I am in the baby-making age group and it occurs to me that the conception of the world’s next little humans comes about through the most disparate of circumstances. Here we are doing the most natural thing in the world, yet our lives are so busy, varied and peppered with individuality, that it's unlikely any human will ever enter this world just because it’s what we’re programmed biologically to do.
Here are some of the ways and reasons the next generation came to be;
· For my part, I always wanted to be a mum but wasn’t sure it was going to happen as I was gallivanting about New York as a very single, likely to stay that way lady. Just as I started developing a theory of gaining a masters in teaching (a stable, sensible career) so I could become a foster mother, I met a chef, 18 months later I married him and a year after that we moved around the world and gave baby making a go, since no one ever gets pregnant straight away…9 months later we had Miss Q.
· One girlfriend is six weeks away from welcoming her second babe, and as she is the stepmother to two sons and mother to another, she’s really hoping for a girl. Apparently fish and beans can help you out, and avoid bananas and chocolate as they make a better environment for boys. It’s a wonder I didn’t give birth to both considering what I eat!
· There is another new human in the world belonging to very dear family friends, whose mum is a very adept midwife. It was embarrassing hearing about her baby preparation as I looked like an absolute neophyte in comparison. But the baby had very definite opinions on its birth, refusing to budge from feet first and was delivered via c-section into the arms of her new mama. Her dad would have been there too of course, but he was otherwise occupied in an overseas engagement and met her a couple of weeks after she arrived on earth.
· Another new mum and I were set up by our mothers because we happened to be due within a week of each other and were booked into the same birth centre in Sydney. Luckily, we’ve since found we like each other for a few other reasons than that. Pipped at the post by less than twenty-four hours, I can still remember the thrill I felt for my friend when I heard of her new baby girl, a thrill which was most definitely twinged with envy, anticipation and if I’m honest, a little trepidation for what was to come for me.
· One dear friend has a delightful, energetic son, now joined by an equally delightful, delicious daughter. But not without struggle. There are two little lives between brother and sister who didn’t make the full journey. I know my friend still thinks of those little souls and wonders who they may have become…
· I recently met a lady who is a very proud and capable, but totally accidental mother. Conceiving (though she was told that wasn’t possible) to a man she’d only just met while her other life was still in a shambles; a loving, extended and very modern family unit now surround her son.
· There’s another little girl, delighting her new parents day and night, a delight that was some five odd years and many treatments in the making. What a wonder it must be for them to gaze at their little human, she will never know the rigour of the paths they travelled to be her parents.
· Then there’s the lady whose husband’s sperm wasn’t up to the task so they enlisted the help of another and their son is 50% mum 50% stranger about whom they know nothing other than his health, height and colour of his hair.
All these little people, so cherished and hoped for, their journeys beginning weeks, months even years before they ever made an appearance. Who knows how these events will shape and influence them, and the parenting we provide. Still I know one thing for sure, they won’t be able to comprehend the odyssey to parenthood till they’ve been on the ride themselves.