Sunday, February 21, 2010

Even more on babies

I've always thought that my life would make an excellent sit-com.  There are times when I simply pause, think about how things are going, and I just want to do a laugh-or-cry thing.  Mostly cry.

My family seems to provide an endless supply of material for The Web Girl Show.  My mother and siblings and extended family are a jumble of crazy, slightly self-centered wackies.  The are also well-meaning and generous to a fault, and I love them all to pieces, but they do make me insane sometimes.  Our current crisis is: what shall we name The Child That We Don't Have.

My Mom and siblings know that we are going to do IVF, because, well, I don't see why this is shameful (big difference to me between private and shameful), and they are my family. Understanding our need for privacy and the fact that I am currently being pumped full of mood-altering hormones, they are mostly staying out of it, except for occasionally emailing me some annoying article about assisted fertility or (equally annoying) asking how things are going.  But this week, my Mom called.

"I've been thinking about what you should call the baby."
"Mom, there is no baby yet.  There might not be a baby.  Can we not have this conversation now?"
"You need to think about these things.  There will be a baby, God willing.  Don't worry about that."

Good grief.

So if The Child That We Don't Have is a boy, his name is a no-brainer.  My Dad passed away several years ago and naming a son after him would be an incredible comfort to me.  No one expects me to do any differently.  My husband totally agrees.  My father also had a very nice name.  I sometimes think it would be weird to call my son by my father's name, because that when I say it, I think of no one but my father.  But I'm sure that will pass with time.

Given that if the The Child That We Don't Have is a male, his name is not really negotiable, I told my husband that if the The Child That We Don't Have is a female, he could pick the name (but I still retain veto power).  Truth is, most of my relatives that have passed away already have descendants with their names...same thing on my husband'sside.  Picking a daughter's name doesn't seem that urgent to me, as long as it's a pretty, meaningful, Jewish name.

Enter Mom.  Mom has a list.  A list of female, deceased relatives after whom we are not to name The Child That We Don't Have.  Some very definite ideas of female, deceased relatives after whom we are to name The Child That We Don't Have, in a very definite order (first name, middle name).  My Mom doesn't make that many requests of me, and I'm a little torn up about this.  I"m sort of pushing the whole thing aside, as frankly, the IVF issue alone has me so tense and nervous, that I'm not even thinking about the aftermath.  When I tell my husband about this, he laughs and says he hopes this will be our biggest problem.

I can sometimes visualize The Child That We Don't Have.  It's sort of genderless and very cute, a total love magnet.  I can picture myself lugging it to shul in one of those jogger strollers.  I can picture us bringing it home from the hospital, losing myself in being its mother, not giving a damn about work or the stock market or clients or bills.  I can picture skyping his/her little image to my Mom and in-laws.  I can picture a lot of things, when I let myself.  I don't often let myself.  Statistically, my chances of having The Child That We Don't Have are not too great.

I have never been so scared in my whole life.

1 comment:

MK said...

Ah yes, the baby name game. After 13 years without children, I can totally sympathize. My father a"h wanted us to name a girl after his mother, but we (I mostly) refused for the foolish reason that I didn't like her. I feel bad about it every time I think of him, but I don't regret the choice we did make.
My wife choose the names for our first twins. I figured after what she'd been through, she deserved to get both names. The next baby, my mother-in-law pleaded with me to name her after her mother. Now she admitted she was being "piggy", but that this would be the only oppertunity for her mother to have a "name". So I said to her, "OK, but the next one is mine.". Now after 13 years and uncounted procedures, etc. our chances of another one baby were slim-to-none. But Hashem was very good to us, and we had another baby girl. Naturally. No doctors. No drugs. No procedures. We call her our "miracle" baby. (Not that they all aren't miracles). I firmly believe that we were granted this gift because I gave my mother-in-law her wish.

Chazal say that naming babies involves a bit of n'vuah, so don't worry about the name, it'll come to you. Soon.