March 8th. What does it mean to you? What does it mean to me?
Firstly, it means it’s International Women’s Day. It’s the day that I first heard “Video” by India Arie when it was played by my head teacher during our assembly. As the lyrics played on a large projector screen alongside the music something struck a cord in me. In particular the lyric “I’m not the average girl from your video/And I ain’t built like a supermodel/But I’ve learned to love myself unconditionally/Because I am a queen”. As a teenage girl suffering from the same insecurities and anxieties as many others these words were important to me, these were words that validated me and how I looked, they told me that it was okay to not be the prettiest/skinniest/tallest/loudest girl in the room. My head teacher praised famous women, historical women, teachers in the school and the school cleaners. She reiterated to all of the girls in the room, ages ranging from 11 – 16, the importance of being comfortable in our own skin and being confident in our abilities. She was a boss at empowering the girls in my school and telling us often that we could do and be anything we wanted to. She is the reason I became aware of the importance of March 8th and the importance of female empowerment, well her and the Spice Girls, obvs.
More recently though, March 8th gained a new importance. March 8th 2017 was the day that The Boy was conceived. One (of many) of the pros of being in a same sex relationship is that we know exactly when conception took place. Although I was asked once during pregnancy if I was sure of the date as the measurements on our scan didn’t match up?! Ha, J & I looked at each other like “ahem, yes we are more than sure of the date you stupid woman” but just politely said “yes” instead. Ignorance at it’s bloody finest. Anyway I digress, so on March 8th last year we entered the fertility clinic for our second round of treatment, we were on time, calm and ready – the total opposite to the previous cycle but that’s another story. As our nurse called us in we got changed into our gowns and shoe covers (sexy business this making a baby lesbian style is!) and took our places in the familiar room where I’d try to get pregnant. As I lay on the bed, thinking of England – really, that is a true story. I was actually wondering why the saying is “Lie back and think of England”. What part of England are you supposed to think about? Am I supposed to be thinking of the great things about England or the not so nice things? Where I’d like to live? Laws we have? Our monarchy? I had so many questions about this but none of which anyone could answer so instead, I lay there squeezing J’s hand and daydreaming at the projected pattern of stars and shapes on the ceiling. Ironically, the projected pattern looks really similar to something that a babies night light would shine in the nursery. The nurse was lovely this time round, she was respectful and aware of our relationship so clearly for once my notes had been read and there were no assumptions that J was my mate. She was super calm and had a really soothing voice, so when she was finished trying to get me pregnant (weirdest sentence ever right if this is the first part of the article you read?!) she asked us to stay in the room for 10 minutes and for me to stay lying down. As she walked out, I felt positive, I felt good vibes.
For anyone who has tried to get pregnant this way or indeed just in a very planned way, you’ll know exactly what kind of the hell the 2 week wait can be. We decided that after a negative the month before, we’d try not to think about it too much but even though we didn’t SPEAK about it much to each other, I know I THOUGHT about it loads and I reckon J did too. It was the elephant in the room. We were instructed not to test for 18 days, I’m really impatient and usually would ignore this completely but I knew the risk of getting a false positive so I decided to be good and stick it out. 18 days later turned out to be Mothers Day (ooh weird!) so I got a test out of the drawer, peed on it, left it on the bathroom floor and carried on about my day. I mean I had cramps, spots and a bad mood so I knew my period was coming any day. A few minutes later J called me but her tone, was off, something was up but I didn’t know what. I went into the bathroom to see her holding the test that I’d discarded on the floor, in her hands, tears in her eyes. It clicked. Oh My Fucking God. It was positive! What the actual fuck? No way, I have period pain. The success rate of our treatment was low we were told. How could it be positive? I know I sound like a right Negative Nelly, I did want to be pregnant, I just couldn’t believe I actually was! We hugged and kissed and cried. We had just found out that we were going to be Mothers on Mothers Day, how much more perfect could that be?
Fast forward 5 more pregnancy tests, an early bleed, 6 scans in total and a 41 week pregnancy, our miracle is here. Alive and kicking. Literally, kicking me as I type, I kid you not. Go ahead Boy exercise those legs. So as we prepare for our very first Mothers Day with the human being that is ours forever, I’m feeling pretty sentimental about March 8th.
I have a message for all of the Bad Ass women out there; Mamas, Mamas To Be, Wannabe Mamas, Step Mamas, Grand Mamas, Rainbow Mamas and also to the women who don’t want to be a Mama – support each other, raise each other up, compliment one and other, learn from each other and most importantly stand up for each other. Because if today means anything to me at all, it’s that Girl Power frickin rocks because Women really do make the world go round 😉
Peace and Love