Thursday, 8 October 2009

I Will Never Have a Daughter

Girls become lovers
who turn into mothers
So mothers,
be good to your daughters too.

- John Mayer

Last year I had a secret that I told nobody. If Dave had died, I was going to get my fertility clinic to test the embryos, and I was going to get pregnant with a girl.

Obviously I wasn't rational ... but I kept thinking about our eight frozen embryos ... wondering if any of them is a little girl with red hair. It was a way that I could carry on Daves genes ... and I have bullshitted myself all these years that girls don't need their fathers, so I'm sure if I did indeed have this girl baby, she would be fine with having no dad. (!!)

Immediately after Rocco's birth, I wanted another baby straight away anyway. Probably because his birth was so emotionally dreadful. I would tell my sisters, "Oh, I'm so clucky again! I wish I could have three babies! Four!" They both looked at me like the incredible fucked up loon I was at the time.

A few weeks ago, I was in a cafe with some friends. They asked me if I was ever going to have any more children ... I grabbed a fork out of one of their hands and pretended to stab myself in the eye, then I dramatically slumped to the ground in mock death, groaning. Lucky they own the cafe, or I would have been asked to leave.

"No. Motherfucking. Way."

Apparently, a healthy dose of cancerous tumours + a screaming baby with sleep issues will break your clucker. Forever.


I am done. It feels nice to be done ... done in the way I wasn't after Max was born. The decision to not have another child back then was made in the form of Daves vasectomy ..... well, his balls weren't safe, sperm was extracted, Rocco was created, and our lifes subsequently went to hell in a handbasket.

I am really, really done. I see babies or pregnant bellies and I think, "Thank God that's not me." Which means, that I will never have a daughter. No brushing of hair .... no shared bond, no cute clothes. No talking about guys, talking about boobs, hiring of chick flicks together. No teaching her how to be a woman, how to dress, how to shave your legs, how to save yourself until you really love the guy .... how to love yourself.

All the things I wasn't taught.

Aside: parenting your children properly when you yourself weren't parented properly is HARD. It's like I need a medal every time I don't yell, or don't hit, or don't belittle. And sometimes the Yucky Mum breaks through and I do yell, scare somebody, hurt somebodys feelings. And I feel like the worst mother in the world. I talk about it, say sorry, say that it's hard being a mum .... but I know I do damage sometimes. Does everyone? Don't we all fuck up our kids in some way? Bueller?

So .. I will never have a daughter. I honestly don't care. In fact, I'm relieved.

When I was born, I was "supposed" to have been a boy. I must have known, when I was all crouched up in my mothers womb. I must have looked down, and realised, dang! No penis! Uh-oh! As Jack Nicholson said in Batman ... "What til they get a loadda me."

I came out the spitting image of my real father. I still am - apparently I even walk like him. Tall and lithe and redhaired and totally, utterly alcoholic. When I drank, in my twenties .... I felt close to him. Like I understood something about him.

But he did not understand me, and did not even want to. I was the boy he never had, and he kind of had not much interest. He had interest in his first two girls, my twin sisters. I was 12 when he died. This has left a gaping hole in me so wide - so fucking wide that I can't even SEE it because it covers everything over so I forget it's there. I watch Dave try to forge a better relationship with his daughter and I wish so hard my own father gave enough of a shit to that with me. Alas ... it's all grist for the mill, now.

I've carried gender disappointment in me my whole life. I wanted a boy when I was pregnant with Max, and I wanted a boy when I was pregant with Rocco. Having a girl terrified me in ways I cannot understand, probably due to my own girl-hood, and the terrible relationship I had with my mother. I wonder why it would scare me so? It's probably fun, to have a daughter. It's probably really cool. But I'll never know and I never want to know. Before she had her beautiful baby girl, the awesome Aunt Becky from Mommy Wants Vodka used to call it "Life in the sausage factory" .. and it is. Four boys and me, in this house. All burps and farts and filthy jokes - the boys do some of that too.

I automatically assume that all men must secretly want boys, that having girls are a huge letdown. It's like, I'm a gay homophobe, feeling all these terrible things about my own sex. Like I'm letting the team down. It probably speaks volumes about what I actually think of myself.

No girl for me. It's good .... it means I can take care of the one inside me, hold her hand as she navigates adulthood with no fucking idea of what she's supposed to be doing.
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