It happened on Easter Sunday.
We were celebrating Easter at my brother in-law’s parents’ new bungalow. Laughter filled the open-concept home as about twenty family members poured into the large kitchen socializing and trying to help with the food. It was a happy occasion — my sister and her husband had just had their first baby, and he was only three months. He was being passed around from adult to adult and every time someone held him, a smile would form on their face.
All of a sudden, he started to cry.
“I’ll just take him to the living room,” I said to my sister who was in mid -conversation, talking about being a new Mom.
As I held him in my arms, his delicate body rested up against me and he fell asleep. It was a win-win: my sister seemed happy to be able to continue her adult conversation, while I was experiencing that very specific sense of purposeful euphoria that comes with being able to soothe a screaming infant.
There were only a handful of relatives in the living room chatting with one another. All conversations stopped as people found themselves completely distracted by the beautiful baby boy who just entered the room.
That was when my grandmother spoke.
“I am just so sad that you have such a gift with kids—and you will never have a baby of your own.”
There was certitude in her tone, finality. In one line she had evaluated my situation—single, 36, unmarried—and concluded my childless fate. Her words stung—my pulse started to quicken and my face started to feel very warm. It was as though someone had reached their hand into my stomach and rattled all of the emotions inside of me. Shock. Anger. Hurt. Sadness.
I dug my feet in the plushy white carpet in hopes of appearing centred and calm. aI knew that ever since her stroke, my grandma had lost her filter and would always say whatever was on her mind.
But knowing this did not keep my mind from spiralling.
“It is just because of her stroke,” I kept repeating in my head.
“It is okay and you will meet someone.”
“Times are different now.”
“You will meet someone and have the family you have always wanted when the time is right.”
None of these affirmations helped.
All I wanted to do was run away. Instead, I excused myself and went to the main floor washroom where I turned on the facet in hopes of being distracted by the sound of running water rather than by the sound of the negative screaming thoughts running rampant in my head.
What was my life?
I thought I’d done everything right — at 30 I became engaged, at 31 I was married. At 32 we had planned that we’d start trying to have a baby, but at 32 he told me he wanted to put a pause on the baby. By 34, our marriage had collapsed and we were officially divorced.
I had tried dating. I honestly gave it my all, but I just didn’t want to “mess up” again. I didn’t want to choose poorly and I wanted to find a man who wanted kids in the future.
Maybe I scared men off when they’d ask me if I wanted kids and my face would light up. Maybe somewhere inside of me I felt I was unworthy of a second shot at love. Maybe I felt so disgusting and ugly that I felt I could never have a man love me again. Maybe I just hadn’t found the right guy.
Now, at the age of 38, I am taking a pause on dating, focusing on something I want more than a man — I want to be a mother. There’s this powerful longing within me to have and raise a child.
If you would have asked me ten years ago, five years ago, even two years ago, if I ever thought I’d be going through with having a baby on my own my answer would have been a resolute no. Well now I am hoping it will happen — God permitting.
I am going to have a baby.
It may be through artificial insemination, IVF, or through adoption, but I know that I am going to have a baby and I would love it if you joined me through my journey. My first round of IUI (fertility treatment that involves putting the sperm inside of women’s uterus) is happening this spring.
For many, the fertility journey is a very private one which I completely understand. It took me a long time to decide whether or not I want to be so open about the process while trying to get pregnant.
Yet here I am.
Something inside of me is telling me that there is power in sharing this story and that in allowing my voice to be heard, other woman may feel as though they have a voice too. A voice to talk about the challenges of fertility, pregnancy and motherhood with – the real, the raw, and the ugly. The times you try to get pregnant and it doesn’t work. The times that labour and delivery doesn’t end up as planned. The times where motherhood is just too much and the only thing a mother can do is just survive.
Please join me as we uncover all of this together.
I do have a gift with kids—and I am going to have a baby on my own.
And now I am announcing it to the world.