I’m genuinely pleased for her – it hasn’t been an easy process and she and her hubby will be brilliant parents. Plus, having gone through that horrible yearning, it’s wonderful to see an end in sight for people I care about. But it’s painful too because I want that to be me – I want to be yelping with delight over the right blue line too!
I’m properly pleased for her, but also properly sad for myself. So after the initial congrats and talk, I’m trying to process that sadness and make some sort of sense from it.
First there’s that punched in the stomach feeling. (It’s a physical and instinctive response, just like sometimes I think about stroking a wee baby’s head and suddenly there’s something raw and open and powerful throbbing away, that I can’t even begin to articulate or stuff down).
Then, there’s the deep breath and the prayer. I’m squashed. But I’ve got a two-minute window before I can talk to myself or tumble down the licketty-split abyss that takes days to get out of. Sometimes distraction is good – just until I can catch my breath. But I have to be careful – this is exactly when I’m tempted to ‘make it better’ – using whatever it takes: a credit card or booze or fags or food or whatever. “Whatever” being anything that will give me a quick fix and doesn’t involve looking too hard at how I’m reacting.
I feel old and ugly and this seems like the ideal time for a holiday or botox. But part of the reason it’s hard is because there isn’t an easy fix – and I can’t pretend the messiness isn’t there. So I pray again and I think about why I want a baby and how I’ll cope without one.
I want to give my parents grandkids before they die. I want to know what it feels like to give birth and to create an actual life. I want to go shopping in Baby Gap. I want to be like my friends. I feel like my life means nothing if I don’t have kids. I want to leave something lasting. I think Glen would be an awesome dad. I don’t want to be left out. I’m not sure what else to do with my time. I want something that loves and needs me. I’m feeling old and useless. My insides wobble when I see little kids.
Good reasons – and bad ones. Lots of ‘em about me and my self-esteem. About whether or not Jesus really is Enough. I think He is. And as I pray and write this post, a mum sits opposite me with her newborn and I realise it hurts, but it’s (sort of) okay too. And that’s grace I can’t explain.