Tumbling Through the Rabbit Hole...
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On friendship, babies, longing and fear

Posted by Haisla Saturday, 5 July 2014

Only four more days to go till our next consult.

Time has gone fast, I have to admit. I have been kept busy, which is a good thing, but  it has kept me away from the blogosphere, which I don't like.. Maybe it's done me some good..

It's been a pretty painful week, though, too.

We went to see one of my good friends I. and her husband H. and their wonderful nine month old baby girl E last Sunday.

I'd dreaded this visit, because as much as I love I, her husband and E, seeing them together always breaks my heart. I love spending time with them, but always, always end up leaving their place feeling wistful and blue. I just cannot help it. Because what they have is all I want. And surely that is not too much to ask? To have a family, a small but perfectly formed family, with all the difficulties and challenges that it brings. All the alterations to timetables and buying of baby gates and trying to find foods that the baby will eat, the crying spells and the sleep deprivation. And yet, I would welcome all of that with open arms.

And it's the one thing right now, that I cannot have.

I am so ready to be a Mummy.

And it wasn't always that way. It's taken me years, literally years, to get to this place where I can say that I am ready to be a mummy. Even when I met M. I wasn't sure whether I'd make a good mum or whether I liked children enough or whether I actually really wanted to be a mum at all or whether that was just yet another expectation that society had placed squarely on my shoulders.

Well, it turned out that the reason I wasn't sure whether I liked children was because I didn't really like myself very much. I didn't understand my own feelings or my own needs, so being faced with a small creature with desperate early needs and emotions just scared the s*it out of me. It all went back to my early childhood, my relationship with my dad; all very complex and painful stuff, but once I got it all (more or less) sorted out, I realised that I actually really like children. I am fascinated by them, I am able to enjoy their company, relish their innocence, take pleasure from seeing them grow and develop. I have patience and love to give. I am no longer perplexed and anxious, because I understand a few things about needs and emotions, now. Those little bundles that used to terrify me, now kind of make sense and I am drawn to them in a way I never thought possible.

So I'm ready to be a mummy, and it's not just an intellectual or emotional readiness. From somewhere I have acquired this deep yarning. It's not just a whim or an 'I want'. It's primal and raw and guttural and it rears its head when I'm around babies. It is like my body recognising what it is meant to be doing and responding to the cues with this deep longing. And yet somehow it simultaneously also fails to fulfil its function in turning that longing into a reality.

Another thing that makes me sad when visiting I. and her family is that she is my compatriot and is also married to a Brit. Our lives have had such parallel trajectories; we both came to the UK at the same time to volunteer in our early twenties (we met and became firm friends at our first conference) and were the only ones of that large volunteer group to remain in the UK to study. We've been through ups and downs; she went on studying further on, whilst I went on to establish my career, and we got married within two years of each other. We started trying to get pregnant roughly the same time (this was by no means planned!!); she got pregnant last year and gave birth in September. Her trajectory kept on going, whilst I got stuck on my tracks.

She has a child who is the perfect blend of her and her husband; she gets to speak our language to her child, introduce her to the children's books from our childhood and buy baby clothes from back home. That's what makes it so bitter sweet. In her I see what my life could be.

I may not get to have a baby who shares my heritage if we end up adopting. I may not get to breast-feed, or teach our child to speak my language from day one. I may not get to carry my baby and give birth. I may not get any of those things.

And that, my dear readers, breaks my heart today.


JCH4DCU said...

I'm an American who married a Brit but, we live in America. :-)

Even though I do have one living child, I feel your pain and raw emotions so well. It's hurts to want something so much and see everyone around you getting it easily.
And even when you know they didn't come by it easily, somehow you're still jealous while be happy for them, too.

I just have to believe our time will come.

Anonymous said...

Holy moly, yes.

Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples said...

I'm so sorry. We give up so much on this road of infertility and wish the loss was not so huge. Hugs to you my friend.

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