Being a good Catholic I will be celebrating Easter. By celebrating I mean eating my body weight in chocolate eggs possibly vegan ones now though after watching one too many PETA videos.
As a child, I was made to go to chapel each Sunday. However, I took nothing in.
Watching my First Holy Communion video which was filmed when I was just 6 years old, now I can see all the other children have their hands in prayer gazing ahead listening attentively. Me? My head is in the clouds and I’m caught on film looking everywhere but at the priest.
When it was time to be confirmed (sign of full membership to the Christian community) we had to read up and research at Primary School which saint we identified with and then select their name. I chose Saint Lucy. Now don’t get excited I was not searching for some deep rooted connection. Oh no I picked Lucy as the name sounded cool like ‘Lucy Robinson‘ in the Australian TV show Neighbours!
I recently researched Saint Lucy and I discovered that we do have some similarities. Poor Lucy (the patron Saint of the blind) had her eyes removed when she refused to give herself to a man to marry. Like Saint Lucy, I have never wanted to take another’s name in holy matrimony. Lucy instead wanted to save herself for Jesus and remain a virgin…OKAY OKAY… the avoiding marriage thing is actually where our similarities may end!
Getting back to my Catholic upbringing – just before Easter we would attend ‘Stations of the Cross’ at chapel. I hated this. After the priest has made his way around the fourteen stations the congregation then had to line up and kiss the feet of a statue of Jesus on the cross. For some reason, this terrified me as a child. Kissing someone’s feet just seemed bizarre. I can remember the last time I took part in this odd ritual. It still haunts me to this day. I head butted Jesus! The unsteady cross was rocking above me – the Alter Boys having to steady it. That was the last straw. No more crosses for me unless they came on a hot crossed bun.
My own eggs have been the topic of conversation recently and the fact that here are no buns in my oven – not in my womb or in my kitchen – I have difficulty turning my cooker on!
I am well aware that I am now closer to 40 than 30. I know that this is the time I should be considering having a child but unfortunately/fortunately (??) my life has fallen down a funny little rabbit hole.
The NHS website only highlights the horrors for us woman still on the fence about having children or for those who are simply not in a relationship at the point when it would be right or wise to bring another human being into this world.
In women, fertility declines more quickly with age. This decline becomes rapid after the age of 35, particularly due to the decline in the quality of the eggs released by the ovaries.
Around one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems. This rises to two-thirds when the woman is over 40.
Women over 35 are also less likely to become pregnant as a result of fertility treatments, including IVF, and are more likely to have a miscarriage if they do become pregnant.
My fertility seems to come into sharper focus when I am in a relationship, with ‘on-off’ broody phases depending on the boyfriend.
When I was with my first boyfriend from the age of 16-20 we often spoke of having a baby as we thought we would be together forever – young love! I am glad this didn’t happen as ‘Jesus’ would have been badly bullied at school for his parent’s choice of name!
I wanted a baby during my next relationship from the ages of 20-24. He was adamant however that he NEVER wanted any EVER. In a twist of fate, he got in touch recently after tracking me down online. He wanted to apologise for being such a d*ck about kids and to tell me he was married with two little girls and that they were the best thing to ever happen to him. I told him of my two children as well…my dogs.
Then there was my third long term relationship; 25-30. My brothers best friend. On the first night after we had sex, the first words he said to me were: “I never want kids by the way”. I was not contemplating kids with this one at this stage but it was strange hearing the climax of how the other relationships ended after the initial “climax”! This relationship ran its course. About two years ago my brother called me and said he wanted to film me whilst we spoke so used FaceTime and recording equipment. He said to me that my ex’s partner had found out she was pregnant and that their baby was due in 6wks! So he didn’t get to live out his dream of being childfree and now has a little boy. It is funny how things work out.
The fourth guy I lived with (30-32) was basically just history repeating itself. Yes, once again a male who did not want to EVER have kids. I thought I was jinxed. The difference with this relationship compared with the others though was that I didn’t hang about and got out whilst my eggs were still viable.
Since then Brighton has not been kind on the relationship front. Yes, I’ve been half of those hard to define couplings and my body and mind have gone through stages of longing for a child of my own. Yet since the age of 34 something has shifted and I can see many benefits of being childfree and am happy to consider these as time ticks on.
My female dog is also subject to her own biological clock. She recently had a phantom pregnancy. This was her first one and in human years she would be 27. I watched her cry for the puppies that were not there and pine as she brought substitute babies to bed. I tried to tell her that it was alright and although age matters she has many childbearing years ahead of her and just wait till she gets to 35! I think she understood…
I might be running out of eggs but I am not out of options. The future is simply that. I still have a lot I want to do and I am not sure how a baby would fit into my life now.
I have learned “never say never” and who knows what the age of 36 will have to offer me.
I am positive that if I was to have a child I would adapt like the Borg in Star Trek or I would channel my inner Beyoncé and ‘run the world’ like my own mother did when she raised myself and my two siblings.
For now, although my mother goes back to her Catholic roots and she prays to St Anthony the Patron Saint of lost things/causes. Her prayer is that he will find all my single cousins and myself a partner to ensure we keep the MacDonald clan going.
St Anthony is a good man, he is a trustworthy man, and he has worked his magic for me in the past so we will see what he has up his sleeve for my mum.
If you want my mum to add you to her list please let me know. My single friends have got their requests in already so he has a lot to contend with.
However, if St Anthony is too busy I will leave you with an old Scottish proverb:
Wit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye…
– What’s meant to happen will happen.