When I was growing up I always just assumed, as so many people probably do, that when I had found the man of my dreams and the time was right, babies would arrive as sure as the sun rises everyday.
To be told that it’s not going to be that easy is devastating. Why me, is a common question I ask myself over and over. I find myself getting in a rage at people on TV shows such as “19 kids and counting” or sometimes I catch myself glaring at women walking their prams in our town. I want to go over and scream in their faces “Don’t you know how lucky you are??”
As a woman you can often feel that it’s your job to bear children and be a mother, although granted this opinion can often be seen as being pretty out-dated for today’s modern world where plenty of women push against this stereotype in favour of careers or simply to say out loud that they have no desire to have children, which I’m sure can often trigger confused looks from women who are mothers, but more power to them I say; I completely support and commend women who have decided being a mother isn’t for them, because who says it should be?
But for someone like me who has never imagined my life without kids, the feeling of failure is pretty overwhelming.
I also happen to believe that if you really feel you don’t possess the maternal instinct, its perhaps best not to force the issue, although I’m sure there are plenty of cases where new mothers have wondered if they have made a huge mistake when the realities of sleepless nights, a crying baby and stinky nappies have set in, and then later would not be able to imagine their lives without their children.
Who’s to say that after all we’re going through now, Dave and I don’t look at each other in 10 years time when we have 3 kids wrecking our house and wonder why on earth we wanted this so much!
For now though, the yearning we have for a baby is profound. For me certainly there’s a really fine line that I like to torture myself with, where meeting a baby, especially a newborn, is a feeling somewhere between agony and ecstasy. I desperately want to meet the baby, cradle it, cuddle it and take in that ‘new baby’ smell that makes my heart skip a beat; but then I don’t want to let it go. For just a few minutes I can pretend that the baby is mine, that I get to say goodbye to our visitors and live a life just the 3 of us (and of course our furry baby Roman makes 4). And then I remember that I’m the visitor, it’s someone else’s baby and I have to hand it back. That can be complete agony.
The hurt we feel is something that never goes away, and only increases with time. Events like Christmas can be hard, as it can be so kid focused and we long for the days when we have the excitement of putting up the tree with a wide-eyed little one looking on, or Dave dressing up as Santa Claus (as let’s not even pretend that wouldn’t happen!) Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are also very difficult. Parents throughout the country are celebrated for being something that we are desperately trying to be part of; like an exclusive club we just can’t get membership to.
Despite all these dark and emotionally trying times however, I know I am lucky in many ways. Our fertility issues are nothing too big that hopefully cannot be overcome with some help and lots and lots of luck. We are both healthy in other respects and most importantly we have each other. If the universe decides that a baby is not for us, then we will always have regrets, of course we will, but to know that I get to spend the rest of my life with someone who makes me feel completely content is something I can thank my lucky stars for. There are a lot of people who don’t get to wake up every day next to their true love, and for that, I know I am blessed.