At our Birthing Multiples class the other day we met about fifteen couples who were pregnant with twins. All but three were the result of IVF. As always, we were among the most vocal of the crowd and bonded with the other two couples who were equally expressive. One of the wives, A, shares the same doctor, transfer time, due-date and donor situation as us. A’s husband explained to the class that he’s learned the value of saying yes, no matter the request. “We need new light fixtures? Yes, right away.” I found this approach most refreshing! His wife beamed, “He does everything, everything.” Obviously, we should be friends with this couple. On the other end of the spectrum was (one of the two aforementioned couples) E and her partner. E has been on modified bed-rest for months now. She got to sit in a big fancy chair for the whole class, which I took a turn in during a break. All this chair wanted for was a built-in cooler and televised football. E’s partner explained that she was meeting plenty of needs by taking care of her three-year-old daughter, holding down the fort, working, and giving the occasional back-rub. (The last part was said with a slight eye roll.) “Occasional?” I squawked, “You should be giving them all the time!” Can you imagine? Two women with significant needs of their own hardwired to their DNA – it’s the worst possible scenario! They both agreed. A’s husband said he often forgets about doing the actual chore itself, but more important is always saying yes up front. This man, clearly wise beyond his sex. Joke. Kind of. TC picked up on (if not, my snarling at him for the preceding 48 hours then) my obvious enthusiasm for the Yes-Man Approach.
When we got home he kicked into high gear and alleviated a great deal of pressure from my lungs by cleaning the back porch, reorganizing the playroom closet and removing the five empty wall-mounted speaker brackets that taunted me for the last year. He’s begun to grasp the depth of this odd nesting impulse. Nesting in adoption is the same, only shorter and more intense. Instead of the shadow of a million little things that need to get done slowly creeping over the household, it blows in all at once, fast and furious, like the eye of a hurricane. But until that point, the sky twice remained mysteriously blue as we treaded lightly, getting our ducks in a row, taking it one day at a time. Another odd similarity between adoption and pregnancy is that what counters this strange nesting habit is the sneaking suspicion that this whole thing may or may not actually be happening. I feel the babies. I see them turning beneath my skin. / She says she wants us to be the parents. She appears to be pregnant. In all cases doctors have presented me with proof. But proof is highly subjective. Somehow, until it all goes down, what is real and what is not real is anyone’s guess. And the choice to worry about the babies and all the varying factors or outcomes is upstaged by choosing to believe that all will be well. This is a gift that TC and I share. Why on earth would we choose to believe anything else?