Sunday, 18 July 2010

The biological imperative

I spend a lot of time with pregnant women and mums with small kids. They are my friends and I am happy for them. I love meeting their small people.

A conversation with a newly pregnant friend last weekend has rather unexpectedly thrown me into a tail spin. The usual chat about how she was feeling and the like, turned into a reflection on her motivations. She is the person who told her husband a few years ago that she didn't want kids. A conversation with her GP about her age (35) and her fertility got her thinking, and she changed her mind reckoning that it was better to to go for it, have a child and unexpected adventure than always wonder 'what if....'

Being a women can be strange. Our hormones help us measure the months and years that pass. They play with our emotions. Tears can come over nothing, and it's only a day or two later it dawns on you that it was simply hormones that made you weep or shout. It can be simultaneously reassuring to know why you were upset and unsettling that invisible inner forces can have such a strong influence.

The tail spin has come because I suddenly realise how old I am. Of course I know. Of course I understand that my fertility is dwindling. But somehow, this one conversation brought it all into stark reality.

I sometimes think I want a family and sometimes think it's ok I don't really. I suspect I talk myself out of the idea because current circumstances suggest that it is unlikely to happen.

My body is screaming at me. Screaming at me to procreate before it is too late. Those pesky hormones and the biological imperative are begging me to pay attention. No matter what I want or don't, right now what I don't have is choice. Without a father, there will be no children.

My body screams at me every day and there is nothing I can do to silence it. I can only listen and wait.

1 comment:

  1. I have never wanted children, so can't relate to that aspect. But I can definitely commiserate on the feeling of wanting something, seeing other people get it, talking yourself out of it because all circumstances seem to conspire against it happening and the excruciating feeling of waiting for the time to be right. As I creep up on 40, I find that I keep fantasizing that I could go back to college and have a do-over! I suppose there is no real age-limit on dreams like there is procreation, but still...I do feel a clock ticking.