the bureaucratic phenomenon of the baby ministry

Wow! The Ministry of Social Engineering medical adjudicator has approved my application for baby benefits, much, much faster than anticipated! Apparently Parliament just passed a bill giving precedence to the development of registered parent lists to combat the grim business reality of an alarmingly low birth rate, even while giving a lot of lip on TV to synthetics, rejuvenetics, and “aging gracefully” to avert the financial crisis. (I hate those posters, don’t you? Always at the bus-stop, next to all the other ads targeted at poor people.) This is all so unreal, like I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole. Never in my life has the government ever been so helpful! They’ve even given me a chit to register with a far more luxurious creche than my income bracket would allow, because of my high test scores and because I’m such prime birthing age.

Next step: asking the new partner how he feels about the whole thing.

Fertility drops 20 percent after 30.

No matter what the politicians in Ottawa say about population control, I’ve decided I’m going to be a mother. We might be past peak oil, our air poisoned, our water even worse, but my biological clock is ticking, louder every heaving, lonely night, and more insistent with every passing day, leaving me shaking with desire for a baby like a leaf in a heavy wind. So I don’t care if I have to live on the other side of the border fence, I’ve already signed up for the fertility testing and registered with the district as a potential partner-parent, available for insemination, contingent on mutual RBT-H:D results. Wish me luck!


“When my daughter Alison was born, in the tradition of a new parent, I began to photograph her, initially in a separate and private body of work.”

Every day since the last week of October Dominique pops up on my messenger with the same message, “Still pregnant.” A small thing, but powerful, as every time it reminds me she’s carrying an entire human being curled in her belly. Tiny hands, tiny feet, an entirely separate heart-beat. I’ll be glad when it’s born, though not as glad as her, I’m sure, who complains daily that she wants it out already. “I think it’s staying,” she messages me, despairing, “I’m over-due.” I know I can’t relate, not really, though I try, and feel I understand to a point.

I had a nightmare, once, that I was pregnant. I could see inside my belly, which had distended to translucency, and see that the child had sharp, triangular, razorblade teeth.

When the message doesn’t come, I wonder, “did it happen? Is she at the hospital now?” I’m torn between relief and wonder and disbelief, that she could be doing anything so incredible as I sit at my desk and help people with media software issues, until it is my turn to message her and ask, “Not yet?”, soothing the day back into something mundane. Earlier today she had an appointment with her midwife for a membrane sweep, and I was blaming that for her lack of message, while with a less rational part of my brain, I was crossing my fingers until she returned.

“Still round?” I asked, and eventually she replied, “Home again. Think I’m in labour, though.” “Excited?” “Contractions about every four minutes. Will check again in an hour or so. I am SO READY to be vacated.”

I know her contractions didn’t necessarily mean anything, she’s been having them on and off for over a week, but that was this afternoon and I haven’t heard word back since. That hour later check in never happened. Those fingers are still crossed. Maybe she’s having her child right now. I was hoping for a Hallowe’en baby, but November 12th should do just fine, too.

I fell in love with a boy

jhayne & baby xander

One of the benefits of no longer working at the Dance Center is that I now have Sundays free to work learning web-development with my friend Alex. (I was going to quit so I could do just that, but they fired me before I had the chance. Well darn.) It’s nice going over there, he and his wife Chrissy are incredibly in love. They’ve just had a baby together, so now I’m an auntie. I’m not sure how convincing I am as an auntie, I think my face almost dropped off when I caught myself stirring a pot in the kitchen while holding a baby. Thank mercy I had socks on.

(If you look closely, you can see the panic in my eyes in the picture to the right.)

Honestly, though, babies are weird. They can’t talk, don’t understand that they have limbs, and can barely focus their eyes. Their brains are a protoplasmic neuro-mush that hasn’t fully shaped yet, they’ve got a soft spot in their skulls, and they smell funny. Like, well, baby. It’s a cloying, overly sweet smell that tries to rummage in my system for the breeding clock. I can feel it prodding at my DNA, aggressively trying to turn me into a factory assembly-lining the next generation of wacky Holmes kids.

Not that it’s going to succeed in the slightest. As far as I know, my baby clock has only ticked once. Memorable, a thing like that. I’d been missing someone, a usual state of affairs, but it had been a rather chronic feeling that week, I don’t even know why, and to take my mind off it, I went to a see a film with friends. Not a bad idea, except when it came to my choice of movie; a film prominently starring a man who looks like an older brother to my absentee. I couldn’t help but sigh. Then! The actor had an overly sentimental, tender moment of baby holding and suddenly my reproductive urge twitched for the very first time. Panties in a twist indeed. Yecch.

It was very loud and incredibly uncalled for. It felt like a temporal lobe misfire. What was that? It felt unnatural to my person, as if I’d undergone a momentary psychotic break. I thought of Tim Crow and his argument that that schizophrenia may be the evolutionary price we pay for a left brain hemisphere specialization for language, except that it bypassed both the right and the left and just punched me in the base of my spine. Terrible.

That said, Xander is an utterly adorable little squid and you should all ooh and aah at the miracle of his creation, lest we hunt you down with jam:

the little one with mum tiny

click here for a guest pass to my flickr

Alex and I prepared by charging our camera batteries. I appreciate glory that can be so mundane.

My mother, bless her heart, found too much worry in the idea of me being on the bus alone at, (gasp), one in the morning, so she hauled herself out and drove me to Alex and Chrissy’s new house on the North Shore, the one they rented especially to raise their child in. Wood floors, a basement, a back-yard with a deck. Perfect space in which to grow. I’m here now, though she’s left, (it was the first time she’s seen Alex since he was six years old), typing from their couch while they try to get some rest upstairs. As I have a habit of making people laugh, I decided that I should sleep downstairs, where I won’t be distracting. Still, though, even from here in the livingroom, I can hear Chrissy singing through her contractions.

It’s really quite pretty.

I feel I have a better perspective on my parents just from being here. Maybe most parents, really, like this is a rite of passage. It feels so adult, waiting for the birth of a best friend’s child, as if a line has been crossed. There’s just something about it I can’t yet explain. Maybe later, after the waiting is over and we’ve seen the child as more than a strange photograph, black, white, and gray. We’re all so happy, run through with wonderful anticipation, that this feels as unreal as it feels important. (I couldn’t help touching her belly and asking Xander, the creature inside, when he’s going to come out.) It feels like an occasion in a way that none of the holidays ever do, like finally, something real. I’m glad to be here, like this, writing everything down.

(I wonder if he will read this when he’s older.)

Hi Xander, good morning. Welcome to the world.
Already we love you and you’re not even here.

eroticizing wrongfully

I came across this article whilst wandering and I post it here becase of the content related to the over eroticizing of children that it permeating our present culture. I believe that societies obsession with stamping out child pornography and related has created and is further creating an unhealthy obsession of the child as a sexual being.

She, the author of this article, has clearer words than I on this all too disturbing subject.