Like you, I know the gnawing, aching desire for a child. But when I got down to the nitty-gritty of my desire, I was surprised.
What I wanted was to have the whole female experience of pregnancy. What I wanted was a cuddly infant. What I wanted was a cooing baby.
When it came right down to it, I was most interested in the first twelve to eighteen sleepless months of babyhood. Then it gets hard. Terrible Two’s. School days. Teenage years. Eighteen years of child-rearing. I wasn’t so keen on all of that.
I didn’t want to deal with naughtiness, disobedience, rebellion and temper tantrums. I didn’t want to have the sex talk with them. I don’t want to have to teach them the difference between pounds and Euros and the bloody history of Wales. I don’t want to worry about them disappearing into Cardiff’s child trafficking ring.
Of course if a baby were to come along, I’d do my utmost to be the perfect mother. They’d be washed, brushed and tucked-up. Taught and disciplined. Loved and cherished.
But right now, as a childless step-mother of five, my baby fever has been diminished. After years of Parental Alienation, my once blissful desire for a child has been tainted by the horror of children alienated, children gone wrong, children’s lives ruined.
‘Is this just about my desires’, I asked myself, ‘or do I really want to give life to a new human being’?
Once I drilled down to the bedrock of my motivations and desires, I had to admit that it was more selfish than selfless. On an intellectual level, that tempered my raging baby fever but not an emotional level.
What did lessen my emotional baby fever was, of course, the Parental Aliention I suffered along with my husband, Rhys. I’ve experienced motherhood the wrong way round. I’ve experienced all the worst things that can befall motherhood but hardly any of its joys.
The anger, the hatred, the cruel words that children sometimes say to parents. I’ve heard it all. The arrests, anger, abuse, fatherless babies, depression, drugs, alcoholism, suicide attempts. These weigh heavily on my heart. Who says a biological child of my own would turn out any better, any differently?
Do I want to risk it? Risk having a biological child with Rhys only to have them too turn on me with anger, blame. To have them too ruin their young adult lives and then turn to me to rescue them? Do I really want that?
Do I still have baby fever?
Maybe. But then again, Rhys missed out too. He was used as a sperm donor and then kicked to the kerb, discarded like yesterday’s chutney by his ex who saw children merely as a means for financial gain. He wasn’t allowed to raise his babies. To interact with them every day. He has five children but Parental Alienation robbed him of the joy of bringing them up. But when I mention having a baby, he lightly grimaces.
Perhaps we are too tired, too old, too emotionally knackered to start over again with an energetic little life. What if Rhys’ kids brainwash our own child against us using the old, old lies?
The ‘what ifs’ go on and on, swirling in my brain.
Mostly I ask myself, ‘Will I be okay if I never have a biological child?’
The answer comes back ‘yes’.
The ache is there now and I can live with it. Not all dreams come true. Not all prayers are answered.
In the final analysis, I already am a mother! I have children! Five of them! Maybe having a biological baby just isn’t meant to be. I bow to God’s Will, His perfect plan for my life and make my peace with a full heart, but empty arms.