The New York Times offered this piece on surrogate motherhood as the exact opposite of my problems. The woman, identified as C, is 38 years old and has 5 biological children by two fathers. She has been a surrogate mother 3 times, and is on her third marriage. I am fascinated by this other life – a life where you have 5 children of your own, and have 3 children for someone else. Women today end up in all kinds of situations that have no blueprint, and have none of the traditional support that historically existed in small groups and small communities where every one goes through the same thing.
On the other hand, I am kept awake all night by the fact that I would like to build a family, but feel lost as to how to actually do it. I have a tendency to be overcome with fear, sometimes, when I think the actual logistics of having a baby. In some ways, I can lump some of my fears in with a general “fear of pain” associated with childbirth. But with a lot of thought I have decided that for me it is more a fear of changing my life entirely, of being helpless in a hospital, of being without a partner to help me through., of not being able. I am conscious of the fact that I am very premature in these worries, but alas. When I consider having a child on my own, this is the road I go down.
When no one’s looking, I’m also a little bit envious of C. I like my quiet, but my weekends these days are *too* quiet and I pine for some kind of distracting chaos.