This past Saturday I attended Bientôt Bébe, the hospital’s prenatal course, at the Royal Victoria where I will be delivering my baby sometime very soon. I was THE only single woman there among a sea of a dozen couples. The nurse who was leading the course didn’t seem used to having single women in the class and her language the entire day was focussed on the couple. When it came time to practice massage during labour, I was the “lucky” contestant called to the stage to be her guinea pig.
Fortunately, I have thick skin about this stuff. Even still, as we watched the video in which the husband was incredibly supportive during labour (many friends who are mothers would say this is the exception), I found myself feeling sad and very on my own. Certainly, I would love to to sharing the birthing process and my newborn with a loving partner and father. Ultimately though, I chose to have a baby myself because it didn’t feel right to create a family with any of the men I have been in relationships with. As I have told many friends, I have a lot of confidence that I will someday be sharing my child with a loving partner. I am just doing it backwards out of biological necessity. Perhaps my love life will unfold in keeping with this kookie horoscope a friend sent me earlier this week:
“CANCER (June 21-July 22): Your love story has elements of a farce mixed
with a soap opera, fairy tale, and ghost story. For a normal human being,
it might be too intense and convoluted to deal with; it requires so much
willing suspension of disbelief and involves so much letting go of certainty
that no one in their right mind would agree to its demands. Luckily, you’re
not a normal human being these days, and you’re not particularly in your
right mind. That’s why I say unto you: Ride this snaky tale for all it’s
worth. Enjoy every plot twist and riddle as if you’ve been given an epic
myth you can ponder and learn from for the next ten years. Happy
Valentine Daze, Cancerian!”
The flip side to this “woe is me” perspective above is that I have been showered with support through my fertility journey and particularly though my pregnancy. I cannot tell you if I have had more support as a single woman than a woman in a couple would have had but I suspect the answer is YES.
If you read my last post, you know I like to make lists. I would love to make comprehensive list of all the support I have had just to see it for myself but I will surely forget to acknowledge someone. Instead I will talk in slightly more general terms: Two close friends hosted baby showers for me in Toronto and Montreal respectively. My Toastmasters group also held a “baby shower” themed evening; another close friend attended many medical procedures with me and will be with me in labour too; my dad flew up to Montreal last week from Charlottetown to do house projects and my aunt had flown up earlier and help me get organized; friends have done everything from sort baby clothes hand me downs to moving furniture and have even painted the baby room from top to bottom; other friends and my sister gave me maternity clothes (and baby clothes); my landlord has been shovelling all the snow; some of my clients have sent gifts; my mom is flying up on my due date to help me for 3 weeks! And I even received a baby book in the mail from my favourite blogger Penelope Trunk, who said I didn’t really qualify for her book give away offer because my baby wasn’t even born yet and then proceeded to send me a lovely book with a yellow bow anyway!
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