My Christmas Day this past year started out lovely. I have always been ambivalent about the holiday, having grown up Buddhist and with a birthday the day after Christmas. However this year brought a few blessings: It was my year to have my children as outlined in my divorce decree; my sister was in town with my nephew and hosting dinner at my house; and I had very recently learned that I was pregnant.
While this was very much a wanted and planned pregnancy, it seemed serendipitous that it came in time for my 40th birthday, the mystical deadline age for pregnancy after fertility has taken a nosedive. I’d made it just in time; everything seemed to be falling into place.
Being the mom of two now 17- and 12-year-olds has been my greatest joy. But for many years, I’d waited and pined away to friends about having another baby. As a trained doula and reproductive justice expert, I couldn’t wait to be giving birth and parenting with the knowledge and wisdom I have acquired since my last pregnancy. At the same time, my relationship status with my would-be co-parent had been alternating between deep love, friendship, and profound differences in values that would require an entire book about self-worth to describe. Even though I know intimately well that babies don’t save relationships, this seemed to finally be a resolution to the perpetual uncertainty. More than the wedding guest list document we’d created, this was permanent. Or so it seemed.