So I’ve sort of mentioned to a few people that I’m thinking that my birthday next year might be the point at which I accept that maybe, after all, I’m not going to go down the conventional route of meeting someone and having children with them. And that maybe, despite my myriad concerns about going it alone, I might have to resign myself to the fact that if I really want a shot at this motherhood lark – which let’s be honest, I’ve had my doubts about – I might just have to find myself a donor, and, as Nike might have said, “just fucking do it” – ironically, of course, without the actual “fucking”.
And I’ve had brilliant friends, like T, who, when I’ve said “Shit, but what if I have to have a Caesarean and can’t pick my baby up for six weeks? Who’s going to pass me my baby?” have said “We’ll put a rota together, it will be fine.” And actually, I do believe her that it will. But I’ve also had a friend who’s said “Well if you’ve already decided that that’s what you’re going to do, why don’t you just do it now?” And I can totally see her point. Why wait another six, seven, eight, nine months? Why not do it now?
I could tell you that I hadn’t quite got my head around it and I need a bit more time – which is sort of true; I could tell you that I’ve booked some ski trips – and as, if this pans out the way I want it to, skiing is probably going to be off the cards for a while, I’m pretty determined to get as much skiing in as I can – which is also true; I could tell you that I’ve still not entirely given up on the conventional route – which is sort of true too. Not that I’m imagining that anyone I meet today is going to be fathering my child in six, seven, eight, nine months but still…
But actually, when I think about it, I think the truth is that for all that I want a child, I do also want a relationship. And I don’t know about you but I’m not entirely OK with the whole dating thing while trying to get pregnant – not least because, as we’ve already established, I’m a strong believer in alcohol as a social lubricant – and my previous dating-during-fertility-procedures wasn’t exactly a success. And I’m pretty sure that dating while actually pregnant is a bit of a no-go too… And as for dating while breast-feeding… I think you get where I’m going with this. I’m basically saying that, deciding to try to have a baby on my own effectively rules out dating for a couple of years – and that’s the best case scenario.
And while when I’ve been single in the past, there’s always been a possibility that that would change, that it really was just around the corner, if I do this, it’s pretty much resigning myself to the fact that I’m not going to be walking around any corners for at least a few years. And I’m not sure I’m ready to do that. I can totally do being single. Rather out of necessity than choice, but I do wonder whether what keeps me going is the possibility that I might not always be single. And while at some point I may have to accept that the possibility-of-being-a-mother train is leaving the station, and if I’m going to get on it, I’m going to have to park the possibility-of-being-in-a-relationship in left luggage, and maybe pick it up later, I’ve not reached that point yet.
That’s a huge part of it, but there’s more to it than that. There’s the stuff that you think that you don’t tell people. (Except on an anonymous blog, obviously.)
I once thought that freezing my eggs was an admission of failure, that it was me putting my hands up and saying “I haven’t been able to do what everyone else has.” I don’t see it like that now. I see it as a sensible, self-preserving, pragmatic decision. And maybe, with time, I’ll see choosing to try to have a child on my own in the same way. But at the moment, if I’m brutally honest with myself, I don’t see it like that. I see it as an admission of failure, I see it as me putting my hands up and saying “I haven’t been able to do what everyone else has.” And maybe in six, seven, eight, nine months, I won’t feel like that. That’s really what I’m waiting for.