Almost every time I see a baby, something happens. My uterus starts crying tears of an empty womb, my boobs ache like they are getting ready to nurse, and my heart beats love for another child. I know the pain of a miscarriage, and I know the pain of being ready for another child before my husband is, but I know that I do not know the pain of infertility month after month. I imagine that what courses through my body is only a fraction of what those experiencing infertility feel time and time again.
Still, it hurts. I hurt. If my body had cooperated and cooked my baby the accurate amount of time, our little junior would have been alive nine months by Christmas this year. We would have five stockings hanging instead of just four. There would be a new "Baby's First Christmas 2012" ornament dangling from a branch on our tree. And our little babe would be crawling (or even toddling), and yanking ornaments down, only to promptly stuff them into his mouth.
There's nothing quite like the Christmas after a baby was supposed to be born. While the moments of magic are all around me, and I am even able to get a tree with hardly a thought of the babe that might have been, it suddenly hits me hard. The ghost of the baby I see crawling on our dusty floors, or stuffed in a fluffy gray snowsuit, or belling laughing and clapping as he tears Santa paper off a present.
I do not have illusions that a new baby would bring only happiness and rainbows. Like all mothers who've experienced miscarriage (because we all are mothers, are we not?), I know that no new baby could ever replace the baby we lost. That a new baby won't "fix" things. But I also have this love that I was ready to give and it is still ready, just waiting waiting waiting. And I can't adequately explain how much I feel like I need another baby to heal.
Perhaps this is not possible. Perhaps it is unhealthy. Perhaps one has nothing to do with the other. Even on those days that I. NEED. A. BREAK. My heart and mind still chorus together: Four kids. Four kids. Four. FOUR. FOUR! I'm not sure where this comes from, or what kind of mother I'd actually be to four children. Maybe it's God. Maybe it's biology. Maybe it's just my crazy self-talk determined to drive me insane.
I want it to be okay. I want to be able to enjoy this time before we are ready to try for another baby. Because as much as I want a baby, I do not, in a trillion years (although maybe a trillion and one?) want my husband to agree to a baby before he feels ready.
And I do enjoy this time. Oh how I enjoy Hope's journey into girlhood (I mean, she's going to be five next month people!) and Paige's transformation into the delightful, and often frightful, Threes (can you say potty-trained?). I just can't help but sometimes wish that I could be enjoying these things while simultaneously leaning over the toilet bowl with the reminder that I am growing a delicious little bundle of joy.
I can't do anything to change the fact that we will not have a nine-month-old with our family this Christmas. And it certainly is not my year to have the gift of a positive pregnancy test on Christmas morning. But to all of you praying and wishing, I am hoping for a Christmas miracle just for you.