My cousin had a beautiful baby girl last week, her second child. I haven’t seen her in person yet, but I’ve seen lots of pictures. She’s healthy, even a little chubby, and just beautiful. While I’m so incredibly happy for my cousin and her family, so happy to have this sweet new soul in our lives, it’s a difficult reminder of how much I long for a child of my own and how much that hurts me.
I’m close with my cousin, I love babies, and I love giving gifts, so I didn’t want to miss out on picking out some nice things for them even though I knew it would be hard. I went to the best mother/baby store I know of and browsed through the store. I was also shopping for some friends expecting their first child this fall. I’m constantly surrounded by people having babies. I looked through everything – the cloth diapers, the swaddle cloths, the moby wraps, the toys, the books, the teething rings, bottles, wipes, etc. etc. – until I made my selections and really couldn’t take it anymore.
These are all part of the hopes and dreams and expectations I’ve had all these years. All things I may be letting go of. As I rushed to my car before the tears burst out, I tried to remind myself that someday there may be baby gifts for us when we adopt. There may still be babies in our future, just not one I’ll carry myself unless some kind of miracle happens. I’m trying to stay hopeful that we’ll have a family somehow.
I skip baby showers for now as I come to terms with my illnesses, circumstances, infertility, and what I guess is called involuntary childlessness. It’s too hard for me to attend baby showers. I still shop for and give baby gifts. It’s something I love to do for them and it used to be a fun time to dream about my time. This time, tears streamed down my face in the car and I hoped I wouldn’t be seen bawling in the parking lot. My brain says to be hopeful. My fear says maybe even adoption won’t come through for us. My heart cries, why not me? I see that sweet baby girl’s perfect little feet and just ache. Why not me?
I know there’s no point in that question; it’s a mystery and I rely on my faith. I’ll take one step forward at a time and trust that the love we have to give will find its way to a family one day.
Image: Maternal Admiration by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, public domain
Text copyright Snowdroplets 2015