It was a gamble.
People want to know if it was planned or an accident. The answer is neither. It was a gamble. In retrospect, what else would you expect from the daughter of the woman who conceived during her period?
This is not the first time. The first time, it was definitely an accident. All I remember from that time was horror and a colossal dose of agony. Mother nature handled that one.
In a way, now is the right time, although to use “right time” and “pregnant” in the same sentence is a fool’s game. The pandemic has taught me that I have an identity away from the cockpit, a lesson decisively necessary for the shifting priorities of a parent. The microscopic-yet-deadly COVID-19 compelled me to establish multiple streams of income, paramount to a woman with a spawn suckling at her bosom.
My 20s were a treasure chest. I travelled the globe, grew my career, learned cool stuff, studied a degree, explored worldviews, got married, and built up financial resources. To each their own, but I’m glad I was without progeny then.
Now in my 30s, I find myself host to a “parasite”, a “parasite” that occupies my waking moments and my dreams. Is she hungry? Is she nourished? Is her neck the correct length? Is she comfortable? Will she grow up to be like me?
My love for this cluster of cells is growing in direct proportion to the passing days. In equal measures to this love is the terror of losing this person I’ve never met.
What does it feel like to be pregnant, I’ve been asked.
It’s like living for another soul. It’s the knowledge that if I crash my car, two souls might perish. Nay, it’s the painful realisation that half my soul will one day gallivant the earth, forever exposed, and yet I’ll have it no other way.
It’s the delight that follows the cognisance that bones, organs, flesh — they are weaving themselves into existence as I write. The Internet tells me that at this moment, my little girl has about 7 million primitive eggs in her tiny ovary.
It’s the thrill of that tingling sensation, the sometimes gentle sometimes fierce probing of baby limbs. I have encouraged it, with a torch light and my own probing fingers — wisdom from the Internet. If it’s on the Internet it must be true.
Did I mention the urge to consume tom yum by the galloons?
Or the incessant need to pee??
I owe my baby everything. Without her consent, I’m forcing existence onto her. I’m bringing a human life into a world where suffering is the rule and justice the exception. Where civilisation is on the verge of imploding. Where a different burden weighs on your shoulders no matter where you stand on the socioeconomic spectrum. A world that might hate you not for what you’ve done, but for who you are.
Where “happiness” is the goal despite its glaring similarities to a psychiatric disorder. Like Richard Bentall wrote in the Journal of medical ethics, “Happiness meets all reasonable criteria for a psychiatric disorder. It is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, there is at least some evidence that it reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system, and it is associated with various cognitive abnormalities — in particular, a lack of contact with reality.” No doubt it was satirical, yet it is undeniable that to achieve a standard so arbitrary is idle fancy at the very least.
I’m bringing my child into a world where the collective goal is to reach a state of perceived bliss that amount to castles in the sky. Maybe sky daddy lives in that castle.
I am doing this to her. It is selfish. I’m sorry, my baby.
Yet, my child, I hope you discount the gloom of the world and see the unceasing wonder. We’ll climb mountains to catch sunrises. We’ll sail oceans of limitless possibilities. Together, let’s dive into literature and stories and ideas and theories. Slay dragons and explore the stars. Fart to the rhythm of our favourite song.
We’ll watch aircraft of every type and weight takeoff and land. Fly our own plane. Visit every surviving space shuttle and dream of the great yonder. We’ll tease our culinary palates, dig our toes into the mud at the park, dance under the rain, and make funny faces at the passing cars.
Dear baby, we can’t wait. Mummy and Daddy just can’t wait to meet you.