For me, there have been few surprises about motherhood. There have been some, for sure, but in general Arch, who is now almost five, has brought me the awe, exhaustion, love, fun and general all-round blissedoutness I had always anticipated.
Waiting for a baby
And I had done plenty of anticipating being a mum. I first started longing for a child when I was in my early 20s. The dream wasn’t fulfiled until I was in my early 40s, so there was plenty of time to yearn and imagine how it might be.
The biggest surprise for me has been the discovery that having a baby hasn’t completely dealt with that part of me that…wants a baby. Five years on, I still want to be pregnant, to give birth and to breastfeed. That desire is more of a still small voice than the womb-wrenching scream that it was in my childless days, but it is there nonetheless.
“Have another one,” is my first response on observing this but – even if I could – I’m not sure that’s the solution. I’m guessing that even if I had five or six, I’d still end up grey-haired, saggy-bellied and wanting a baby.
Embrace my desire as metaphor
As I already have a child, I’m wondering if the desire that remains is best not taken literally. Perhaps I should welcome it as primal, as archetypal. I wonder what would happen if, instead of feeling saddened that my baby-days are over, I embraced my desire as a metaphor to live by and found other ways of conceiving, bearing, giving birth.
This is a new thought. It’s very much in embryo but I shall wait as it implants and see what grows.