As you might be picking up, I've got a bit of a maternal streak. This isn't just limited to cooing at my friends' children - ever since I was a teenager, I've had an overwhelming desire to get pregnant, have a baby, care for that baby, feed it and clean it and get puked on by it and be woken up in the night by it, watch it grow, teach it, take it to school, help it with homework, tell it off when it gets detention, worry about it when it does something stupid and gets hospitalised, the whole lot. I don't have some romantic idea about a cute baby that I can dress up and feed who will stay tiny forever and can go in the cupboard when I've had enough or have got something else I want to do. I want to create and raise a child.
Being me, however, with ambitions for an education and a career and so on, and also wanting this potential baby to be born (if possible) into a settled family home, with a mum and a dad who have a means of supporting the family other than state benefits, I've also always made a point of practising safe sex, using the Pill and condoms. Result: no babies. It's amazing how efficiently that works.
But now I seem to be at a point where babies are happening all around me and it's playing merry hell with my hormones. I'm only 24, so it's not like my biological clock is ticking, but every time another person announces a pregnancy or waves a scan picture or posts pictures of their baby, I feel happy for them, but utterly gutted that it's not me.
What's more, it's not likely to be me, for some considerable time.
There is no biological reason why I could not or should not have a child. ME is not hereditary, so there's no concerns on that front at all. I am in contact (through ME support groups) with other sufferers who have had babies, and there is no ill effect on the baby for being carried by a mother with the illness. As for the rest of my health... I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs other than the ones prescribed to me by my doctor where the effects are well known and documented. I'm under the age of thirty, I eat a reasonable diet, and even on days when I am housebound I do physiotherapy exercises to help keep things ticking over. All things considered, this body is a better place to create a kid than some others I can think of that seem to have managed it alright.
Even once the child is born, I openly and readily admit I would need extra support above that which a healthy mother would need, and I certainly wouldn't be able to hold down a job as well as being a mother. However, I wouldn't need as much help as some people do. And extra thought put in at the "equipment" stage can save no end of trouble.
The problem is that Steve loves me very much and as such, he worries about me. Admittedly even if I was in the best of health we wouldn't be making babies just yet - we've only been together about six months, and we haven't moved in together yet which would be a good first step. But even once we are... he worries about me falling over, he would worry more if I was pregnant or holding our child. He worries about me being in pain, he would worry more if I couldn't take heavy-duty painkillers because I was pregnant or breastfeeding.
I understand those concerns. But I don't know if I'll get better. If I do, it probably won't be much better. There isn't a cure for ME. Meanwhile, I will get older, and he will get older, and becoming first-time parents will get riskier.
Do I have to just give up, at last, on the idea of motherhood?
Nice/Nasty - haven't seen anyone. Very sore day.