Today I wandered the streets of beautiful Copenhagen and encountered so many baby strollers. They seemed to be everywhere, taunting me. One tall blonde Viking wearing his kiddo in a Baby BjÃ¸rn, a la Zach Galifianakis in TheÂ Hangover, was blocking the stoop to our flatÂ as I feverishly tried to flee the sceneÂ around NÃ¸rreport.
Iâ€™ve entered a new phase in the way I relate to my fertility struggles. This is what my infertility feels like, right now…
Martin and I started trying for a baby some time ago. We were happy. And so damn excited. I have craved a baby my entire life. And I had found the perfect guy who I could make one with. The sweetest soul I have ever met was going to be the father of my babies. I felt stinking lucky.
So Martin and I cleared space in our hearts for the baby that would come to us.
And we waited and waited. And weâ€™re still waiting. But our child hasnâ€™t come home. Sadness overwhelms me because I keep missing my baby.
I feel forever eluded. I feel homesick, sitting here at home on the sofa. Because our child isnâ€™t here. And I donâ€™t like being here with these heavy arms. That have nothing to hold.
Author Marc Sedaka wrote a book that Martin read called â€œWhat He CanÂ Expect When Sheâ€™s Not Expecting.â€ I love that Marc with all my heart. He gets it. He gets us. Because he shared something that made me feel understood. He said, â€œMen want children, but women need children. They need a baby like they need oxygen and water.â€
Yes. Thatâ€™s exactly it. Being a mom is not a â€œnice-to-haveâ€ feature of the life I planned out for myself â€“ itâ€™s a need-to-have.Â I say this with a heart full of love and admiration for womenÂ who are Child-Free, either by choice or by drawing the short stick. I sometimes wish I was more like them. But I am wired a certain way â€“ with an aching, heart-tugging needÂ to nurture some sweetÂ little humans. An urging that has only swelled since I identified it at the age of 3. And while the thought may be grotesque to some (and it certainly stung my husband when I said it aloud in a crying fit after my fourth cancelled IVF cycle), but it feels hauntingly true: that Iâ€™d rather be dead at 50 than childless at 50. For me, Hammy, a life without children is a life so gapingly incomplete. A life with a huge omission, ungraced by G*dâ€™s promise to me. Yes, Martin is enough â€“ and will always be my everything, but I need to give him a baby. And I need him to give me one. That not happening is the most terrifying thought to grip my brain.
The grief I carry is because I am short on oxygen. Iâ€™m lightheaded. And there is a huge hole in my heart.