You know, there are days where you think you just might have rounded the corner on Heartbreakville when, out of nowhere, something smashes into you and you're once again left with the smithereens of your bleeding heart.
I was at the hospital a few weeks ago to meet a friend for lunch. Obviously hospitals aren't my first choice of venue for any get togethers, and in view of my predicament this dislike has only grown exponentially. But I hadn't been able to catch up with her in ages because both of our schedules were crazy, so I gave in.
Lunch was great, catching up even better (even though I'm still holding down my silence on The Issue) and I was in a wonderful mood. On my way out, I walked by a waiting area for a particular section of the hospital - I don't even remember what it was - and there was this little red-haired girl. She was maybe 2, I think, and had really short impish hair. And as I saw her, her eyes lit up and she instantly broke into a smile so big I thought it would swallow me whole.
It was at once the most wonderfully elating and tremendously heartbreaking experience I've had in a while. I smiled and waved at her, which made her break into this beautifully light-hearted and completely insouciant laughter. Oh and I wanted so much to go up to her and pick her up, hug her and tickle her, anything for her to keep smiling and laughing at me like that. But I walked away, of course, feeling like some kind of perv because I keep having to remind myself not to STARE at other people's babies/children.
It's hard with any baby, but there are so many that make me feel less frustrated. Sometimes there's the ones that are just whiny and crying, which most of the time makes me think, phew glad I don't have to deal with that. Then there are the ones that just have this really ugly, pouting, attitude adjustment problem displayed on their tiny bunched up faces - which just makes me want to turn away.
But then there are always those that smile or wave, that look at me for a split second and then beam at me like I'm the person they love most in the entire world - and it's those that make me want to scream, cry, run away and hide under the bed until I'm all covered with dust bunnies, or at least my heart is. Even now, sometime later, I can still see her face in my mind - and I replay my own imaginary home movie with my child, my baby, the one I'm starting to lose faith I'll ever be able to hold and smile at.
Because the truth is that I'm starting to feel really, truly hopeless. I kept thinking that it was just temporary because things weren't happening the way I'd always assumed they would. I thought maybe it just had something to do with my unwillingness to share this burden, this sadness, with my family and friends. But the truth is that for all the fake bravado I've tried to muster, I can't keep pretending that I'm not at the end of my rope. Part of me wants to die when I think about this, it makes me wonder why this happened to me and why I'm going through this all alone in some way. Why I can't reach out and ask for help - and why I can't find comfort in the success stories of others like me who've navigated this rough and bumpy terrain to find happiness one day. I feel like there's no light at the end of this tunnel anymore.
As I sit here writing this, I realize that it's the first time I've admitted defeat even to myself. I kept thinking, you know there's some kind of cosmic wisdom out there, someone watching over you, and whatever or whoever that is wouldn't let someone like you go through life completely childless. Part of me thinks, why do I have to go through all this when there's no end result? The periods every month with their aches and pains, aging, marriage...What's the point of it all in light of this complete denial of what, as a woman, should have been a given, a birthright?
I want to find hope or make peace with this, but I can't - I feel like there's this big open wound where my heart used to be and it just refuses to heal. Every now and again, it almost scabs over but then somehow it breaks open again, hurting worse than before.
I even got to the point where I thought, you know maybe I'm just not meant to have kids, and maybe that's not the end of the world. But that's not how I really feel, and I know now that I will never, ever be able to be completely happy or content without a child of my own. I mean, I'm not asking for much, you know: I always wanted girls, then after I got married I thought a boy first and then two girls, but now I don't even care.
I guess I'm just a typical example of not realizing how much you want something until someone tells you that you can't have it...