Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Soundtrack Of My Aching Heart

Today was not good. It's not even that the day has been particularly bad or otherwise unpleasant - far from it, on the whole. But it's just been one of those days only a woman longing for a child can understand.

Everywhere I went, there was a cacophony of baby sounds: laughing, giggling, parents oohing and aaahing their offspring. Most of it was terribly endearing - especially this one guy I saw. At first sight, he looked like someone who might belong to a gang: baggy pants, big sweater, goatee and just generally a bit aloof. But he had a little daughter who was just the cutest thing - not even so much that she was particularly pretty from an objective point of view, but she was just adorable. And you could TELL from the way he was talking to her just how much he loved her - that he would be the kind of dad who would always be there for her, dry her tears, always try to make her world whole. It was with a heavy heart that I thought about Kenton, what kind of a father he would make - maybe never will be able to make. He said a few days ago that it tore him apart, too - and, for the first time, I put myself in his shoes and tried to imagine what it must be like for him: seeing all these other guys with their kids, loving, caring, doing what every man should be able to do with the woman he loves.

It was ironic, really - there I was sitting in a coffee shop, listening to this song that sounded vaguely familiar but that I couldn't have told you the name or singer of, and I had this strange feeling that I could've been the central character of a dramatic movie of sorts - the quest for a baby. It was unreal - I was listening to this song and saw everything else in slow motion: the woman bending over the carseat in which her baby was slumbering safely and quietly; the woman who was having a little snack with her toddler; and one particular woman with an infant so angelic that it broke your heart to look into such an innocent face. In other words, it was like stepping into Hades without your summer clothes.

As I looked around in between reading a few pages in a book, I caught the eye of the woman with the baby in the carseat. Our eyes seemed to lock for a couple of seconds - and I was absolutely horrified at the thought that I had been caught red-handed, that it was OBVIOUS that I didn't have any kids and that it was breaking my heart. I felt completely exposed - sort of like in that all-too-common nightmare of being in school and realizing that you're completely naked, with everyone pointing and laughing.

It's hard not to be resentful, but when I see adorable kids with happy parents, I always compliment them - I always find something nice to say, because I know that, for those people who really love their children, they are their pride and joy. So when I was driving home I struggled not to cry; unwilling to give in to feeling sad again. And as if to drive home the point a little harder, this song came on the radio: Want To Grow Young by Andy Griggs. It talks about these two people, so in love, who want to "grow young" together so that they can spend more time with each other.
It really hurt, those lyrics - not just because I know that this whole baby thing has every chance to drive a wedge between Kenton and I, but also because it made me think about how this whole situation is making me feel OLD. It's not something I feel very often - most of the time I don't think about age at all. But I couldn't help but wonder, as I have before: would we have had these problems if we hadn't been so careful NOT to get pregnant when we first got married?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's driven mad by what-ifs - and in this situation they seem to be all the more toxic. So I did what any respectable young woman in my situation would do: I went shopping. LOL Yeah, I know I'm really being sarcastic about that - but retail therapy seems to be the only thing that's mildly helping. I bought a pair of gorgeous shoes and some other things. And it made me think about all the stuff people buy when they have kids - and I started wondering what kind of mother I would be. I will admit that I drooled over Gwen Stefani's Gucci baby carrier - and while $800 are definitely NOT just lying around at our house (or, as the maxim goes, growing on trees), I remember thinking, mmm that might just be worth it. And then, of course, I started looking up Bugaboo strollers a while back - although even I have to say that, for all my love of shopping, I can't imagine throwing away $2000 on a stroller.

I know what you must be thinking: what on earth is this woman going on about? What's the point of thinking of all that when she doesn't even HAVE a baby to begin with - and, what's more, how are material possessions even RELEVANT to this subject matter?
No amount of money can compensate for or take the place of having the ability, so often taken for granted (and I'll admit that I was definitely one of those people) to bear a child. It's what Kenton told me he worries about with me so much: that it hurts me MORE because he may never be able to father a child and that, consequently, I may never be able to give birth. There, I've said it. Sometimes, when I think about all the issues surrounding this topic, it feels almost dirty, almost vulgar to talk about it - to describe in detail the almost feral feelings that come with being on the receiving end of the infertility-doody-bag.

So I thought I'd share a few choice "words of wisdom" that I've appropriated in the time since we got The News. One of the things I've found that helps me a lot is to read books that make you feel less intimidated (read: jealous) of motherhood. This is obviously not for everyone, but the book I started reading right now is called Momzillas - and it's absolutely snort-inducing! From the beginning of the book, which has a short glossary that'll make your eyeballs pop out, to some of the phraseology the author uses, so far I'm thinking that this is going to go into my Emergency Kit (which I'm now thinking I need to start building: you know, one of those kits that you go to in times of emotional distress like, say, when someone you totally HATE gets pregnant).

What else? I've slowly come up from my low earlier, and now I feel a little less...sad. The other day, when I posted several times, I was really wound up - not just about the baby thing but about a million and one other things - and I needed to VENT. Sometimes I just need that...thanks for listening.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

I am glad you got to vent- sometimes it is all we can do! Somedays are worse than others!