Mother nature woke me up before my alarm – not with sunshine, but with painful cramps. My first thought after, “Owwwwwwch” was, “Crap! I’m out of painkillers.”
A desperate search of my apartment uncovered a single Advil, purchased a few years ago from a shack/pharmacy in Nicaragua. Certain that one expired Advil from a third-world country wasn’t going to do the trick, I went back to bed to suffer.
As the aching intensified, tapered off, then intensified again, I started wondering about the pain of child birth. Then I had a profound and potent realization: I may never know what it’s like.
For a moment, I felt regret, but then I pictured my current life with a newborn baby in it and I had another realization: That’s the last thing I want right now. Which led to a third realization: I think my baby-making clock has officially stopped!
This is so strange to me, because for most of my life, I pictured myself as a mother. In my 20s I imagined myself with a husband; a house in the ‘burbs; a practical car; weekends filled with soccer, swimming and softball.
As I got older, the picture changed. The suburban house became a beach hut in Fiji. The weekly routine was replaced with trips around the globe. The desire to be a mother, however, was still strong.
Now at 40, the picture has changed yet again. You see, when I was younger, I wanted to have my own child. I wanted to experience the miracle of pregnancy and birth. I wanted to love a baby with my own DNA. But lately, that idea seems incredibly selfish to me.
There are so many motherless children in the world. SO MANY. And let’s face it, at my age, the chances of having a healthy baby on my own – without expensive medical intervention – are plummeting with every tick-tock of my biological clock. I just can’t see myself going to great lengths and great expense to challenge nature.
So now I’m thinking something I never imagined: If I ever have a family, I would actually prefer to adopt.
This is a BIG realization for me as I lay in bed, enduring waves of pain only a woman understands (yet not the kind only a mother knows), unable to feel my once strong desire to procreate. I look back on my life and consider all its successes and failures, its unexpected twists and turns, and I can’t help but wonder if this was how it was meant to be all along.