The Rabbit Hole

15 Jan

When I have too much time on my hands, I end up in the Rabbit Hole of voyeuristically reading and mourning other people’s sad losses. It’s a terrible habit, but it always starts with reading an innocuous parenting or infertility blog. And then I find myself reading about miscarriages, still births and terminally ill children. By then I usually confess to Cait that I have worked myself into a state of self-imposed grief and she threatens to ban me from the internet.

Some of this aimless searching opened a window into the infertility world for me, and in many ways it was comforting. Because even though all of the dykes I knew were getting knocked up right away, it was helpful to read about others who took months or years to conceive — especially when they eventually succeeded. And so far, I am lucky that our story seems to be following a happy trajectory. I am more than four months pregnant. We are expecting a baby in June.

But I wish it was that simple. All of the tragedy I have read about has given me a myopic view of reality. Every time a reach a new milestone (17 weeks tomorrow!), I can easily pull up a story that I’ve read of someone who lost a pregnancy even later. And now a friend’s blog has pointed me to a website dedicated to a 2.5 year-old little girl whose two mothers are coping with her terminal brain cancer. This couple is in Toronto. We probably know people in common. It feels so close to home. The queer parenting community is not that big.

In some ways, reading these sad stories only underlines the fragility of parenting for me. I elected not to do the IPS testing, largely because I know that I ultimately can’t control the outcome. We took a giant risk when we decided to create a life and from now on, we will never really be “safe.” That’s the point. Love is risky and exquisitely beautiful.

I try not to spend too long lingering on other people’s tragedies. But these stories put so much into perspective. They remind me of what is important and how I want to raise and nurture a child. But now, I am thinking of little Stella and her moms. I am so grateful that they are sharing their experiences and documenting her life for all of us to read. Their strength is inspiring. I only hope Cait and I can become half the parents that they are. Life is too short to do anything else.

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