“What could be more normal than to inflict life? ?” is the title of Oriane Lassus’ comic strip. This comic strip, with its sometimes coarse text and deliberately crude drawings, raises questions about the desire, or not, to have a child. With a free tone tinged with a second degree, she deploys an intimate, physical, existential and societal reflection. Over the course of the boxes, she gives us a glimpse of the many remarks, all of which being judgements made in the heat of the moment, that the heroine receives in return for her “no kids” position, indicating how difficult it is for some people to think that a woman can choose not to have a child. With her pen dipped in the black ink of irony, Oriane Lassus draws the supposed evidence of the desire for children.
On the contrary for Harriet and David, young couple conceiving life only through the birth of children, it is so obvious! They want to have a large family! They have “ruled out the idea of the pill. They had found it terribly fake to interfere with the Nature’s process!”
With “The Fifth child”, Doris Lessing gives us a powerful novel bordering on science fiction, a way for her to tell us a family story of horror after the birth of a fifth child resulting from an abnormally difficult pregnancy. The author describes it strikingly in the following passage: “When a dose of some sedative immobilised the enemy – that was how she perceived this brute in her body now – for an hour, she took the opportunity to sleep… Sometimes it seemed to her that hooves were tearing at her intimate flesh, or even claws.” This child becomes for his mother an alien as much as a foreigner with whom she will have to live. The happy family turns upside down, the couple distances itself, while the mother oscillates in a trying solitude between hatred and tenderness, fear, impotence and guilt. It is true that Ben is abnormally large, voracious and aggressive. He causes discomfort and anxiety in his family and provokes the rejection by others. The child’s brutality will end in terrorizing the whole family, leaving the mother in a terrible dilemma: to look after Ben and let the other four children down or to place Ben in a home.
As we can see, giving life remains a question, sometimes a fight, a struggle or even militancy. You can discover this in the testimony of Annick Delvigne, head of the Assisted Reproductive Technology department at the « CHC Montlégia » Clinic in Liège, who was one of the pioneers of Assisted Reproductive Technology in cases of homoparentality in Belgium. This interview conducted by our colleagues Marie Brémond and Céline Danloy, as well as the texts that Ombilic brings you each week, lead us to PIPOL 10 which is fast approaching!
“A friend of mine, who knows my theory of dreams and has told his wife of it, said to me one day: ‘My wife has asked me to tell you that she had a dream yesterday that she was having her period. You can guess what that means’. I could indeed guess it. The fact that this young married woman dreamt that she was having her period meant that she missed her period. I could well believe that she would have been glad to go on enjoying her freedom a little longer before shouldering the burden of motherhood. It was a neat way of announcing her first pregnancy.”
Freud S., The Interpretation of Dreams, 1900, trans. J. Strachey, SE 4, p. 126.
Photography: ©Swoboda Frédéric – www.swoboda.be
 Lassus O., Quoi de plus normal que d’infliger la vie, Lyon, Arbitraire, 2016,
 Lessing D., Le cinquième enfant, Paris, Albin Michel, 1990, p. 131, (“The Fifth child”, 1988, Jonathan Cape),
 Ibid., pp. 60-61,