Thursday 3 November 2011

Guest Post - 'Tick Tock'

The first in a series of Older Mum guest posts is by the wonderfully witty and thought provoking Flossing the Cat.

I can't recommend her blog highly enough and I thoroughly look forward to reading her every week.

Enjoy .....


Once upon a time there was a young woman who didn’t want babies. She was too much of a fantasist, too selfish, too skint. But one day, when she was thirty-four, she woke up with a funny sound in her head. Tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock. The sound stayed with her the whole day, and the whole of the following day, and the whole of the day after that. If anything it got louder, much louder, eventually spreading to every part of her body. In her stomach it was like infrasound, making her feel sick. She could even feel it in her fingertips, when she touched things. She mentioned it to a friend, who said, “Sounds like the biological clock. You need a baby.”

Now that she had let the thought in, she knew it was true.  In fact, it seemed like the only true thought she had ever had. Her writing fantasies were nothing. Her PR job was nothing. The idea of travel, and adventure, and parties, and success, was nothing, less than nothing. She now saw them as hateful pursuits that had diverted her from becoming a mother. She gave her copies of The Female Eunuch, The Dialectic of Sex, The Second Sex, and The Rights of Woman to a charity shop. She hated her other dreams. She hated herself.

For a year, every time her period came, it felt like dying.  She would dream of flowers that had lost their petals, and bare white rooms, and deserted landscapes. In work one day, she was so stressed she couldn’t remember her telephone extension, or how to boot up the computer, or how to count money, so she went home. And she stayed home. Her relationship deteriorated, as did her sex life. Sex was all about ovulation, and basal body temperatures, and sticking her legs up, desperately, in the air. Her partner lost interest. She couldn’t blame him. For a while they split up, then got back together again.

When she hit 35, it got worse. Everywhere she tuned there  were apocalyptic stories about the declining fertility of over-35 year-olds. Fertility halves by the time you’re 35, said one expert. She googled stuff late into the night, desperate to find stories about older mothers, women who had beaten the  odds. When she finally became pregnant, a month or so after her 35th  birthday, she was so shocked that she did the test four times. At the same time, she knew it was true. All along, she had known it was possible, even probable, even likely.

She was an older woman. She was pregnant. She was great.

There was a child inside her body and she was great.

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  1. Wish I could write like that! What a brilliant and thoroughly accurate description.

  2. A lovely piece and it obviously just gets better x

  3. Thanks for all your great comments. It was a tough time, and once I became pregnant, I was almost instantly ok again! Weird! I did get incredibly anxious during pregnancy however (the midwife though it was ante-natal depression as opposed to post-natal depression, which thankfully I didn't get... ), but that's a different story!

  4. Great post! I didn't feel like that at all, but you made me understand how it felt to be you.

    I'm just drafting my guest post for this blog now...

  5. Oh the feet up against the wall, bum on pillow pose. Been there, done that for a couple of years. When I finally did get pregnant it was on holiday, I got straight up, had a shower and went out to drink beer for the rest of the night! It is all so futile, and yet so many of us do it for so long. Glad it turned out well for you as well :)


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