I saw a family on the subway today. One mom with an infant in a stroller, a little girl show looked to be James’ age in her arms, two little girls who couldn’t be older than 3 or 4, and a slightly older girl who was maybe 6. For most people, that would be a nightmare. Five girls under the age of 6 on a subway. She had her hands full and then some. She was on a subway with all of them, their gear, and she was asking for directions, no less. Traveling with one kid can be a nightmare. But to me, it was the family I’d die to have. I know. Easy to say when you have one kid. One kid who you haven’t even brought ever brought on the subway and who sometimes you can barely handle. But I couldn’t stop staring and smiling and trying not to let the tears I felt welling up in my eyes stream down my face.
Right now, what I would do to just have one more beautiful baby. But oh god what I would do to have that big bustling family I always dreamed of — the juggling, the chaos, the overwhelm and the love and joy. The playmates and best friends. The fun vacations and holidays. The crowded, loud, bustling dinner table. What I had always dreamed of in my head when I thought of my future and family and that I now don’t know that I’ll ever have… The thought feels devastating. I try to tell myself it will happen, like Andrew and everyone else trying to make me feel better promises. But it’s hard not to let my mind go there. It’s hard not to fear I’ll never have it. It’s hard not to cry on the subway every time I see a big happy family, even if I know that mom was probably dying at that moment, wondering what she was thinking having all those kids, and attempting to take them all on the subway. Like how I feel when we take James on a flight or Ill-fated road trip.
That’s the thing about wanting a baby and struggling to get pregnant. You try not to cry every time you see the baby you so desperately want but you can’t help it. You try not to get sad or angry every time you see a pregnant woman rubbing her belly. You try to feel happy for each friend, celeb, Instagram acquaintance that announces their pregnancy. But secretly, their happy news just crushes you even more. You’re happy for them deep down, but it also feels like salt in the wound. A wound that grows deeper with each failed cycle and each month that passes with no pink line on the pregnancy test.