Thursday, August 03, 2006

Now You'll Get Pregnant!

So, I love my dad and stuff, but somewhere soon after he found out we are planning on adopting, he laid the, "Just watch, now you'll get pregnant!" line on me. Now, yes, I have had a miscarriage*, but The Hub and I have never worked to get pregnant, and I've been on birth control for about ten years, and my dad knows this. So why would he assume that adopting was going to cure some supposed infertility? (I may be, who knows, but at this time we figure that biological babies could be in our future, and we are planning on knocking me up in two years or so.)

After reading many other accounts of adoptive mums having heard this same thing**, I'm going to guess that this is just another thing people say when they can't quite wrap their minds around adoption. Maybe adoption and its many incarnations are just too vast for the brain to absorb. Maybe "Now you'll get pregnant!" is some reflexive outburst like closing your eyes when you sneeze. Maybe the myth of adoption-as-cure is so ingrained that people can't help but say it, even in cases like me and my dad when there's been no evidence to suggest that pregnancy is desired.

Anyhow, here goes my best recollection about that conversation:
Dad: NYGP!
This is where my mother turns the tsk-tsk sound into my father's name: Laa-rry! He also gets the evil eye.
Maer: Wow. That's a crappy thing to say, Dad. I don't know what to say to you right now.
Dad: Huh?
Maer: Well, you know how excited we are about adopting, right?
Dad: Yes, we're all very excited, I was just saying...
Maer: Are you going to love an adopted grandchild less than another? Because instead of talking about the plans we're making now to have children, which is what the rest of us are bouncing off the walls talking about, you're bringing up something entirely different.
Dad: Oh.
This is where I heat up the Guilt Hot Rod, thankya very much.
Maer: So if you'd rather have biological grandchildren instead, if that's what you're trying to say, just let me know, so at least I know what's on your mind while we're figuring this out. NYGP is about the same as turning the hose on us, because the two things have nothing to do with each other, and because it makes it sound like that's what you'd like better. If I'd told you I'd gone off the NuvaRing and The Hub and I were trying all sorts of new positions and he's eliminating hot baths, then you could say NYGP. Until then, crappy.
Short silence, during which my father goes inside the house to fix himself a drink, probably bemoaning all that effort they'd put into teaching me how to speak, then Mom and I start talking about adoption books and parenting classes. Enter Dad from upstage.
Dad: That was a crappy thing to say.
Maer: That's okay, Dad. You like to say things you think are funny, and usually they are, but sometimes you're an idiot. Is that drink for me?

See? Guilt and shame can be your friends. Use them! Someone might even bring you a cocktail!

Anyhow, after reading so many stories of women who came to adoption during or after getting laid out on the infertility railroad tracks, I started to think about how upsetting it was for me to hear it, and how it would probably be about five thousand, four hundred, seventy-two times worse to hear it if adoption were not my first choice method to build my family. I guess all there is to do is stop the asshattery one Captain and Coke at a time. Or key people's cars. Whichever works best for you.

*My miscarriage was a pretty wacky thing, as I had been on birth control, and had been getting my period at the correct intervals over the 13 weeks or so I was pregnant. During those weeks, I drank, had heat exhaustion, went to Mexico, caught worms from the horse I took care of and took deworming pills, drank a bottle of NyQuil during the flu, swallowed diet pills, changed the cat's litterbox, and all sorts of other things you shouldn't do while you're pregnant. Plus, I was still on birth control. I found out I had been pregnant after I'd started miscarrying when I went to the ER because on (what I thought was) an especially crampy day five of my period, the blood started flowing like free beer on tap, which made me faint, which caused me to hit my head on the coffee table, which then required stitches. The Hub was out of town, so my mom came and brought me to the hospital, where all was revealed over the next 9 hours. I remember yelling at my sister, who showed up around hour 3, telling her to stop crying and to get out of the room when the doctor confirmed I was having a miscarriage. I remember the Demerol. It made the acoustic tile ceiling turn from aqua to pink to yellow, and I saw trails. I would highly recommend Demerol to anyone who finds out she was-but-isn't-anymore 3 months pregnant.

** I'm reading lots and lots of blogs, lots of Foster/Adopt, lots of IA. I'm fascinated by all the different routes there are and want to learn about them, without my own LID. There are a lot of funny, great moms and on-paper moms out there, and I like to read their stories, as it detracts from my own land of the lost situation. But there are a lot of us out there in one stage or another, and they are making this process so much easier. For a while there, I was thinking that in order to get my Mom Card, I'd have to start wearing pleated pants with tapered legs, start denouncing gay marriage, have my hair frosted, and keep a box of white zinfandel in my fridge. I'm not so scared as I was a few months ago, before finding these other women's stories. So, you know, thanks.


Queenbee said...

Oh, my pet peeve of all comments. I get this one all time. Now that we are closer to getting termination on parental rights and adoption is just around the corner, people are saying, "watch, as soon as you get TPR you'll get pregnant." BLAH! I'm thinking of getting "I don't want to get pregnant" tattooed on my forhead!

Margaret said...

Being single has it's advantages. I'll never get that particular comment! But I have gotten my fair share of other asshat comments, that's for sure.

kate said...

we had the third degree from social workers regarding 'getting pregnant'. I can have children but chose (after our first child) to adopt - it was something we wanted to do. However, they made such a blooming song and dance about us not having another baby. I kept saying that I didn't want one, but that because I was able to conceive, I couldn't 100% say that it wouldn't happen - even though I REALLY didn't want to have one and would use 100 different methods of contraception to stop it happening.

We adopted our daughter from foster care when she was 2. We felt like kidnappers actually because she was very happy there and had been there since she was two weeks old. However, it's so BRILLIANT and she's now 8 years.

Good for you - I really hope it all goes swimmingly for you.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog! I'm one of those "placement workers" in another region, so it's always enlightening to see things from the other side and see how things are happening in other parts of the state. Hang in there-

Maerlowe said...

The person/people who write up kids' profiles in your district should teach a class to some of the other regions' writers. Those few paragraphs are important, and I've found myself interested in more kids out of your region than any other. At first I couldn't figure out why, then I recalled what a language-tramp I am, and it made sense.

All I'm saying is, it is pretty hard to start imagining life with a child when the last sentence of his profile reads, "He has no known medical problems or deformities."

I hope I haven't scared you too much, I don't just complain all the time.