Illustration by Heather Benjamin
The last thing anyone wants to think about on Mother's Day is the mechanics of how our mothers became mothers. "Too much Pinot," "the waterbed broke," "I knew from the second your father finished"—these are not sentences anyone wants to hear.
At the same time, as we get older we start to think of our parents as fellow humans with desires and needs, humans who occasionally get too drunk at a Stones show or forget to take the pill. Why not ask your mom about how you were conceived? You're both adults. Maybe it's a funny story.
I was recently telling my mom about an article I edited on the difficulties of getting pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Her response was that she could relate: My mom had to go through five years of infertility treatment in the early 90s, including four rounds of IVF. My parents were actually one IVF cycle away from giving up and considering adoption before my mom got pregnant with me and my twin brother. Before we talked, I had no idea about any of that.
"You had to be injected with hormones at specific times during the day," mom told me. "Me and your dad would be out partying, and we'd literally go into the bathroom or the back of a car so he could stick a needle in my stomach or ass. We probably looked like junkies."
Apparently, during their last IVF cycle, my parents had to rush to the fertility treatment while my dad cradled a cup of his dad-juice between his legs because they had to keep it warm or else the sperm would die. Not the most miraculous or romantic conception story, but I'll take it over not existing.
To celebrate our moms, their wombs, and the life they gave to us on Mother's Day, I asked a bunch of my coworkers to text their parents and ask to hear their own conception story (texting seemed less painful than a phone call). Here's what everyone's moms sent them in response. Love you, ma!
River Donaghey, Associate Editor at VICE.com
Lauren Messman, Editorial Assistant at VICE.com
Brian McManus, Special Projects Editor at VICE.com
Matt Taylor, Crime Editor at VICE.com
Kate Lowenstein, Health Editor at VICE.com
Dan Ozzi, Editor at Noisey
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