The contradictions of motherhood

I am working on a video essay right now (for a class) about how I once was ambivalent about motherhood. The essay is about this one moment that Marta and I shared while in the hospital waiting for our sperm to be “thawed and counted.” We were given a buzzer to hold while waiting for the sperm and we sat there on a bench in the hospital with the buzzer between us and I remember, in that moment, being acutely aware of that fact that my life was about to change hard core.

Heterosexuals don’t have this luxury. Sure, they may decide that they want to have a baby, but they still don’t think about the weight of that decision every time they have sex. But if you are lesbian couple and you have paid some $2,000 to get your donated sperm thawed and counted and then inseminated into one of you, you are paralyzingly aware of the implications of that decision.

Marta was aware in a pleased and excited way. I was aware in an oh-shit-do-I-really-want-my-life-to-change way.

Which is what the video essay is about.

But making the video has been harder than I thought. Not because I am completely technically inept (this is also true), but because every time I go looking for pictures of Nico or us with Nico to use in the video, I get all weepy, all tightening of my chest, all totally and completely sappy feeling and not at all near that state of ambivalence that I was in before we had Nico and especially before Nico grew up to be the mini-child wonder she is today.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:IMG_0186

I am, just to clarify, still ambivalent about being a mother. It’s hard work and you have less time to yourself and you don’t sleep and you have to do really boring, repetitive things that your child thinks are really exciting.

But in return you have that child. A child who was once so fucking small and still is small and who makes me cry just by thinking about her and how sweet and small and funny she is (which is what I am doing in a cafe right now…ironically while Prince’s “When Dove’s Cry” plays)

I am not ambivalent about her.

4 thoughts on “The contradictions of motherhood

  1. I’m always struck by how different the thoughts and emotions surrounding conception between straight individuals are. I wonder what it must be like to just lose yourself in that moment of conception (or even not having thought about what’s happening in that moment) instead of sitting in a waiting room considering thawed sperm and deliberately turning life upside down. That said, thank goodness for our daughters!


    • I know! It’s nice to be able to have sex without fear of pregnancy. But then when you want to get pregnant it’s a pain in the butt.


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