Thursday, May 24, 2007

Other Mothers

I’ve been reading online last night and today different things written about Mary Cheney, her partner Heather Poe and their new baby.

I was most surprised at the vehemence to refer to only Mary as the parent. After all, it was written over and over again, she gave birth. Heather is really… nobody to the baby.

Ouch.

I gave birth to two of our children. After that, the womb was closed, I was done. I could not stand to be pregnant one more time. I love my kids, the ability to carry them was a blessing, yada yada yada, but with both pregnancies I had complications. The hormones fooled me once into thinking it would be different a second time, but they did not fool me twice.

I had the chance, the third time, to be the other mother. It was, at times, annoying to have a pregnant wife who thought she was suffering more than ANY WOMAN IN THE UNIVERSE could have ever suffered, including me. There was the time she decided to bring home a puppy for the kids even though I kept saying, no, we can’t get a dog. The dog came home because you cannot talk to pregnant women. My calm, cool, even keeled wife screamed at me on the top of her lungs from time to time because I did ridiculous things like breathing or sleeping through the night and not having to pee.

How could I? And then she’s cry and cry.

I learned how to say, I am wrong. SO WRONG. Can I go get you a banana split?

It was, at times, for me the most powerful pregnancy of all three of our kids. To watch the baby kick and stretch out my wife’s belly was a beautiful sneak peek of tiny toes. To witness his gyrations on the ultrasound when I could not feel them myself, mesmerizing. I ended up getting in the best shape of my adult life mainly because every time I watched her waddle, hand on hip, seven, eight, nine months pregnant, I was ecstatic my body was free. Free to exercise, free to lie flat on my back, free to drink diet coke. No one stared at me when I had a glass of wine with dinner.

I was just as pregnant, I just wasn’t pregnant.

Which is what the world seems to be having such a hard time grappling with Mary and Heather’s baby. Heather gave birth, too. She doesn’t have stretch marks and she doesn’t think her vagina is broken, broken broken right now like Mary does, but that doesn’t make her less than a parent. The right wing media can take all the pictures of Dick and Lynne with young Sam as they want and try to ignore Heather’s role. People can argue what her place on the family tree should be labeled until the cows come home.

Or Mary’s milk comes in which is a whole other level of experience I was glad to witness and not have to go through with my third child.

I’m no fan of Mary Cheney and Heather Poe. I think the politics they have supported work hard against families like mine, and now like their own. The Republican party viciously serves up gay families as food for the Christian conservatives.

But Heather is the other mother.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Molly said...

That makes no sense at all. These same people aren't going around saying fathers aren't part of the family because they didn't give birth to the kid. Won't it throw them into a tizzy if Heather gives birth next?

I wonder what these people think of adoptive families? Or stepfamilies?

I probably don't really want to know the answer, for it would make me stabby.

9:39 AM  

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