Tuesday, September 2, 2008

There's Just No Escaping It

The fact that I’m childless, not by choice.

No, there is no escaping this reality — the deep longing, the empty ache of my heart and arms, the silence in our home where a toddler should be playing. There is no forgetting our unfulfilled plans, our failures. There is no suppressing this primal urge, the instinct and desire to parent. There is no end to the lingering anguish over the fact that my baby boy is gone.

And yet, even if by some miracle these feelings were to somehow magically vanish, I could still never escape the painful, cold hard truth that I am childless. That my only real chance at becoming a mother may have died with my son. I cannot avoid the sad reality that we may never become parents, even though I know in my heart it’s what we were meant to do.

The reminders are constant — they are everywhere. Pregnancy announcements by friends and family. Baby showers, blessings, children’s birthdays. Expecting colleagues planning maternity leave. Pregnant strangers in the street. Bellies and strollers everywhere. Mothers and fathers with their children, or just talking about them. It’s a natural part of life, simply unavoidable. And our encounters will only continue as the children in our lives grow and have ever more occasions to celebrate — graduations, weddings, and some day even babies of their own.

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Luna is the contributing editor for Infertility. She writes daily at Life From Here: Musings from the Edge where she covers her infertility story from loss and IVF to her current journey through domestic adoption.


Deb said...

Thank you. This post really spoke to me and where I am at in my journey. We just reached 5 years birth control free this weekend and well, I tried to hold it together and focus on moving forward, it didn't work so well. I really needed to hear today that I am not alone in not being able to face a childless future. It is a really hard road when it is not the road that you want to take. I know some very brave women who have made that choice but somehow, that choice is not one that I have been able to make peace with over the past year.

So, thank you.

SeaStar said...

Luna, your brave honest post bridges a connection for me with a sister-in-law who has not been able to have children and who I have seen struggling with the presence of many children in the family, including my daughters and grandchildren. She loves them, and is hurt, I think, by their presence at times. I feel more empathy after reading your post.