When everyone around you has had, or is having a baby. And you’re nearly 38-years-old and so far removed from that place.
Fuck, you’re not even sure if your uterus can cope with such a thing; the walls riddled with endometriosis.
Sure, you’ve had plenty of ultrasound scans of your womb, but the image on the screen is disturbingly barren. Showing only clusters of cysts.
And to make a baby involves, y’know, making the ol’ beast with with two backs. Tricky, when you constantly pang with a pain like your innards are trying to tie themselves into knots and escape through any available crevice.
Then there’s the question, the million dollar one: do I even want to become a mum?
The answer isn’t proffered in an instant so I try a different tack: don’t I want to become a mum, ever? And the sadness weighs heavily on my heart. Boom! There’s the answer.
I know my mum wants me to become a mum; she mentions it every time I see her. As do other people when they work out my age and my marital status. When did it become okay to brazenly discuss people’s fertility like an episode of Love Island?
Conversation is soon closed when I offer to show a photo of the blood clots that regularly fall from my womb; so large I often wonder if I’ve actually shed a foetus.
Or if I hold onto their arms and look intently into their eyes and say I’m trying to fix myself before I become a parent. Because if I (still) don’t know what the fuck I’m doing with my own life, how can I bring a new one into the world?
And yet the clock keeps ticking – tick tock! Tick tock! As I approach 38, I’m already three years too late, according to reports; I’d be termed as a geriatric mum.
Yet time doesn’t stop marching on. Nor do the cutesie Insta announcements and bump photos and baby showers and christening invites. I’m even a Godmother now.
And so the perma smile is plastered on my face as I buy balloons and bears and tiny little Converse all the while wondering if I’ll ever be putting them on the tiny little feet of my own tiny little child?
I stop complaining about the chronic fatigue that has riddled me for years thanks to a hormonal imbalance and a leaky heart valve and a dodgy digestive system because you can’t compete with the tiredness of a new mum, right? My exhaustion is suddenly rendered invalid, my membership of the mum club null and void.
I lock away these thoughts into a far-away place in my mind because to say them means facing up to a truth. A truth I’m not sure I want to hear. And not does the world around me, it seems.