Friday, 19 March 2010
To me it seems like this - you start out on the whole business of having children and you have an idea of how you want it to be. Ideally you want two children, a boy and a girl. To begin with all goes well. The boy is born and you love him more than you can say. But then the girl dies and suddenly you have to readjust your ideas about how you thought things would be. But still you expect to have another child. Then you miscarry and you miscarry ....... and all the time you are having to change your expectations. Then you think donor eggs. Yes, but you can't use your own eggs. So actually you're never going to have another baby that is your own. So then you think adoption might be better. But you are told that there are no babies in the UK. You'll have to adopt a child who is two or older. Once again you readjust. You can adopt a baby abroad. A Chinese baby, you think, that would be good. But nowadays it's very difficult to get a Chinese baby so you'll have to have a Russian baby ...... OK fine. But have you seem the admin you'll have to go through? So maybe surrogacy ...... And so it goes on. But the point is that, at every stage, you have to let go of an idea of how you thought the world would be. And that letting go is difficult and it takes time and there really aren't any short cuts. At each stage, as each piece of bad news hits home, you say, 'No way. No way at all. I'm not doing the donor egg thing / the overseas adoption thing / the surrogacy thing ......Never in a million years.' But then over time you see that actually there may be no choice. And slowly you come to accept the new reality. You talk yourself into the fact that it may be a good idea. Of course, the lesson is that you shouldn't ever have an expectations of how anything will be. But of course we do have expectations because we see what other people around us are doing. Wanting two children isn't like wanting to win the Booker Prize / the Pultizer Prize, nor is it like wanting to win millions on the lottery. It's a reasonable expectation - but dangerous all the same.