‘girls watch out. If you drink or sneeze for that matter you can get knocked up despite the condom’. Are they for real?? I suspect what these movies are really trying to say is ‘girls, don’t do casual sex. You will suffer the consequences’. Because of course in these movies, not only girls get knocked up by batting their eyelashes in front of random guys but they also ALWAYS keep the babies. Like in real life, right?
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I also remembered the day when fetuses both started to move and swirl inside my belly: it looked and felt like a scene from ‘Alien’. Try to imagine that while being actually sober 4 knees and 4 elbows are poking out in your belly. I think my child free sisters are still haunted by this memory. Even my ‘ boyz in the hood’ brothers shrieked. That is when I realized that I was not going to regain control over my brain and my body for another while. After the ‘sleek Scientists’, the ‘swimming Fetuses’ claimed ownership and decided when I was going to eat, sleep or go all hormonal on DH. They decided I did no longer like garlic, onions, red wine, hot chilli peppers…and eggplant.
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I remembered the day when we came home leaving our comfy maternity private room for which we slashed our savings so we could get nurses schlepping for us. DH and I put down the car seats with the babies inside in the middle of our,then, uncluttered living room. We looked at each other. DH asked: ‘what are we doing now?’ and I answered flatly:’I have no fucking idea.’ Note: this exchange still holds; we repeat the exact same words at least twice a week. Only the tone changes: bored, impatient, angry, depressed…
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I remembered all those moments. However, strangely the days I thought the most about in the last week are all those times when DH and I argued, bickered, agreed, disagreed about whether to grow our family or not. We had postponed THE conversation for years. Because we could not procreate, it was easy to do so. It was easier to tell other people (and ourselves) that I could not have children rather than say ‘I don’t think I want children’. It is simpler to talk about potential fertility tests than justify a different choice for your life. Eventually we did have these talks though. And boy once the pandora box opened, everything started flying out: the known, the assumed, the unexpected and the ugly. I thought about a family boat outing during which out of nowhere I told DH: ‘I don’t trust you to be a fit father. You are too self-centered and I will not be a sacrificial lamb. I don’t want children. Will you stay? Bla, bla, bla…’. (Note: I still regret these words). At this point I was not sure if he was going to a- throw me out of the boat, b- ask for a divorce or c-do both. The truth, after months of agonizing self-reflection, finally came out: I was petrified. Petrified that once with children, I would never be able to walk out. I don’t do unrequited or selfless love. But isn’t this the plight of every single parent? Children can hate you, belittle you but you just stay there and smile. There is no way out. And then one day, I woke up and said to DH: ‘I am fine now. Let’s do this.’ I am not sure exactly why I changed my mind. Perhaps because I finally truly believed that if the treatments failed, we would still be happy. Perhaps because us having children was a real choice.
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So, when G & P ransacked the living room an hour before their birthday party, pulled each other’s hair over some dirty cardboard or splashed their faces with the water from the toilet bowl I reminded myself that I, ME and MYSELF chose this. And when they blew together their candles shaped ‘2’ completely ecstatic in front of their friends and with sparkling eyes, I thought ‘I am not sure if they were the fittest but they sure do fit’. 
G & P

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