A year ago a small creature that was nesting inside me, left — with nothing tangible but some tiny pawprints on a piece of hospital card. And last night, so did another.
I couldn’t talk about it before because — hell I’m not a woman, not even clearly a human. I am trans-something, trans-everything. And I so struggled to find the words to consider, how I might be a parent or steward, but never a mother. What to do if you believe in making kin not babies, and yet suddenly your meat puppet turns into a factory? As a multi-gendered not-woman creature, I don’t qualify for any of the categories of parenthood that are on offer and so i kept this journey to myself and my closest.
But incubating has been remarkable and i cant shut up anymore, chimera that i am. I want to be here with and for any other gender different humans experiencing or treading carefully but alone here. Never have I rallied more against imposed gender as I did when gestating. So I want to be here with those who incubated otherwise. Who cooked transiently and amazingly. Who’s journeys must be so common, yet less shared, less seen.
Loving the short lived
Why is there no way to celebrate incubation unless life is the result? Transient life is still valuable. We tend, in our relationships and beyond, to equate long term-ness and permanence with success and legitimacy — short lived relationships tend to be recorded as failures. Our partners become ex-partners. Over with. Yet in reality, many short lived lives and experiences are valuable, impactful, life changing in fact. The ephemeral is forgotten. As Prince once said..
“Life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.”
Don’t mistake my joy for absence of intensity. I have phantom baby sensations. Sometimes I awake to a ghost-creature curled up, heavy on my chest. Sometimes pain takes over my face and contorts my brow and hot water floods my eyes. But I am so happy to have been liminal, full of wonder, and alien genetic material, and non-linear growth. Non-linear growth, that always has to end somehow. It’s not all grief I tell you. And moreover, not all grief is grievous.
Can we celebrate the rollercoaster that is reproduction? Can we change the story to include the short lived? Can we OWN and lean in to the fact that it’s a fucking gamble. It’s difficult and lethal, imperfect and fucked up.
Perhaps you too, more cyborg than goddess, are making oddkin, but not babies.
For echo — our brazen and strong willed ghost baby. Our first home is water, your last home was also. You changed us all.