Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Back Story...

Wha? Uh, TaTa?!? They call you TaTa? Don't you know what TaTas are? Yes I know it is slang for titties and no telling what else. But here's the story behind the name. Maybe this will clear it up for ya.

For as long as I can remember I've dreamt of babies. The earliest I could take that baby sitting course at church to become a "Certified Babysitter" I was there with bells on. I have sprial notebooks of lists and lists of baby names. I used to say I wanted to have quintuplets. You know, an instant family. HOW COOL. My other famous quote was "If I'm not married by the time I'm 25, I'm just having a baby. I will NOT be an old mother." ahhhh what I'd give to be so young and clueless again. Just kidding.

In a past much younger life I was married to a nice guy. We tried to make both our marriage and my body work. And then we gave up. So as not to be completely freaked out that I had passed my 25 year baby cut-off... I told myself "You didn't have a baby now because it wasn't meant to be with this person. He wasn't right for you and he's not The One. Never was. Once you meet The One, it will all fall into place."

In the meantime, (before, during and after my marriage and divorce) round one of babies hit. My sister was the first. I still get teary thinking of the phone call of her announcing that I was to be an aunt. I was simply over the moon with excitement. I put away my baby name tablet to get working on a name this little one would be able to call me. Something easier than Heather. You see there are loads of great-grandbabies in my family. My sister and I are the oldest by 12 years. After that there are, I may have lost count here, but I believe there are 35 or so. NONE of them could say Heather until they were 3 or 4. I was always "That girl" or "Hey you" So it was important to me that this baby, my first niece or nephew, be able to call me by a name. I settled on Tia, Spanish for aunt. Everyone seemed to think it would work just fine.

M aka Wonder Child was born in April 1993. Even with the nastiest case of colic she. Was. Beautiful. She was the first of a generation and she started it out with a bang. The apple of many an eye. Still is. I of course spoiled her rotten with tons of Tia Love. It was incredible watching her grow. I, about to be married, dreamt of my babies and my sisters babies growing up together. The moment M started talking, which I swear was at 3 months and she hasn't stopped yet...M called me TaTa. Honestly she could have called me shithead and I would have loved it. But she called me TaTa and it was very distinct and most importantly she knew who I was. I beamed. Ironically she could say Heather plain as day at a very very young age. But TaTa stuck. Then another M came and she, just like the first M, was Beautiful. Completely different but so Marvelous and Incredible. At this point my marriage was at it's end. It was time to close that door. It was very painful but in my heart I knew he was not right for me, we weren't right for each other. I imersed myself in work and spent lots of time loving being the TaTa to all the babies around me.

Then I moved to NYC. A whole new beginning. The start of something new. I went home often as I couldn't be away from the M's. The third was born just about a year after moving to NYC. I was determined that she knew I was her TaTa. Not just a picture that she could recognize but that she knew ME. All the trips home worked and and the 3 M's loved their TaTa just as much as I loved them. Added to this bunch were many other "nieces and nephews" and I loved them all dearly.

One day I met this very tall very hansome very funny man. Everything I ever wanted/needed. It took us both several years to own up and admit we could not live without each other. But once we did we were on the fast track to bliss. He was here I had finally met The One. The 1+ years we were engaged we weren't trying for a baby but we weren't not. Ok we were, but we weren't talking about it. Right before the wedding we both had fantasies of announcing our pregnancy at our reception. Maybe a little out of character for this Southern Belle (yeah right) but even my Mom would have been thrilled.

Very soon after the wedding I started the first of many doctor appointments to see if there was a problem. There wasn't. My doctor tried to explain that this was the 'best' diagnosis. I still don't understand that one. We spent the next year enjoying the trying. But month by month I could feel myself slipping into a very dark and very lonely hole.

Meanwhile everyone around us was getting pregnant. Quite easily I might add. The first few were exciting but in my heart it was everything I wanted as well...and there were tears of joy and tears of jealousy. I mustered up all the TaTa love and strength in me and I loved those babies just as all that had come before them. And I wondered when it would be my time. When would I get to change my name yet again? Or rather add too my collection of names. Heather, TaTa...the name MaMa was what my heart longed to hear. Several other pregnancies were announced until we were all alone in our very un-pregnant, childless state.

And so here I am many many many many many many babies later. I am still just TaTa. I have loved every moment of being TaTa. I have loved every babe that has called out my name. So many times I've said to my sister, "I cannot imagine loving anything more than I love your girls." She has always smiled and told me to just wait. You'll see.

After dabbling in the beginnings of ART, we quickly found ourselves jumping into IVF. This was our best chance the doctor said. At this point we hardly even questioned as we wanted to be pregnant and I MEAN NOW. At the end of the cycle we felt as if we hit the lotto. TWINS! A boy and a girl. We were thrilled. We were terrified. Underneath my smile I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I could not believe that after all this time that it was really really happening. Slowing it began to sink in and I tried to shelve the anxiety or expectation that this would/could all be taken from me. Around 17-18 weeks incredibly I relaxed. I had the most amazing dream that the babies were here and they were perfect and healthy. Sadly the other shoe did drop. At 19 weeks things went south and they went there quickly. Just half a day short of 20 weeks I delivered my two perfect babies.

I now understand what my sister was talking about. When I held Tess and Oliver in my hands. They were so teeny so perfect so beautiful. I felt as if my heart would break into a thousand pieces. I loved with a feeling I had never felt before. At the same time I felt like a failure. I was their Mommy. I was supposed to protect them. I could not. My body had failed me yet again. It just opened up and let them go.

I would give anything to hear their little voices call me MaMa.
Just. Once.


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