The Ticking Biological Clock


If all the talk one hears is to be believed, most women have their biological clock start ticking once they hit puberty. At the most, you block your ears to it until you're thirty, and then BAM, it smacks you in the face. To be honest, mine has been quite muted if it's been ticking at all.

I was a toyboy for most of my childhood, and still consider myself one to some extent. It did not mean I wanted to be a boy, what it did mean was that I rarely dwelt on my femininity. I was like if the boys had two legs and could play football, then why not? If two arms are for climbing trees, then what am I waiting for?

The only times I couldn't escape being female of course was when I hit puberty and my periods started. They came HARD - twist up your innards painful. They came regular - like a clock if it followed the moon. And they came long - seven days sometimes. So yeah, by the time I had borne a couple of years of the bloody visitor, I made peace with being a woman, and all that came with it. I studied reproduction with the same intensity I did most things, so I knew my periods meant wombs and ovaries, and when I wanted them, babies.

However, men and babies usually go together and I wasn't too fond of the men around me for a while. Marriage was iffy and during those periods, I explored my feelings around not being married and not having children. I was OK with remaining single, but because I grew up with children always around (my mum runs a nursery/primary school), I knew I would make a good mother and I considered having some children on my own, adopting and/or mothering my sibling's children.

Maybe that period helped prepare me for now. Ever since we found out about the infertility, I hardly think about it. I've had two episodes where the feeling of loss overcame me. On one of the occasions, I cried as I grieved for the children I may never have. Most of the other times though, I simply look forward to a life with my husband and any children we will have in the different ways available to us.  There is so much to life and I've always been determined to live it to the full.

I know this may be difficult for some of those reading this to understand. In fact some people around me are still waiting for me to come to my senses. Some seem to want me to break, or they try to shove their advice down my throat. Others are confused. They expect me to be running from pillar to post, or from church to prayer house to prophet in search of a solution to this curse on my life.

I understand, but really, I do not see this as a curse. Infertility is a disease, an uncommon disease but not an incurable one. If I had cancer, I would go to the hospital, and that is what I am doing now too. We are taking treatment for infertility and we are fine with our doctor and our chances. Those chances are not 100% but that's fine too. I don't feel I have to have - like some would say - my own children. I would love to have children, but more important is to build a family with Atala, and see children grow under our care.

There are other options that include adoption, and we accept that we may not be our children's biological mom and dad. If nothing else, we understand even better now that life can sometimes be unpredictable and so we're going to go with the flow.