I always thought that the saying “The only guarantee in life is death and taxes” is stupid. I felt that there must be more guarantees in life than that. Warranties are guarantees aren’t they? That was until we finished our third round of IVF, it did not go as planned. Nothing in my life ever seems to have gone as planned. For me I find this to be quite annoying as I am a planner. I love to make lists, schedules, and trackers. The feeling of crossing something off of a list brings me that little zing of joy.
Like any typical twenty something I thought that I would be married by 27, two kids by 32 and then would continue building a career. Instead I sit on my couch just under two weeks away from my 37th birthday with no children in sight, and a deep yearning to be called a mother to something other than our dog and two cats. Don’t get me wrong, I love our pets, they are ridiculously spoiled and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. However, when I hear a toddler in a supermarket use the word “mama” my uterus actually aches.
I have never been a newborn baby person.
Aside from my best friend’s baby, I won’t hold most babies until they are about six months old. I get that awkward feeling when holding a newborn. Everyone stares at you to make sure that you’re supporting the head, the handoffs are like walking on eggshells, and you get tired really fast standing there cradling 8 pounds on your arm. Don’t get me wrong, if the day comes where I have a newborn baby I will covet that baby like you have never seen. Until then I am a total toddler person. I know that there is some mother out there right now reading this thinking “if you spent a whole day with my son, you wouldn’t feel that way”, I would. I have spent numerous days with my best friend and her two children now aged 4 & 2. I have seen the chaos that comes from toddlers and yet that is what makes me feel the biggest loss of not being a mother. It is the everyday things that I yearn for. Bath time, story time, reading together, teaching them the alphabet, colours, and numbers. Watching them shape into the person that they will become later in life.
I know that I have written this before, but I will stress it again. Since we started trying to conceive, all of our coupled friends have become pregnant. Some have even lapped us twice. That means that I am an “auntie” to six children of my very close friends. It also means that there are 13 children outside of my close friends in our lives. That is how many baby showers, meet the baby, and 1st birthday parties that we have been invited to, and for the most part attended.
From the sidelines I have watched my friends join this secret motherhood club.
This club that has inside jokes, wine memes, and many Facebook pages that get shared on a daily basis. I also watch them post first day of preschool photos, first step videos, and just general adorable photos of their growing children on all of my social media. I ache to be a part of this world. I have attended many group lunches where the chatter turns from idle gossip to child rearing tips, while I just smile with nothing to contribute. I can spend an entire day at my best friend’s house with her children and be filled with joy. However, that joy can so easily be erased when I come home and get my period. I used to use “when” instead of “if” when discussing my future family. As summer comes to a close, our hope and expectations have fallen like the leaves from the trees. All I can do at this point is see what our next adventure brings.