Grieving For What Might Have Been

This week has been a tough week on the infertility front. It seems that a whole lot of babies have been in a rush to get themselves born before the school-intake cut off of September the 1st and consequently I’ve been hit with birth announcements on every social media channel as well as by text message and in person. There have been several blog babies born – including the lovely Carrie’s son on Tuesday – and Twitter has been awash with adorable baby pictures. In “real life” a friend also gave birth to a son on Tuesday, and another of my NCT group had her second daughter two days ago.

I’m genuinely happy at the news of these bundles of joy. It would take a heart of stone not to smile at the precious pictures of scrunched up newborns, snoozing contentedly on their mothers’ chests. How can I resent such joy when I know what it would mean to me? There is no doubt at all that it means just as much to all these mothers too. A healthy, happy baby is always news to be celebrated.

But it still hurts. In the deepest part of my heart, where I try to keep my desire for more children firmly locked, I feel it, heavy and sharp all at the same time. I can’t suppress it completely, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to. There will always be a part of my heart that grieves for the babies that might have been. Not just those that were miscarried – although so many birth, and pregnancy, announcements have reminded me that I should have been 31 weeks pregnant right now, counting down on the home straight to welcoming my own new arrival. But I’ll also grieve for the dreams I cherished that can now never come true. I can’t apologise for that. I know life rarely works out how we’d like. Men plan, God laughs. But we all have desires. Ambitions. Goals. Ideals. Hopes. Call them what you will.

In my dream life, my second child would have turned one this month. We’d have spent the last couple of months in a pseudo-debate about number three, but I know we’d have started trying by this month or next. And in another year or so from now, give or take a couple of months, we’d be parents to three children under the age of four. That was the dream, so starkly different from the reality.

Those children will never exist in this life, but they’ll always be in my heart. I’ll feel the weight of them there, even though I cannot feel it in my arms. Even though I cannot possibly rewind to make them a reality, I’ll still feel their presence. Or rather, their absence.

They say that time heals almost everything, and I know the pain and the hurt that I feel with each new pregnancy announcement will gradually fade. I know that we’ll have a lot of fun, as a family of three, or a larger one with bigger age gaps if that is what is meant to be. I know it will all be alright, however it turns out. How can it not, when I have a man that I love, and who loves me, and together we have such a wonderful, funny and bright kid. But locked in that deep, dark recess of my heart will be the babies that never were. The ones that never got a chance to shine. Never had the opportunity to make me smile and laugh the way my only born son does.

I’ll never know how it really would have felt to live that dream. What might have happened if it had come to pass. I’m sure it would have been hard. I’m sure there would have been times when I wondered why I wanted so many children. Perhaps it hasn’t happened for a reason.

I’ll never know.

I’ll only know the emptiness I’m left with. The absence. And wonder if it’s okay to grieve for something that you never even had.



2 Replies to “Grieving For What Might Have Been”

  1. Oh sweetie, I can honestly say you have written all the things that are going round in my head right now. After another failed round of Letrozole and trigger shot (I’d stupidly allowed myself to get my hopes up this month it may have worked) we are now a couple of months away from starting IVF. I’m terrified of it. Scared of losing the hope I have if it doesn’t work, but I can’t not try. I’d never forgive myself for not trying.
    Thinking of you lovely xxx

    1. I’m sorry you’re still going through this too. You’re absolutey right, we have to at least try. I just really hope it’s both our times very soon xx

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