Monday, July 18, 2011

Alone time

Editor's note: this piece was originally posted April 16th 2011

In the mornings and at bed time I like to lay on my side and feel the baby move. (Since I’m at the point that I could give birth at any moment and the baby would survive, I think its safe to call hir a baby instead of a fetus.)

At night, my spouse puts hir hand on my belly and we just feel our child move together.

Its amazing to me the changes that have happened just in the last few months. This child has brought many things with hir.

My spouse put off her transition journey until we could manage a viable pregnancy.

We both wanted at least one child, and we were concerned about my ability to carry a successful pregnancy without help so we didn’t want to risk the significantly lessened odds of conception via artificial insemination or in-vitro. There was also the cost factor of such a path, which we are still not sure we can afford if we want to have a second child.

That positive pregnancy test back in September made her transition a current reality.

Until that day, we were looking at a five to ten year wait before even starting hormones. That day, the wait became a year and became very very real. The change this has brought about for hir and for me has been astounding. I have never seen my spouse so happy with just existing.

Engaging in something so heavily gendered as gestation and eventual parenthood has been a serious challenge. SO many people insist on using the word “Daddy” to describe my spouse and “Mommy” to describe me, and we haven’t figured out exactly what we can say to dissuade that that doesn’t out both of us as well as explaining in detail what non-binary means.

There is the additional fear about coming out to family. My parents know about my spouse at least (I don’t have the energy to try and explain myself to them) but my spouse’s parents don’t. And we are heavily dependent on their good will for a lot of things, not the least of which being our home. Now, I don’t think that my spouse’s father would ever contemplate taking our home away from us, and while I’m fairly certain hir mother wouldn’t either, this is also the same woman that yelled the word “Kikes” in my hearing so its hard to say. The outcome of this, well...we won't know for a while.

The other change zie has brought...for the first time in my life, I love my belly. I've always been round and I've been taught to hate it because fat is evil, especially on someone that everyone assumes is a girl. Now I have a feeling so deep about what my body can DO that hating it seems like a crime. My fat, queer body can and is growing and sustaining a child, a child that is already dearly loved and wanted. Its the most mundane, yet most amazing thing I have ever done, and I can't bring myself to hate the body that's doing it all. I was also worried about the deep cultural coding of reproductive bodies as "women" considering I am not one as such. But I have found a certainty of my actual gender identity along with the ability to bring new life into the world. I don't have to be a woman to do this right.

Even with gravity making sleeping at night almost impossible, I have never felt so free of the weight of a world that doesn't recognize the existence of myself or my family. Zie's not even here, and I already owe hir so much.

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