Open Letter to My Unborn Daughter (or Son)

  • The service having id "propeller" is missing, reactivate its module or save again the list of services.
  • The service having id "buzz" is missing, reactivate its module or save again the list of services.
Open Letter to My Unborn Daughter (or Son)

on about the length of the labor they endured, or the nights they stayed up wiping the fevered brow of some insolent, ungrateful, back-talking child.

I have also begun to obsess about what I will name you. I want to give you a name that rings with compassion and concern for others. A name that tells everyone that you are from a home/mother that values radical, progressive, gender-equal politics. But I also worry about calling you something that is antithetical to your nature, or giving you some typical lesbian-feminist-in-the-woods name that gets you teased and beaten up at school. After all, there is no guarantee that I will be able to afford one of the super-expensive, diversity-focused schools where most of the affluent lesbian feminists send the sons they decided to name Hydrangea.

I also obsess about your little hands and toes and ears already formed inside me. I wonder if everything is as it should be. And then I worry if I am being a bad mother by focusing on the fingers or eyebrows or kidneys you may or may not be missing.

Needless to say, I am a mess. I am worried about everything. I want you to arrive with all your parts in the right places. I want you to know that regardless of what people say about your IVF-donor-assisted-conception, that I already love you and worry about you, and want what is best for you. I want you to know that I have made a plethora of mistakes in my life, that I have hurt lovers and cousins and friends and strangers. I am not perfect, and I want to apologize for all the mistakes I have already made with you, especially the ones of which I am not yet aware.

I want to make a pact with you; that you and I agree to be forgiving, and loyal, and honest, and filled with compassion for each other, and for other people who fall short of being the people we would wish they could be. I would love it if you joined us in giving the hatefully ignorant, right wing, conservative bastards who want to take away a woman's reproductive rights, and/or categorize and value people based on the color of their skin, or who they choose as partners, or what part of the world they come from. As you grow you will see these powerful and scary people have mostly made a travesty of our beautiful planet. And the socio-political ideologies that control the way most of us live are mostly narrow-minded and peppered with bigotry. It would be sweet revenge to raise a child who will spend a lifetime attempting to undo all that. But I promise if you choose not, I will love you still. I will do my best to support you as you make your way in the world; I will attempt a smile as I take a bite of your half-eaten, spit-soaked sandwich; I will cheer you on whether you are in first place or not; I intend to show up for the important events in your life; and I will always try to give you room to explore who it is that you want to be.

Child of mine, these promises are only what I intend. And when I come up short on those grand intentions, I give you permission to whip out this letter and remind me of what I had put in writing long before you were born.

In love and the hope you arrive safely,
Your mother,
Staceyann Chin. 

Comments [2]

Grace Moon's picture

Thanks again Chin for a

Thanks again Chin for a revealing account of the realities of mommyhood.


tweet tweet @gracemoon

Conlite's picture

Please!  No hydrangeas.

Please!  No hydrangeas.