The Post I Didn't Want to Write
BlogHer has a list of writing prompts to help you get through NaBloPoMo. I pretty much had a plan for this month, but I figured I would peruse it anyway because it’s BlogHer and I’m sure their ideas are a lot more interesting than mine. There it was, a gem: What post would you like to write but haven’t?
Two automatically popped into my head. My husband knows one of them, and has strictly forbidden me to ever write about it as long as he lives. The other is more personal to me, but maybe getting it off my chest might help -- or, at the very least, help someone else.
My husband and I met on an exceptionally hot Easter. I remember it like it was yesterday. He had three kids, two full time and one on visitation. I had three children full time, two of whom were still babies when we met. Our courtship went fast; it was really love at first sight. Those who doubt it exists? It does. We knew our futures were meant to be spent together. We haven’t had an easy go of it. We have had incredible highs and lows, but one thing never waivers -- our commitment to each other.
Even though together we are raising five children, I still feel like our family is incomplete, that something is lacking. That something is that we can’t conceive a child together.
We’ve talked about it, and he supports my decision. We discussed the cost of having to get what eggs I do have left (if any) harvested, and then finding a woman who would be willing to rent out her womb for nine months. Then I think, We have five children. Trying to conceive another child would take away from us saving for their colleges. Don’t even get me started on the procedures might do to me.
You never realize how wonderful something is until you can’t do it. I never appreciated how great and wonderful it is to share a pregnancy with someone, to merge together and create a person together, until I couldn’t do it. So I made the adult decision. The five kids we had needed me more than I needed to share creating a life with my husband. I know what you might be thinking: You have had three wonderful children of your own. Some women can’t conceive any; you should be happy with what you have! And you would be right. I am happy with what I have. Grateful that I survived having the boys, and that that doctor’s mistake didn’t take me away from them permanently. It doesn’t make me any less depressed about it.
Every time I walk around a store, especially Target, I see women with their infants smiling, their husbands nearby. I see pregnant women waddling along, and I wish it were me. I see my friends on Facebook posting pictures of their newborns, and it makes me sad and ashamed that I’m not as happy for them as I should be.
I feel old and irrelevant. I feel like my time has passed, and I’m with all those women who are getting ready for menopause and empty nests. I tell my husband all the time that this depression will pass. Eventually, all the women my age will stop having babies. We’ll get too old, and then we will all be worried about grandchildren. I tell myself: When the kids get older, I’ll have grandchildren and we’ll share that experience together. That’s something that will be special to just us, but the kids are still very young, and I have very long way to go before grandchildren can even be a thought.
Even though I’m successful at keeping these feelings buried, they filter into my subconscious thoughts. I dream a lot. I dream about a little boy with the Hubby’s expressive eyebrows, my silly smile, and his mood ring eye color. In my dreams, we call him Rhys -- and we argued a lot over that name, but eventually I won out. He’s a mix of all the kids rolled into one. He’s got Bry’s silliness, Conner’s empathy, Quinn’s loveyness, Haileigh’s enthusiasm, and Colin’s temperament. He’s the peanut butter in our PB&J. The glue that brings us all together. Without him, we’re just grape and strawberry jelly spread on bread.
So please forgive me if I don’t always click “like” on your infant photos, or if I linger a little too long in the baby clothes aisle. Sometimes, I’ll even get in the longer grocery line so I can stare at the baby in front of me and just imagine for a little while that he is ours. But then I go home to our ready-made family, and we have Nerf gun fights and play Monopoly. Tease dad when I bet him at Jeopardy! and we live our life like normal; like nothing is missing. It’s as it should be. I just can’t help but feel like the me on the other side of the mirror, in that parallel universe so often seen in movies, has a boy named Rhys -- and he makes her feel complete.