I may have developed an embarrassing weakness for psychics. Last year, three separate psychics told me that I’d get pregnant that November. I didn’t. You'd think that might have turned me off the fortune-telling game, but no. Just last month I found myself wandering into a New Orleans shop where an aisle of psychics waited for customers behind velvet curtains. "My" psychic told me that he can usually see a pregnancy aura when a spirit has chosen its mother. I do have a slight aura, he confessed, with one big problem – my aura radiates sparks. In other words, me, the woman who has allegedly been trying to get pregnant for two years, is shooting live fire ammunition toward the spirit who might otherwise become my child.
I’ve long felt that I’m a complicated person, but this? This takes my issues to an entirely new level.
The psychic who told me about my sparks is a kindly, rounded man who sounds every bit the Cajun that he is. He looks like the nicest kindergarten teacher you could ever have. His theory about the sparks is that I am unkind to myself – my own worst enemy. By improving my sense of self on the inside, he said, the sparks on the outside will disappear, thus allowing the baby spirit inside.
My theories are many, as you might imagine.
Theory 1: The sparks represent the fact that I am openly embarrassed about having a weakness for psychics, and also confused about the fact that I love psychic readings even though I’m not sure I believe a word of them. The sparks, in this theory, are really just evidence that the Cajun Kindergarten Teacher recognized a hostile audience.
Theory 2: The sparks represent the me who is up late writing this blog post, the me who questions and searches and seeks. She’s the one who still wants a PhD. She the one who thought she’d be an accomplished writer/activist/teacher/whathaveyou by now. She listened to cavemen Republicans in Virginia try to mandate vaginal ultrasounds before abortions and decided that on the infertility "plus side," this recent clip of three to four of those very same ultrasounds per week has made me a more informed citizen. She thinks I can do better in several areas of my life. She thinks I’m not trying hard enough. I like to think she makes me better in that way. She makes me want more, because I have the capacity to handle more. She does things that years later cause me to shake my head – how did she do that? – forgetting it was me all along. She is probably what the Cajun Kindergarten Teacher is talking about.
Theory 3: The sparks are just what happens when a non-baby person decides she wants a baby. I was not always a regular on the “TTC” Internet boards, you see. I had girlfriends who set a cutoff date for themselves, a date at which they’d use a sperm donor or be a single mom. They felt they were born to be mothers, whether a partner was involved or not. I always knew that wasn’t the right choice for me. I assumed that my biological clock would start ticking only when I found the right partner, only when the time was right to create someone who’d grow up to split our quirks and features evenly, and who’d be parented by us both. And sure enough, in the whirlwind of meeting my husband, marrying him, and moving around the country together, the idea of a little us went from a charming abstraction to something that we should probably go ahead and make. I didn’t want “a baby,” but my husband’s baby? Who’d have his eyes or hair or smarts or sense of humor? Oh, how I wanted that baby. Yet two years into trying, I’ve only recently felt what I’d describe as baby pangs when I pass a baby on the street or see one at the next table over at brunch (which usually coincides with me ordering another Bloody Mary… hmmm). Does that mean the sparks were even worse before? Or just that it’s taken me two years to get used to the idea that I'm actually ready for a child of my own?
Theories, then, but no answers. Never any answers. Our official diagnosis is Unexplained Infertility, by the way, which infuriates someone like me who likes answers. (Although Unexplained Infertility does leave room for “sparks” to be the underlying cause, I suppose… I wonder what my reproductive endocrinologist would say about that?)
I told the Cajun Kindergarten Teacher that we were a bit beyond the wishing and hoping stage, that our babymaking efforts were serious and clinical enough to preclude even the use of a carefree term like “babymaking.” His response? Keep up what we’re doing, but “invite the baby spirit in.” No matter the theory or the why or the how. Just issue an invitation. My Cajun friend also predicted an RSVP this summer.
Time will tell. Along with many more conversations with the baby spirit, of course.