When you want a baby, it seems the whole world has one (or several) but you.
At 38, it’s not surprising that many of my friends now have children – in my hometown most of my friends now have two or three, and even the single friends I made in big cities are starting to succumb. T has adorable twins in Denmark, R has two girls after almost 10 years of trying, E, who once considered becoming a nun, has a pair of girls in the Australian countryside, K has two boys and a girl after activating her baby plan with military precision at 33, EII has a curl tousled sweet natured boy and a long lashed baby girl, A, a batty sexual amazon with fake breasts and a clitoris ring, even has a sprog by a three-night stand in New Jersey. So I am used the girls.
But today I was chatting with The Man Who Got Away, a fairer, cleft-chinned, square-jawed Cary Grant type, and he told me he and his girlfriend are expecting a baby in November. “Et tu, C?” Was all I could think. Having successfully morphed into friends – time, a lot of distance, shared profession and skype make this possible – my heart was unscathed by the news. I could even go so far as to say I was pleased for him, as I think he might be in with a chance of a healthy relationship. (He is a serial cheater and rogue)
But if there was anything I thought I could rely on him for, it was that he wouldn’t be joining my friends in the race to parenthood. I know there is no point focusing on the things one does not have in life, especially when I have so much. But maybe I am not such a big person as that – there is this terrible childish squeal inside of me that just bubbles up at such times, and says “Why not me?!”
The very nice thing, I realise as I write this, is that this voice is a lot more reedy and thin these days. I am happy right now – so happy to have found the kind of man who will glue together the fragments of a shattered ceramic dish I have been carting about the world for years, because he saw how sad I was when it broke. He touches my heart in a myriad of small ways, and he wants to have a baby with me. That gives me more heart than any research on follicles, cycles or sperm.