I often feel like I’m waiting for my real life to begin. Because this can’t be it.
Don’t get me wrong; my life is not terrible. It’s actually pretty good. I love my husband, who also happens to be my best friend, and we’ve been able to travel together and have experiences that would have undoubtedly been made more difficult with children in tow. I have friends I can talk to about our infertility–or not. Work is fine, perhaps more difficult on the days I find out my families are pregnant (again!?), homeless, depressed, unemployed, or ungrateful for everything they do have.
But my dream–my dream life–is to have Hubby gainfully employed, doing what he loves, while I stay home with our children. We once discussed having five (all girls, per Hubby’s wishes), but as time drags on, I start to lose hope, little by little, and now I would consider us extremely lucky to have one. But I can’t picture myself ever being content with a childless-not-by-choice life.
I know there are those who have done it. Somehow, they’ve managed to fill the hole in their life that would have been filled by achieving parenthood with other things. Marathon running. Baking. Book clubs. World travel. Surfing. Knitting. They’ve embraced the life that having children would have made impossible. They celebrate spontaneity.
Personally, I can’t envision such a life. For me, the hole where my children should be is not easily spackled over. It’s a bottomless pit, and the more I try to cram into it, the more I realize just how big a chasm it is. Living without children is simply not an option for me. Just the thought of it leaves me feeling empty.
And then I think, what does that say about me, my relationship with my husband, my identity? I would love to be able to say that he is enough. I would love to be able to say that whatever happens, as long as we have each other, we’ll be just fine. But that’s not the truth. As much as we love each other, children were always part of the plan. We’re a family of two, but that feels incomplete to both of us.
So I cling to someday and all that might come with it: my husband’s dream job, insurance that covers our infertility treatments, a sperm count that can actually be counted, a successful pregnancy (maybe even more than one), a houseful of children (by whatever means necessary).
Still, I would like to enjoy the moment for once. To have an evening with my husband where the conversation doesn’t inevitably turn to baby names or the financial stress of infertility treatments, or hey, you still need to give me my injections tonight.
That’s my new someday. The day I can go an hour, or a workday, or even an entire weekend, without thinking of anything baby-related. I just wish I knew how to get there.