Earlier this week I was asked the reason behind my refusal to have any more children…by my own children. Do they not see the grey hairs I try to hide under various hair ornaments, or hear the ominous creaking sounds emanating from joints I’d never known existed whenever I bend down? Do they not listen to me mumbling to myself as I list the things I’d like to do before I reach my oh-so-imminent 50th? This body can just about cope with keeping me alive and active without having to nourish and sustain another offspring.
Then there’s time – I feel guilty enough whenever I sit down to my writing because it ought to be time spent with the children, while they are still willing to spend time with me. If there’s another little one that’s even less time I can spend on them (and of course my writing can just sit in a drawer and wither away). Finally, there is the actual ‘event’ itself. Not conception – that’s always fun 😉 – but I refer primarily to giving birth. The nine month’s gestation is wonderful. I loved being pregnant, but the actual birthing process I could have done without, together with its attending problems. And then, as if pushing out a watermelon isn’t enough there’s the stuff that comes afterwards. No need to list them; every mother who has given birth naturally and breastfed are well aware of what I refer to. The uses one can put cabbage leaves to!
I did however contemplate under what circumstances I could be persuaded to undergo the experience once more and decided it would only be as a surrogate for my children. I know that is controversial enough in its own right but if you think that’s a bad thing then you’d best stop reading right now! Of course, by the time my children get around to even thinking of having children, let alone discover they have need of my services, I will be in my mid-60s (please God!) so I feel fairly safe in making the generous offer in the (hopeful) knowledge that they will never take me up on it.
Now, in the news, I hear that a mother is going one step further and, rather than going through nine-months+birth, she is going to donate her womb to her daughter. You can just imagine the moment. A little like when your daughter tells you she needs twenty muffins for the last day of school and you pass her the ingredients, cook book, mitts and instructions for the oven with the comment, ‘Here you are, get on with it.’ But I take my hat off to the lady and the surgeon about to perform this miraculous transplant. She no longer has a need for her womb, it has performed its function. Now that, you have to admit, is ingenious. There is none of the suggestive glances/giggles/jokes from people when they discover that your son-in-law’s sperm is in you; none of that cringing awkwardness when he wants to touch your belly and sing to it; no emotional trauma in having to give up a baby you carried for nine months; none of the discomfort prior to, during and after the birth; the baby won’t have the bizarre dilemma of understanding that grandmother was also the mother… and she could get a tummy tuck at the same time!
Hmm. Now there’s an incentive.