It is one of the most basic human instincts to want a baby, to want to raise a child. If you run into difficulties whilst trying to fall pregnant, how do you cope with that longing to be a mother, whilst getting on with life? Can you even begin to appease those deep rooted feelings of wanting to carry a baby, if you can’t get pregnant?
I have been writing this piece off and on all summer. Honestly it has been a struggle to write, as sometimes I have just found it too painful, which is partly why it has taken me till now to publish it. It’s an important subject to talk about though, as it is something that effects so many people’s lives, yet it is not touched on more widely.
I have had a very familiar conversation with lots of women over the last few years. In fact, the further I move into my thirties, the more couples I meet who want to have a family, or grow their family, but instead of being greeted by a bundle of joy, month after month their efforts are met with disappointment and difficulties.
As common as it is, why then do most of us suffer in silence? Maybe simply it’s because it is not easy to talk about, or because we feel like we can’t. Either way I have got to a point, where in order to move forward and feel better, I need to write about my experience in the hope that it helps me (and others) navigate one of life’s hardest trials.
Here is my story so far…
Those that have been reading my blog for a while will know that Bailey was ‘a long time coming‘ – 3 and half years in fact. Even though this is familiar territory to me, it is not any easier second time around.
Whilst trying for Bailey I put everything on hold, and found myself in the unhappy and unhealthy position of just waiting… With baby number two I was determined to do it differently. I made a conscious decision not to wait, to throw myself into life and all the opportunities that came my way.
However, back at the beginning of the summer through writing ‘big thinking and slowing down’ I realised that by saying ‘yes’ to all the opportunities, I was also guilty of doing that all too common thing of burying my head in the sand.
Slowing down this summer has forced me to do some soul searching. In fact one of the many positives of slow living is you are consciously making space to listen to what it is that your heart desires. But in doing so, first there has to be a willingness to listen to whatever may come, even if it is not what you expect or maybe even want to hear.
Honestly I have been scared to let myself ask what I really want, as I knew what would be whispered back at me. I did not want to feel that consuming and familiar ache of longing to be a mother all over again. I have been keeping busy in hope that distractions would occupy me until the month the test had that magic double line.
Although I do believe that I had good intentions, and that ‘keeping busy’ is a valid coping strategy, as it’s a form of self protection. The problem is, now I have been using it, just to avoid that yearning that I know will be there if I were to really listen, and this is just as unsustainable and unhealthy.
“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind” ~ Caroline Myss
I constantly have to let go of a life that I had perceived for me and my family. Bailey will start school next September, so it is pretty unlikely that I will have two children at home at the same time (as I imagined I might). Friends have said that is no bad thing, either way it is the reality that I am faced with.
I know there are some people that don’t get to experience motherhood at all, and I am very very thankful that we have Bailey. It’s just we don’t quite feel complete as a family, it’s as if there is a little someone missing.
It’s now starting to effect other aspects of my life. By squashing what’s really going on, and hiding my feelings I am left empty, and that is bound to taint anything creative I do. Also in social situations I have been finding that I feel disconnected from my friends. I tend to be the one who asks the questions, so I don’t have to answer any. I know why I don’t want to talk about it… because it is easier not to. Why would you bring up something that leaves you feeling powerless and vulnerable, and a bit like you have failed.
I am not sure how to process all of this, but I do know the time has come to stop ignoring that desire to be a mother. By avoiding it and telling it to be quiet, it will not go away.
Currently I am having to sit with this well of sadness that I have uncovered, which has been laying hidden for a little while now. I know in my heart, that I need to acknowledge my feelings, and experience them, in order to move past them, it’s just that is easier said then done.
I don’t know if it is a sadness that will always be there, or whether, like grief, you just learn to live with it because you have to. It is definitely the biggest lesson in patience and letting go. It’s really hard to surrender and believe that you are right where you’re meant to be, and that ‘all is good’, when that is not how you feel.
I hope if some of this sounds familiar to you, that you can take some comfort from the knowledge that you are not alone – I will try to. Perhaps together we can have courage to face what is deep within our hearts, even if we are at first greeted by sadness. We must try to find some peace from the fact that it is the best way to go on living wholeheartedly.
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.” ~ Rumi
Writing this has definitely helped me confront reality, and it was so much easier to write it all down rather than speak it aloud. Thank you for reading it. The picture above was taken at the weekend when I got to meet my new nephew – he is awesome and I will have to get my fill of newborn cuddles as an Aunty, which in itself is a pretty special thing.
I realise this is such a private subject to many, but it would mean so much if you felt able to share your experience, and I would warmly welcome any advice on how to get through it.