Lots of people don’t like baths. I’ve often heard the excuse that it’s because they don’t like the idea of lying in their own dirt – but this seems a little extreme to me. My theory is that they feel uncomfortable spending too much time confronted by their own, naked body and I fully admit that it can be quite scary. It’s not something we tend to do, especially in Winter. The trick is lots of bubbles and candlelight and settle in for a lovely soak.
This morning, however, I discovered a drawback: daylight. As I lay there staring my pre-Christmas: ‘I don’t give a shit’ body, swooshing the bubbles around to cover up the worst bits, the sight of the bloat made my mind wander to pregnancy and what if I were pregnant now? Impossible! I hear some of you cry, as partner has had the chop. But no – I know someone who got pregnant, despite her husband having had a vasectomy about 15 years before. He even did a paternity test – you’d want to be sure. Their youngest was just finishing university. Life had moved on. What a dilemma.
So, as I lay in my bath moving bubbles over curves, I imagined myself being pregnant. I even envisaged the birth, to the point where I remembered that thought at 39 weeks of: I don’t want to go through with this – I found that particularly with my fourth. I thought about the age gap there would be and my age: 46 and how much harder it would be now. Would I parent differently with 18 years of experience under my belt, or would I return to not having a clue about babies? Plus a different dad, a different dynamic and different genes.
By the time I started thinking about genes, my bath water was losing its wonderful heat and I needed to give my legs and arm pits some attention, ready for the Christmas party season to begin. But I did have time for one last thought: what would I do? Would I keep the baby?
You see, I’m at that age that I feel I don’t want to return to the disruption and total carnage that youngsters bring to your life. I’m at that age where step children have left home and my eldest is applying for University. I’m at that age where I would be treated with kid gloves by the medical profession, as I would be considered extremely high risk. Yet, I’m still at that age where I could be pregnant. I’m not, but I could be.
It’s a very frightening thought. It’s a thought I would only have in the bath, naked and staring at my tummy. I pulled the plug and the thought disappeared with the bath water- almost.