I just read a sweet little post about a young couple learning that they are (I mean, she is) pregnant. She describes in vague detail how they bought the drug store pregnancy tests and how they determined that the highway rest stop was not the best place to take them. The blog had dozens of congratulatory comments – pages and pages of comments actually, which I declined to read in full.
Last week, a friend and colleague also announced that his wife is pregnant. I wrote an email to congratulate him. When he responded, “It’s a miracle,” my immediate response was “no it’s not.” Except, I didn’t actually respond, not out loud and not in writing. Just in my head. I didn’t want to come across as being a bitter old hag. It’s just that
Obviously I take getting pregnant for granted. I’ve known far more people who got pregnant by mistake, unintentionally, than people who weren’t able to get pregnant when they tried. I don’t think it’s a miracle – I think it’s the organic and scientific result of an instinctual human act. You don’t need the blessing of some made-up figure in the sky to make it happen. I bet many atheists have conceived babies, wanted or unwanted, for better or for worse.
I clicked on the twitter page of the author of the blog above and her feed was full of “thank you!s” and “we’re so excited!” I believe them, and am happy for them – but feel like this can be a little bit of an overreaction. The decision to have a child (or not) is a very personal one, as is the process. If I’m bitter over this issue, watching folks hatch little ones left and right around me, then it was a premature bitterness. I knew early – age 5 – that this was no baby-bearing-body. Maybe, actually, I’m just bitter that there hasn’t been an outpouring of felicitations over my decision to control the world’s population. “Hey, everyone! I’m NOT having a baby! I’m making a smart and responsible decision!” Really, don’t we think there are enough people on the globe already? And in some ways I think
There is something egotistical and narcissistic to have the desire to reproduce oneself. Only on my very best days do I think that’s a reasonable thought, and even then, I haven’t ever taken it seriously.