I still haven't buried the top of the wedding cake. We were going to do it after our fifth anniversary, but we haven't yet. It's still here.
Nature is not on our side, it would seem. But Christians love stories of miraculous births, especially to couples who have basically given up hope because of their age. And Christians tell other Christian couples not to give up hope, maybe because even though it would be easier not to hope, but just to get on with life, there is something good about hope. It's a theological virtue, after all.
I am always amazed when women my age or older conceive a baby, and I am often tempted to assume the worst, i.e. IVF. After all, I once met an intelligent, devoutly Catholic woman who froze some embryos before giving birth to two and puzzling over what to do with the rest. The doctors had called and asked if she would donate them to science. I am not making this up. I wish I were. However, I was reminded today that a British Prime Minister's wife (and celebrated lawyer in her own right, etc.) conceived a baby "by accident" at the age of 45.
It's not something I think about all the time, which would certainly be unhealthy, and we always thought it was a long shot, as fertility takes a dive after thirty-five, and I married three years after that. But then I see news like this (not safe for little brothers) when I am checking for email, and I think of little else.
The baby boy is cute, and the men are happy and shirtless, and some anonymous woman is merely the provider of necessary genetic material, and the woman outside the photograph has reduced herself to a paid baby machine. I don't imagine there will be any photos of the baby unconsciously and naturally nuzzling for breast milk and crying in unconscious fear and disappointment, do you?
But the line that bothered me most in this article was this one, maybe because it hammered home the playacting and the strangeness of the whole affair more than anything else:
“Every pain that she had, they were crying along with her,” Foster said. “When she’d scream, they’d scream. I wanted to take a picture and hug them at the same time.”
Never in my life have I heard or been asked to imagine a man screaming along with his wife as she gave birth to their child. Nor have I heard of a farmer and vet mooing away as a cow calfed. What on earth was going through that woman's mind as she went through all that, two men screaming away by her bedside?