Becky's Bottom Line
By Becky Brownstein
Genetics is a funny thing. Genes are almost a way for G-d to show us his sense of humor. Let me explain. I received my humor gene from my father. Don't get me wrong, my mother has a sense of humor too; just not the telling jokes kind. She knows how to laugh and when to laugh. But my father was a funny guy. I also got his hands and feet. That totally sucks since, y'know, he was a guy. Most of my life I never thought I got anything from my mother (except for her skin which I am grateful for) until I was going through child birth.
I went through the centuries old form of torture called back labor. Anyone who has had back labor knows what I mean when I say that I would rather run into a wall over and over and over again, than to have to endure back labor. I had it with all my kids. EVERY-SINGLE-ONE! Want to know why? Genetics. Hah!
When I was pregnant for the first time I experienced everything the books say you “might” experience. Morning sickness, bloating, sciatica, bursitis of the hips, stretch marks, insane weight gain, constant nose bleeds, the sprouting of varicose veins, and the inability to get comfortable for the ENTIRE ninth month. My mother? Never experienced any of those. After I gave birth and experienced the worst pain EVER, called back labor, I told my mother all about it. I told her that this jack hammer kept ramming into my lower back causing me to want to jump out a window, but knock myself out first so I won't feel the intolerable pain the entire way down. She smiled, let out a little laugh and said “Oh Becky, you got what I have. A posterior cervix.” (Sorry if saying “cervix” is making you uncomfortable, but we do have 'em). “Okay mom, so what you're telling me is that I am going to go through that every single time I have a baby?” “Yep. And so did I.” Talk about payback. “What if I just apologize right now for all my craziness? Doesn't that help? Will my stretch marks disappear?”
I'm not even going to mention the fact – OK, I'll mention the fact – that my blood type is Rh negative, thanks to my loving mom. Since my husband's blood is Rh positive I have to get injections every time I am pregnant. I have to have them just in case the baby I am carrying has positive blood. If the baby I am carrying does in fact have positive blood, my body could attack the baby as a foreign substance. After giving birth, my babies have their Rh factor checked, and if they are positive I have to have yet another injection. But just as a precaution. Guess what? Every single one of my children have been positive. Yipee. Did I mention I hate shots?
Of all the things I could have had, G-d had to pass on the torture gene and the absence of the Rh factor. Of course, since y'know, G-d is way smarter than I am, I won't challenge Him. He does have a plan and I am sure there is a reason. I am hoping there is a reason. But because of my rational thinking, I started to realize the genetics that come into play with my own children. They are all Rh positive and the majority of them are girls. They don't have to worry about that when they have their own babies. But the posterior cervix....
Along the genetic line their personality traits come into play. My kids are all jokesters. They laugh hysterically at anything. I love it. I love that they can be goofy and funny and laugh at their own mistakes. I love how my second daughter has my husbands feet. It's one of the distinct features that connects them. I love how my son has my hands and feet, but looks just like his father. They each have a feature that is a distinct trait that connects them to us, but makes them into their own person. It is these features that we share with them that makes them into the special individuals that we love so much. All their personalities are intertwined because they came from the same parents, but it's their individuality that makes them each special to us and those around them.
Bottom line is: We get what we get and we don't get upset. We are who we are. My children have some of the same traits that I have judged myself so harshly over, like being short or not having elegant hands. These traits are what link us together. My traits don't seam so bad when I see my own children, who I love dearly, with those same traits I despised so much. And I know for myself, it molds them into who they are and makes me appreciate what it is we both share.