Women have babies. That’s how God made us.
When we are little girls, we instinctively nestle our baby dolls in the crook of our small arms, whispering sweet nothings in their plastic toy ears. We rock them, and sing to them, and brush their hair because we are born to be mamas.
We practice. And we wait.
We start our periods and learn how to handle it. We try not to die from embarrassment when the teacher passes out those horrible handouts in health class. We stare at our reproductive system on an overhead projector screen and watch videos of the egg heading down the fallopian tube.
We are born with those eggs so that we can make our babies. That’s how God made us.
Every single month afterward, our bodies practice. And we wait.
We are brilliant, beautiful, and busy. We fall in love. We plan weddings, and make car payments, and rent apartments. We get a dog. We settle down. We look at him across a crowded room and think about what a good daddy he’s going to be.
We practiced and we waited. It’s time.
We throw out the pills. We go to work, and the gym, and the dog park. We have brunch on Saturdays and drink mimosas, and smile at the Pottery Barn Kids sign across the street.
Our period arrives again. Again. Again. Again.
We listen calmly when the doctor says it takes longer for some women. We are composed and patient, because women have babies. There is no rush. Right?
We are still practicing. And we wait.
All the people ask us all the questions and we smile, and nod, and laugh, and smile, and nod, and laugh. “You two should have a baby! Are you planning to have kids?” Smile, nod, laugh, repeat.
We are PREGNANT! A baby! OUR BABY! What will we name her? I love her so much already!
There is no heartbeat. We didn’t get to keep her. We don’t ever want to try again. This is too hard.
Maybe it was practice. And we wait.
We go to all the baby showers. Is every woman pregnant? Is that a thing? We order Pottery Barn presents online instead of in the store. We pass on the mimosas.
We feel our sisters’ bellies shift beneath our palms. We are happy. It hurts so much that we can hardly breathe.
Women have babies. Right?
Our period arrives again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again . . .
We are pregnant. Maybe. Numbers aren’t doubling. We draw blood every two days. We take medicine. We pray.
We have a baby! We take a deep breath. He’s here, and he’s safe, and we grew him all the way. It will be easier next time. We are sure of it.
We raise him. And we wait.
We wanted at least three children, but two will be fine. Better than fine! Just one more. Please? One more?
We don’t know what to say when he asks for a sibling. We are running out of ideas. We feel like we failed him. We feel like we failed our husbands, our parents, and ourselves.
Women have babies. Maybe we missed a page in the manual somewhere.
Months turn into years. One doctor turns into three specialists. We take the medicines, and the shots, and our temperature. We count the days. We schedule. We pray.
We are trying too hard. We know it, but we will try again. We can’t let go of the tiny hand we’ve been holding inside. We will try to find her just one more time. We promise.
They shoot dye into our tubes and it hurts. We cry on the table. We don’t want to do this anymore.
Our period arrives again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again.
We hate pregnancy tests and ourselves. We stop intervening and focus on the husbands, and children, and friends we’ve left behind. We pray that God will help us fill the gaping hole that’s left behind.
We walk through our beautiful, complicated lives for another two years, five years, ten years.
The pregnancy test is positive. We sit on the bathroom floor and stare at it, wondering how a living, breathing unicorn just walked into our house on a random Tuesday. Is it real?
The doctor says we are old and need more tests. We are petrified because it’s a miracle, and we can’t lose another one.
Everyone thinks we should be so happy. Don’t they see that we are broken? We can’t celebrate because we might not get to keep him. “Be QUIET!”, we want to shout. They mean well, but what if they jinx it? The joy is sitting quietly in the corner, just in case. We are scared all the time.
We wait. We don’t want more practice.
We are done. We are tired. We are warriors.
We have two children. We have five. We have zero.
We conceived with help. We adopted. We got pregnant after we gave up. We fostered. We stayed childless.
We are all women.
Some of us have babies.
Some of us don’t.
That’s how God made us.
The Fort Worth Moms Blog hosts 19 Neighbor Groups via Facebook, including the Fertility Discussion with Tarrant County Moms. These groups are free to join and offer online and offline opportunities to build relationships and gain resources from other moms in the area.