Am I selfish to want a baby? Recap: One evening, completely out of the blue, it strikes Zani: she wants a baby. Her man, Jake, clearly hopes when she uses the word ‘baby’, she is referring to a kitten or a puppy.
Maybe … but not yet.
I so love the privacy and anonymity the internet offers. I can surf and search for information without anybody knowing who I am and commenting on my new ‘interest’. I’m so glad I don’t live in the days when you’d have to go to the library and ask the librarian to point you in the direction of the books on pregnancy and childbirth. Or that I don’t live in a small town where the librarian would make it his or her duty to make sure that by nightfall, the whole town knows exactly what’s going on in my mind.
As soon as I get to the office, I click on the Google icon and type in ‘pregnancy and birth’. A zillion sites pop up:
Gone is the faint smile. Pop goes the bubble in my heart. “Hello,” says big, heavy, ugly Dread, his twittering friend Anxiety and and her ferocious partner Fear. In chorus they sing: “You didn’t have such a charmed upbringing, remember? You’ll be no different to your mother! How can you be so sure Jake’s the one? You’re too immature – old – thin – fat. You’ll never be good enough! What if you can’t fall pregnant? What if you have twins? What makes you even think you can afford it? Who says Jake’s ready? Every goldfish you’ve ever had has died, so how on earth do you think you are going to take care of a baby?”
I feel the funk settle over me, the weight of conscience and fear and anxiety droop my shoulders.
Perhaps I haven’t really given it enough thought. Maybe I am just being selfish. That’s it – I am being completely selfish. Am I selfish to want a baby? What was I thinking? I have no business being a mom. My lip begins to wobble, and I can feel the prickly sensation of tears in the corner of my eyes. I couldn’t even hold my composure, never mind a baby!
Thanks heaven for flexi hours. I grab my gym bag and attack the treadmill at the staff gym with a vengeance. Dread, Anxiety and Fear have done a fine job, but working out does what I have come to expect from the darn machine: running (and going nowhere) clears my head and stills my pounding heart. It is all over in half an hour, and back in the shower I wash the ugly trio right out of my head.
I dare not venture back to my desk, where Dread, Anxiety and Fear lurk behind my screensaver. Instead, I buy a bottle of still water and find a quiet bench in the park downstairs.
For the smile to return to my lips. The song to my heart. I’m not going to let the nay-sayers rain on my parade, or trample on that little spark of hope. I’m not some wide-eyed teen who sees the world through rose-tinted glasses, someone who fixates on something so life-changing that it eradicates all reason. I’ve accomplished a lot in my life, overcome many obstacles; I am in a happy and committed relationship with a remarkable man who shares my dreams, my hopes, my aspirations.
Then it happens again.
The smile returns to my lips. I touch my tummy gently, my hand hovering lightly in the air so as not to scare it away … I marvel at the wave of emotions that slowly wash over me: awe, hope, excitement and many more on the tip of my tongue. For just a while I simply relish the feeling, allow the emotions to roll around in my head, languishing in them, throwing them up in the air and catching them one by one.
But duty calls.