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Monthly Archives: July 2012

When I was 15 I watched my sister give birth. It was an accident, mostly. I was standing nearest to her when her contractions got bad and she secured a death grip on my hand making it impossible for me to get away. Believe me, I tried.

Whoever tells you that birth is a beautiful experience is a liar. I remember blood and screaming and not being able to close my hand into a fist for the next week. Beyond that, I’ve tried really hard to block the details out. If I could have fainted without pissing my sister off, I probably would have. A woman in labor is not someone you want to cross.

For years I held this horror close to my heart, convinced that there was no way I would put myself through that. I diligently took my birth control; cheered every month when the signs appeared telling me that I was, thankfully, without child.

And then I met a boy. He wasn’t like all the other boys that had come before him. He got me thinking that maybe – maybe – a baby wasn’t such a terrible idea. In 2010 we got married. A year later we started trying to get pregnant.

We’re still trying.

Irony is a real bitch.

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Habitation
by Margaret Atwood

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent

it is before that, and colder:

The edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn

where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far

we are learning to make fire