As some of you may know, my husband and I suffer from infertility, both male and female factors. Sometimes, I don’t know what is more painful, when your dreams of biological children start to die inside you or when others give up on you ever conceiving. I turned thirty-four earlier this month and my husband will be thirty-five next month. We’ve been married (and also together) for thirteen years as of July.
My ghost babies are growing up so fast. Twelve, nine, who knows?
If you’re not infertile, you may not get it, what it’s like to grieve for children who were not only never born but never conceived but your heart is stubbornly so sure ought to have existed. A big hole in your life, filled in by other things, hard to value them sometimes. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooler. We’ve waited, and waited, and waited. The time I would’ve spent on those activities gets poured into other things, such as writing and editing. It gets harder and harder to value that time, the silence. Irony of life is, mothers long for things scarce to them, that I have too much of, while I honestly wish I had all the problems that go along with motherhood.
Some in our society have forgotten I am not blessed, I am cursed. Ironically, I say “I am cursed” partially from a social standpoint. Childless women can pick up subtle, hopefully unintended social messages that we are second-class citizens compared to mothers. We get left out, discounted, treated like we don’t exist, don’t count. In the media, women like me are often portrayed as either dangerously insane and/or as abusive shrews. Our pain can lead to bitterness and so forth, but due to resiliency, many of us remain loving, kind, compassionate souls who would’ve been great moms and are no threat.
When I say I am cursed, I also simply mean I lack a blessing. It is a blessing to have children. It is a blessing to have sticky fingerprints and crayon art everywhere. It is a blessing to get to give the same instructions repeatedly, to get to watch the same cartoon, play the same CD over and over. Children are blessings that not everyone is fortunate enough to have.
What about my ghosts? Are they doomed to never be? Will God remember the child who never was? Will God give eternal life in Heaven to the sons and daughters robbed of this life by the health problems that kept their parents from conceiving them? Do we infertile have any hope of seeing the babies we mourn in Heaven or are we without hope and fools to desperately believe otherwise?
If it is foolish to hope my never-were children are in Heaven, so be it. When I get there, God will comfort me some other way, if they’re not. All I know is God weeps with us childless would-be parents and with the children who have lost their moms and dads. Perhaps in good time he will make something beautiful out of our broken pieces.