Last week I had to attend a work-related social event. There were quite a few young babies there, in a addition to PBFAW and another pregnant co-worker, one I don't know well who is due a month ahead of PBFAW.
"I bet you want another, any plans to have another Niblet?" said a colleague with a sly sort of smile, as I held a particularly juicy 10 month old.
I just shook my head negative, and tried to disappear.... And was frankly a little surprised, because I suspect this childless colleague is in the midst of her own war with infertility and probably hears some god-awful version of "where are your babies?" on a daily basis. But she is a prickly sort of chick, so I don't see any great heart-to-heart in our future.
You know, a year ago when people asked "will you have another?" I would say, "I don't know/we'll see/time will tell"....or something along those lines. A response that purposefully left the door open.
Lately, I find it too painful to leave the answer so vague and up to the fates, and frankly, dishonest (because people around here tend to assume I am much younger than I am). I need to cut people off at the pass, just like I need to wind down my own expectations, and cut myself off at the pass.
Because I can't go on like this for another three years.
The hope isn't dead - hell, I've just popped my usual cocktail of vitamins and supplements - but it's fading quickly. I think that three years and five losses, on top of my age, has just made this mountain seem so.... insurmountable. Niblet was a tiny nibble when we started down this path. Barely three. Now she is a walking, talking, reading, dancing six-year old who will enter the first grade. There are moments where I see her future face (she looks so much like me and my Mom), and I stop and realize that my days of mothering a baby are over.
No, I'm not completely giving up. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have seen many amazing stories of women bearing healthy children in their forties after years of struggle.
But I can't live each day with the expectation that I will be one of them. No matter how hard I try (and believe me, I try), I can't visualize myself happily and healthily pregnant with any good outcome. Hell, I can't even visualize myself pregnant right now without going into a cold sweat. I am guessing that repeated trauma will do that to a gal.
When I was pregnant with Celine, in the wake of a great Panorama screen and in the throes of morning sickness that were deja vu to my pregnancy with Niblet, I heard an inner voice telling me "she might be the one, she might be the baby I hold." I told a few people I was pregnant. I bought a maternity dress on sale at Target. I began to imagine my home office as a nursery. This was all just a week before our lives would crash before us.
You can see why I have some trust issues with my inner voice. She's clearly fucking useless. Or at the very least, untrustworthy.
Yay for therapy.