I know a woman in her mid-30s concentrating hard on reconciling herself to a future without children. In forfeiting the path more trodden, she directs her energies to the endless possibilities available through travel. She is relieved at the prospect of entering worlds unknown; of infinite corners up ahead. She never wants to stop turning into them, they are all she has ever known.
I know another woman who spent the bulk of her child-bearing years trying not to get pregnant. She craves a child as the final curtain is lowered on her fertility; uncertain who the victor will be – chance, or the clutch of luck.
I know one woman who finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy. In choosing a termination, she rationalises the biological status of twin blue lines in the context of her body and soul. She also reasons that it is the end of a potential dream in another place and time. She perceives it as the end of potential life. Of something. Of conception. She says she would do it again but thinks the question daft. The present cannot be re-written.
I know a woman who struggles against the odds to cling on to potential life that threatens to slip away along with two blue lines a few short weeks after they first appeared. Hope began before conception. The odds are winning. Biological truths mean nothing to her in the context of her body and soul. Of what could be one week; of what might not be the next.
I know a young woman standing on the precipice of the grown-up world. She is looking down trying to locate her potential place within it. She casually predicts the number of children she will likely have once she gets the hang of it. Her audience is her best friend who is just as fond of inhabiting the role of clairvoyant to herself.
I know a 40-something woman with a young child who points out the bags under her eyes reminding her of her advanced maternal years. Too advanced to chance a punt on luck for another.
I am all of these women.