My daughter will probably never become a mother. The idea guts me. So I try not to think about it. But it’s hard to ignore the facts when your kid is patting your neighbour’s pregnant belly saying, “Dare’s a baby in dare? Awwwww. I can’t wait to see your baby. I’m going to have a baby too.”
For weeks since my daughter found out this new baby was on the way, she’s been walking around with her rubber Dora ball tucked up inside her shirt, rubbing her tummy saying, “I’m going to be a mummy! I’m just pretending, but when I’m big I’ll have a baby, right Mummy?”
Knowing how amazing it is to be a mother, the thought of her never having the privilege, stings. I squash those thoughts as soon as they enter my head.
But, the thoughts are harder to ignore when you’re faced with them head on. As my daughter Avery waddled around the kitchen, back arched, smiling wide, telling her big brother that her baby is a girl named Little Avery, my son asked me under his breath, “Mum, CAN she have a baby? Like, do you think she will?”
He waited expectantly (pardon the pun) for an answer. I gave him one — the answer our geneticist gave us. But first let me say, I never asked the doctor for this information. Avery was not yet two years old at the time and the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. At that point we were focusing on keeping her alive, trying to get her stronger and healthy.
When the geneticist added, “And if one day she is cognitively able to consider motherhood, we’ll address it because obviously with her chromosome deletion she won’t be able to conceive using her eggs.”
Hearing that, especially delivered as a casual after thought, caught my husband and I completely off guard.
I explained to my son that one day if Avery wants to start a family, she would have to get some help. Since her chromosome deletion is present throughout her DNA, she would likely pass it along. But maybe by the time she’s in her child rearing years, there might be something that can be done scientifically to prevent that.
“I get that,” he said. “The genetic part. But will she be able to be a mom? Will she be smart enough?”
And gutted once again.
To be honest, I’ve wondered the same. Our daughter has greatly exceeded what everyone predicted she would be able to do. Who are we to say what she will and will not be capable of one day? We just don’t know for sure.
What I do know for certain is that she’s the warmest, kindest person. This kid is all heart — she loves hugs, and helping, and animals and people, especially baby ones. If she does become a mother one day, her child will be incredibly loved.
So when Avery tells me she’s going to be a mummy like me, I smile and silently tell the nagging doubting disappointed worries in my head to shut up.
If my girl can’t become a mother in the traditional sense, it could certainly happen for her in another way.
She might be mama to fur babies. She already is.
Or she might find happiness working in a daycare nurturing all kinds of kids.
Maybe she’ll fill the role of “best aunt ever.”
Perhaps she’ll adopt.
There are many, many ways to experience motherhood.
I’m just so incredibly grateful that I get to experience it as her mom.
Originally published on ymc.ca