everyone i know is pregnant. or trying to get pregnant. or just became not pregnant. none of my friends back home who are all my age, of course, but every other mommy on the block, it seems. there are three pregnant women that i know in my building, at least one that i don't know, two women from playgroup, and then there are four women i know who are trying to conceive/not trying but not stopping it/trying to trick their husbands into letting them get pregnant. also, my sister just had a baby two weeks ago and another woman in my building just had a baby at the end of december. i now also know all these women online who are trying to get pregnant. i am surrounded by the quest for fertility. it invades the spaces in my brain. all i can come up with for myself is that it was the smoking that caused alex's cleft, temperatures that are beyond erratic, an iud waiting to be dislodged, and the idea that i need a bottle of folic acid to start overdosing on pronto. babies babies babies... i don't understand it, but there seems to be this silent fertility competition among women that perhaps most of us don't even ourselves acknowledge. it's what makes us all ooh and ahh over new babies. it's what makes us all want a baby after watching some stranger from halfway around the world's perfect birth in all it's idealized flash glory. we're driven by instinct, i suppose, to want more and more to spread our genes despite all of the best-laid intellectualized intentions drawn deep from the wells of our alternate desires to leave something behind us when we die, to remain active in this life and independent and to produce an income - everything that "sequencing" promises - having it all, just not all at once. for me, i personally don't have a clue about what i want beyond babies, beyond that biological imperative to spread one's genes, to go forth and multiply. how lame am i? look everyone, with this brain and these talents, i am busy wasting away in domesticity, toiling daily with toddler underfoot at nothing more than picking up the same mess five hundred times and the most that i produce in a day is perhaps a healthy snack. how lovely for me.