I had always thought (having been around a few teenage pregnancy encounters) that the moment I wanted a baby, I’d just take myself off contraception, have a nice little shag-session or two with my handsome husband and hey presto… I’d be up-duffed! It has turned out to not be the case. Much to my disappointment, I’m in my 3rd month of trying and, contrary to what I had always believed, I’m not pregnant and I’m getting impatient. I had previously maintained that I wasn’t in a hurry, being on the young side of the baby-making age (I’m writing this exactly a week before my 26th birthday) my biological clock may be ticking away somewhere, but I can’t hear it and in my head, I am truly NOT in a hurry. Then why do I have heart-ache at every period? Why do I fall asleep with my hand on my belly, hoping that there is something inside, growing? Why am I suddenly aware of my emptiness? Where’s my baby?
Perhaps it’s just a simple case of getting my heart set on something and being impatient but I have my suspicions that it’s something more. I’m ashamed to say that I (somewhat irrationally) feel inadequate. Before I continue, let me be clear; I know there are women out there who have been trying for years, who have tried everything, invested everything and are far older and wiser than I am – and my heart truly bleeds for your continued frustration and pain, I pray and trust that you will all get the baby(ies) of your dreams; This is NOT about me moaning, or complaining, or losing hope, or even comparing my thus far short journey to parenthood to the journey I know some of you are on. I’m not fishing for your sympathy or trying to be melodramatic… I’m simply endeavouring to explore these feelings. I know a lot of women (in various stages of their own conception journey) have experienced these feelings of inadequacy, and it seems wholly socially acceptable for women who have been trying to conceive for a long time to admit to them, and yet when (young) women new to the baby-making game express these feelings (in my experience), they can be seen as ridiculous, even insensitive!! Well, I’m saying it anyway.
I feel inadequate.
Why can’t I make a baby? I’m young, fit, healthy, I don’t smoke, I only drink socially and I’m having regular sex. Checklist ticked off – so where’s my bump?
As a young teen, I was exposed to all the usual scare tactics: “sperm can live for days”, “you can fall pregnant from pre-ejaculation fluid”, “anyone can fall pregnant, any time of the month”. I’m fairly certain, as a very young teen, I even thought you could fall pregnant from ingesting semen!! My mother is a prison chaplain and a devout reborn Christian and I was raised in the church – my sexual education was limited somewhat and I was obviously discouraged (in vain) to explore my curiosity. What few conversations I did have with my mother revolved around pre-marital sex and her intention for me to avoid it at all costs, and contraception and the instantaneous nature of pregnancy. Mum fell pregnant with me, her only child, the night they flushed the pill down the toilet and she was a love-child (a lovely accident) herself.
I spent my later teenage years hearing stories of fellow teens and their pregnancy scares. So-and-sos friends cousin had fallen pregnant without even having sex. Her friends neighbour got pregnant just by sitting on a toilet seat. Although I knew most of them to be ridiculous, the message sunk in. It could happen to anyone, at anytime, and you had to careful. It was easy to fall pregnant accidentally. That’s the message I heard.
As a young women my older friends started having children. Phrases like “I only have to sniff the stuff!”, “we weren’t ready, we thought it would take us a while!” spring to mind. I had many friends in committed long term relationships who ended up having children completely by accident. I was assured on every side that when I was ready, babies would leap into my tummy and fill our life with joy.
So I ask again, where’s my baby?
Perhaps some of my feelings stem from the fact that my husband had a child with great ease with his ex-wife? I know that their relationship was rocky at the time and they weren’t really sleeping together, in fact, he even went to the extent to say he knew the exact night they’d conceived because it was the only time they had had sex in months! We’re having sex regularly (well, almost regularly! ). We’re in love. We’re committed. We’re in the perfect place to bring a baby into the world. We’re settled, we have a home, stable incomes, we’re ready! Where is our baby?
I know what I must sound like; an impatient, petulant young woman expecting everything to happen in her time, when she says so. Forgive me. I know I have all the time in the world. My mind keeps reminding me. But my heart is in a hurry. It’s breaking and aching and has a great big baby shaped hole.
~ Good things come to those that wait~