by TONIA ZEMEK
I am not lining up for tickets to What to Expect When You’re Expecting, I’m busy working on its prequel What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting.
I’m 37, single and won’t be counting contractions anytime soon. Not exactly a box office hit. The leading lady is of course yours truly, but it’s the supporting actors and ensemble cast that really shine.
On a recent flight out of Sydney, a stranger advised me to freeze my eggs. Apparently it’s not just my tray table that needs stowing. Admittedly we’d been trapped on the tarmac for over an hour and were looking for ways to kill time. While I was ready to talk about the weather, 12A was ready to talk about my womb. As a former nurse she felt obliged to warn me that time was running out for me and my inconceivable baby. Granted, she meant well. However it did feel like an intrusion. My dear family and friends have never broached the subject and they know me better than anyone on QF544.
In the interest of full disclosure I should reveal I have discussed fertility with a specialist. Reproductive repercussions are a sidebar to a tricky thyroid condition I’ve been treating for years. Sadly my doctor has the bedside manner of a boxer. After some recent blood tests he was less than enthusiastic regarding my procreating prospects. “You’re flat out driving your own car, let alone pulling a caravan.” I do believe that’s what they call a TKO.
I know expectant Mums have their own battles to fight. For starters, they endure ongoing violations of personal space. Perfect strangers revel in uninvited belly patting and rubbing. Sometimes it’s equally frustrating for childless women. The invasion of one’s emotional space can be both unwelcome and unwarranted.
Although it may sound odd, there are days when the childless woman’s landscape jolts her headspace. For instance, the expectant Mum doesn’t look out of place at a kiddy-friendly cafe. When a childless woman finds herself in said cafe, things can turn a little awkward.
Having said goodbye to a group of girlfriends with kids, I was just on my way out when I ran into an old school friend. We were lucky to recognize each other given our paths hadn’t crossed in over two decades. After introducing me to her toddler son and his little playmate, she looked around confused. She’d either developed a tic upon graduating or she was missing a child. “Where are your kids?” she asked.I looked around but I couldn’t find them anywhere. Heck, their father’s missing too.