Who says what?

Novelist, mother, minister, and yoga teacher muses on books, babies, motherhood, and what matters with reverent humor.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Who Knew It Could Be So Hard?

Just finished reading a fantastic memoir: Waiting for Daisy.

Peggy Orenstein manages to be heartbreaking and hilarious as she retells her SIX year saga to have a child. Despite the fact that my reality of child-conceiving has been completely different, I adored this book.

In the first place, it's a fascinating treatise on the idea of motherhood itself--choosing it, not choosing it, fear of it, delaying it, aching for it. In the second place, I had NO idea the real ins and outs of fertility medication/procedure, and it really blew my mind. (The urine of virgin nuns comes to mind as one surprising piece of the "get pregnant" recipe.)

If you have any mother friends who are struggling trying, or have in the past, give them this book. It's hard for me to imagine that anyone could have a harder time than Orenstein (though I'm sure it happens), and she has such a good perspective on her own craziness.

Maybe that's why I liked it. I like people who can make fun of their own neuroses. (Although lying in bed waiting for a thunderstorm this morning and NOT sleeping for worry was not very funny. But it is true that ever since I got electrocuted by the washing machine during a lightening storm, I've developed a touch of a phobia.)

Getting back to the topic, though, some of the questions Orenstein raises I really like:
Are women waiting too long to have babies?
Will a career ever fulfill a woman in the way a child can?
How far would YOU go to have a child? (A good, imaginative exercise for those of us who occasionally want to give our children to those virgin nuns who pee into cups.)
Did the feminists ruin us with too high expectations?
If you never had children, would that be okay with you?


  1. You're scared of storms, too? So am I (of course). I could list all the stuff I am scared of but I think it would be easier to list the stuff I am NOT scared of.

    Sunday night it looked like it was going to storm bad ... or the world was going to end. (Yah, that's my anxiety REALLY kickin' in). My husband said he wanted to go out to the store real quick and decided he should do it before the storm arrived. Well, as soon as he left the house, the storm "arrived" and it was a mean one. You would think since I have my daughter I could behave like a normal human for her, but put to the test I found out I couldn't. I called my husband in hysterics, telling him the "tornado" was coming and that he needed to get back to the house so at least we could all die in the same location. He did come home, but not right away. He finished his shopping first as his rational mind over-ruled my irrational one.

  2. That's hilarious Stacey--although I know all too well how unhilarious that must have been for you! We've had a couple of "tornados" around here. Once even a "tsunami!" On the bright side, my son is old enough that I really do get to act brave. In fact, he helps me be brave.
    Anyway...thanks for sending that. I am really still giggling--with self-recognition!