Having a baby always felt like a given — I’d get married, have a baby, and live happily ever after. That’s the way it works, right? After my fiance and I had been dating for almost a year, we had a surprise pregnancy. It was fantastic! Not exactly as planned (as my mother was prompt to point out….) but was definitely a blessing. We made plans for our new home (we were already planning on moving in together in the next couple months) and for the most perfect nursery. We started reading all the books we could find. Pumped in the prenatal vitamins. Looked for the perfect maternity doctor. Had major meltdowns over waffles (okay, that was just me). And then the baby was gone.
Losing that baby was heartbreaking, but after much research on the internet, I decided it was perfectly common to lose your first pregnancy. We decided to try again because we’d had a look at our perfect future with our amazing baby. A few months later, I was pregnant again. We made a concentrated effort to not get nearly as excited, but despite our best efforts we were soon picking names. Rebeccah for a girl or Joshua for a boy. Everything was looking great. And then the baby was gone.
Six pregnancies and seven miscarriages later (one set of twins) we find ourselves facing the very real possibility that I simply can not carry a child to term. Three months seems to be average, though one pregnancy was lost at five months.
This opened up a whole host of questions. What if I can NEVER have a baby? What if he leaves me because I can’t have children? What if he doesn’t leave me but then is unhappy forever? What if we adopt? What if we try IVF? What if we decide to not have children, but end up feeling like we never fulfilled part of our lives? What if I can’t be happy without a baby? What if adoption/IVF is too expensive? If I do manage to get the money together, would it be more sensible to “buy” a baby or a house? What if buying a house means I can’t afford to adopt?
After many soul-searching discussions together and alone, we decided that we can really only play most of the questions by ear. We decided that we would be happy just the two of us if it came to that and that we’d be even happier if something came along that brought us a child. There are days when I’m not sure that I’ll be able to be happy without having a baby. There are other days when I know that we will be just fine being “just us two.”
As we proceed with the wedding, I have a handful of concerns. I worry that on the wedding day I’m going to be watching my beautiful flower girl (who was born about a month before my first baby should have been) walking down the aisle and I’m going to have a panic attack thinking about all the children I’ve lost. I worry that my amazing fiance is making a mistake by marrying a woman who may never give him children. I worry that one day, my future husband will be gone and I’ll be there all alone. No husband, no children, no grandchildren. Just me.
Still, a part of me is convinced that on some magical day, all the stars will align and I’ll be there with my beautiful husband and our perfect child living our perfect life. So, come August, I will walk down the aisle smiling and silently praying that everything doesn’t come crashing down around me.