I always knew I wanted to be a mom.
I played with dolls. Then I graduated to my baby sister. I changed her diapers. I braided her hair.
I babysat EVERY kid of EVERYONE my parents knew. And I loved them all.
I became a teacher.
I collected cool names I might one day want to give my kids.
I kept up with the latest titles in children’s literature.
I kept my old stretched out Fat Girl clothes, so I could save money when I got pregnant.
And then I got pregnant. And I lost the baby.
And then I got pregnant again. And I lost the baby. Again.
There is a universe of heartbreak in that last couplet. Believe it.
Then I entered fertility treatment. Which sucks. In case you were wondering.
It is a hormonal roller coaster of emotional turmoil, often overseen by medical drones who say things like, “If you lost weight, you probably would not even need fertility treatment.” When you have your pants down. Like, when you are literally AT YOUR MOST VULNERABLE.
Who refuse to laugh at jokes, when humor is obviously a desperate coping strategy.
“Can I bring the sperm in inside some old Tupperware?” is a line clearly deserving of a pity laugh. Not a stern rebuke, advising against such behavior.
Related Sidebar: women who bring laughing babies into the waiting area of fertility clinics and coo conspicuously at said progeny are going straight to hell. They will neither pass go nor collect $200.
Spoiler alert: my fertility treatment did not work.
I am barren. I am the drought ridden California desert of ovaries. No babies will issue forth from my sad, desiccated loins.
Remember, I spent my whole life preparing to be a mother.
So, what am I now?
Who am I now?
What do I do now?
The revelation has been that I will go on. I am not yet finished. I am still a person. I am still a woman.
MY life still matters.
I always thought I would do this or that when I got pregnant. I would do this or that when I was a mom. I would not do this or that because I might become pregnant. I would not do this or that because instead I would become a mom.
Now I realize, I can or cannot do whatever I please. Because I will do it for myself. I will renew my passport. I will get season tickets to musical theater. I will drink wine on Thursday evenings and watch shows about teenage vampires.
I may be struck down and weep wracking sobs at my desk when taken unexpectedly by a photo of a new mom, holding a newborn baby,
But then I will dry my tears, blow my nose, fix my face, and GO ON.
My life will not be the way I once pictured it. True.
But is yours? Is anyone’s?
Or are all we all making it up as we go along? Are we all playing the cards we’ve been dealt?
I suspect we are. And just because I do not have a royal flush doesn’t mean I do not have an ace.
It does not mean I cannot still win some rounds before the game is over.
Other guest posts written by my sister about her journey with miscarriage and infertility: Hope In Moderation: My Experience with Fertility Doctors and Thoughts on a Miscarriage