The infertile is an outsider to a very important club. The mommy club. We’re like little children standing outside the toy store window — always on the outside looking in. So desperately wanting in. I can’t count how many times I was asked “do you have kids” and when I answered “no”, it was like I was immediately disqualified because I couldn’t possibly understand if I didn’t have kids. It was like a kick to the gut every time.
One of my biggest peeves is when clients would do it. Not necessarily to me (although sometimes), but towards their F&CS workers. “Blah, blah, blah… stupid worker doesn’t even have kids, what does she know?” Yeah, because if F&CS is at your door, you’re obviously doing a bang up job.
The first time I realized I was part of the club was right after Christmas. Max was almost one month old and we were out doing some “boxing day” shopping. I left Chris with Max in the stroller to try on some clothes in the change room and the sales woman started talking to me about sleep deprivation and having a new baby. Soon, a woman who was waiting for someone in the change room chimed in. And we were all talking about our babies and sleep and feeding. Just like that, I was part of the club.
Most days, it still doesn’t feel real. There’s a part of me that keeps waiting for someone to take him away from me. “Time’s up, we were just kidding, give him back”. It’s probably why I don’t want to miss a moment of time with him. Sometimes I find myself holding him while he sleeps and I’m thinking of all the things I could be doing if I just put him in his swing to sleep. But I keep holding him. Because even if no one takes him away from me, one day he won’t want to be held all the time. I feel like I need to make the most of every single moment.
I wonder if all parents feel this way or if infertility and loss does something to you? Does it make the parenting experience different? Did my hard-fought battle to join this exclusive and elusive club make me a different kind of momma? I’m not sure. I just know that it has made me the kind of momma — the kind of person — that doesn’t take any of this great gift — this club membership — for granted.