Funny how desire sharpens awareness. The last time I was in graduate school, from 1999-2001, I recall noticing children and infants around campus, oh, say… never. Five years later, same campus, different story. They’re freaking everywhere. Even at department gatherings, there’s always someone there with a baby in tow. At one potluck, a professor said loudly to the gathered grad students, “so when are you all going to start having babies?”

Funny how I thought that leaving a small city in the South for a huge campus in the North would somehow remove me from the presence of procreating couples, from discussions of diaper duty and attachment angst. And it’s not that I so much resented having those conversations happening around me all the time; it’s more complicated than that. Yeah, it got old sometimes hearing about sleep deprivation and tight budgets and potty training without being able to participate (well, at least now that I’m a grad student I can talk about the first two items on that list), but I also enjoyed it. My friends’ lives are interesting to me. At the same time, there’s a subtle social pressure that goes along with it all. And I was hoping to get away from that.

Sometimes I feel as if the reason I haven’t been able to conceive is that I don’t want it badly enough. But that logic doesn’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny: if desire had anything to do with it, rape victims would never get pregnant, and committed couples who wanted kids always would. There seems to be no logic to it at all – not to infertility, and not to desire.


2 Responses to “Desire”

  1. tara Says:

    ok- why do u lurk on the baby bumper site???

    and can i just say how annoyed i am at my students who are prego without wanting it!

    totally unfair-

    mom says that fertility is unfair and illogical— HOW can it be a science???

    a student wrote today trying to figure out if the chemicals we used in lab might have given her thyroid cancer. i had to say, you know, this is why i didn’t go into medicine- there isn’t a ‘bad guy’; there isn’t a clear answer; cause and effect is muddied and no, i didn’t give you cancer.

    wicked witch of the west

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    One-to-one correspondences are such an appealing fiction. “oh, so that explains it!” Yeah, never mind.

    Am in heinously crappy mood today.

    Venting buddies!

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