Saturday, August 9, 2008

More progress - and commitment

The contracts are under way. We have a clinic. We are close to choosing our egg donor. Yes, we're going to America. Perth - Brisbane - Los Angeles - Little Rock, Arkansas - Houston, Texas - then home. Our timeline is approximately November. We'll be away for three weeks to sign contracts, meet our GS and do the clinic thing. 

I have never been so scared in my life.

It just occurred to me - I don't know how to care for an infant - or infants! I have no idea how to pin a nappy, or heat a bottle, or soothe crying.  So what the heck am I doing?!!!! This isn't just some superficial fancy that I can pull out of it all gets too much, or doesn't turn out the way I hoped.  This is real. This is $120,000. This is a brand new life! Or lives!!! Perhaps I should get another dog. I am so very scared. I am scared of leaving the safety of my quiet peaceful home. I am scared of leaving our country. I am scared of things not going right. I am scared that I will wake up one day in a foreign country - and freak out and want to run. But it will be too late.

I'm not even sure if I want to be a mother. Yes, that thought has crossed my mind of late. I don't seem to have the same drive as other women. I don't coo over baby clothes or infants in prams. I don't feel jealous of pregnant women. I don't shy away from children because it hurts that I don't have my own. What is wrong with me?

Why can't I just be satisfied being a wife, student, and part-time step-mother? Or satisfied being a good aunt? I could sponsor a tribe of World Vision children, children who already exist and already need my help. $120,000 would go a long way towards improving the lives of people from an impoverished village in a third world country. 

I guess I would have stopped this journey a long time ago if I really didn't want to be a mother. But I don't know what it's like to be a mother. I only have an idea of what it's like. I know it is a time-consuming 24/7 full-on responsibility from you cannot quit. It's not a part-time relationship like that I have with my step-son.  I know it is messy, I know you get really tired. I know it is for a lifetime. 

I've heard about the joys parents have being with their children, watching them grow and develop and achieve. I know the pleasure I have watching my step-son try so hard on the basketball court. I know how excited I am when he shoots a goal, or only nearly gets the ball in the net. I know how proud of him I am when he uses his intelligence and passes the ball so a team mate can shoot the goal, rather than go for the glory himself.

I know how much I buzz when my fit, fast and furious little seven-year-old nephew scores a try, or tackles a kid twice his size and pulls him down, or when his more cumbersome ten-year-old brother finds his wings and flies through the air, his football shoes a flash of red against a green field. But I don't have to live with them full-time. I just get to share the joy and have to deal with very little of the troubled times. They have mothers for that.

I don't know what it is like to actually love child as a parent does. Yes, I love my step-son, my nieces and nephews. But not as much as their parents love them. If any of them were needing rescue from the ocean, their parents would be in the water long before me. That is instinct. I know I would rescue my dog without a second thought.

I have always loved my cats. Then I got a dog. I love my dog more than my cats. I cannot imagine my life without my dog. She's not "just a dog", she is a dog-shaped human. I hear parents say they cannot imagine their lives without their children. Perhaps it will be like that for me too. 

My husband tells me love grows. It does not diminish when it is shared. He tells me when you love one child and another comes along, you love the first one just the same, but there is extra love for the next one. I don't understand this. I can't imagine loving a child as much as I love my dog. I just don't know what it's like.

Every major decision I have made in my life I have done so in abject fear. Buying my first house was a terrifying prospect. Then spending $80,000 to renovate it frightened the hell out of me. Flying to Japan to dance in a cabaret show for six months terrified me.  Moving across the country was scary, but a whole lot easier because I was running from a place I could no longer be. Returning to university after not having undertaken formal study in 17 years scared me so much that I rang my mum from the car park just for a bit of strength to get me out of the car and into the  lecture hall. 

But I fought all those big scary monsters in my head and everything I tackled turned out brilliantly. I have always been a fearful person. Fear robs my ability to trust, and hope and be excited. At least with an egg donor I won't be passing that trait onto my children.


Jaymee said...

We are all terrified, and thanks for pointing out all the other things to worry about. You are going to be fine. I am sure somewhere on the internet there are detailed instructions for nappies, and bottles. I am so excited for you.

Amani said...

Lol. I'm sure you would have eventually thought of everything there is to be terrified of. My gorgeous mother, who lives on the other side of the country, has committed to stay in with us for the first six weeks of the bubble's life to show me the ropes. She's also coming to the USA for the birth!!! How amazing is my mum?