Tidal Basin

Germination Detail Part III, by Leslie Shellow

contemplations about what stays in the net

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Baby, did I start your conception prematurely, hoping for a pregnancy even if a relationship was on the brink? I did. That was my small crime against nature in the service of desire. I heard you calling me, dipping down into my consciousness, and more than once, I wished for the seed to take; I’d worry about circumstances later. Twice, I remember, you almost grew, and in those moments, I held you in like a dam against the tide. Both times, you exited, letting go of your hold on me – it wasn’t the right time, the right place, the right relationship for you. And you told me so. I felt you hover and disappear and then my body: a flush of blood and longing dissolving into toilet water.

 I am single now. And forty-three. The digits are supposed to mean something but they don’t to me. After the testing, my numbers are just right. “Your body doesn’t know how old you are,” said the nurse. I read that age has to do with oxidation of tissues and the presence of inflammation. The first doctor told me it didn’t matter how healthy I was, my health had nothing to do with the quality of my eggs. “Egg quality is based on age,” he said, looking at me over his glasses. But, age is based on inflammation which is reduced by a healthy diet, meditation, yoga, breathing, joy. I am not forty-three.
And now, I go to a new doctor tomorrow. Yes, she is a woman this time, and I am hoping her own desires and challenges position her in such a way as to encourage rather than scare off my own capacities for conception. But being a woman does not always mean having compassion. My female gynecologist laughed when I told her my deepest desire since I was young was to have a child. "At your age," she said, "you ought to think of getting a puppy or a plant!" Then, she told me a story about her children.

A puppy or a plant. 

You see, it does make a difference how I approach the soul. If I welcome him or her and tell her I’ve created a safe space for his or her dwelling, then she or he will be more likely to cuddle into the nest I’ve created of my cells and blood and spirit. If I go with the notion that I have a 6-8 percent chance of conception based on my age, I will scare myself, and the soul will pick up on this. Maybe it will be hard for me to conceive. But maybe it won’t. To all the women praying to be mamas – working with their bodies, their wills, their ability to surrender to what is – I respect the process and the potential for loss.
I want to start in a place of abundance because for so long, I listened to other peoples’ fears about what was possible and what was not. I am here, an open vessel, and if this soul, my child, wants to dip down again, I will catch her. I will love him. I will know.


  1. Incredible thinking, writing, knowing and seeing. How well you will love this child. Screw the logistics and casted burdens of others. Ask them to consider gentleness.

    This is you.

    1. Thank you for your dear support as I wrangle these emotions. :)