I want a baby.
I have made this statement to myself and then out loud at different points over the past two years, and I mean it when I say it.
It’s difficult, though, when you want so badly to bring another life into this world but you know that your job will not provide you with the financial means or schedule flexibility needed to properly care for a tiny human.
So, you postpone turning your “want” into a “have,” and you take the necessary steps forward to plan for a future that includes children.
You find a new job — one that does grant you the peace of mind you need.
You move into a house, and though it might be small, it is perfect for bringing home your firstborn.
You finally get to a point where you and your partner feel ready to build a family.
You plan a vacation to Disney World and decide to make that trip the official baby-making kickoff.
Then, you return home, the excitement of vacation wears off, and you realize that planning for a baby when you’re a motherless daughter is more emotional than you ever imagined.
I spent last week in Disney World watching women walk by with their beautiful, round baby bumps, telling myself, and Justin, that will be me someday soon (hopefully). I was in awe of all the women — and there were many — who were tackling Magic Kingdom and beyond in, what appeared to be, the beginning of their third trimester.
However, and there will always be a however in my life, despite the fact that this is an exciting time for Justin and me as we start planning for a family (and for the day when I can walk down Main Street, U.S.A., with my baby bump on parade), I am plagued with the sadness that comes when you’re a woman beginning a new season of life and you don’t have your mom to talk to about what you’re experiencing.
Making the transition from motherless daughter to motherless mother fills me with fear and anxiety. Each day that I spend waiting to find out if I am pregnant is another day I spend wishing my mom could be here for this.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who also is trying to conceive. She and I are the same age, 26, and we share the same worry that people believe we’re too young to have a baby. This friend made a good point by saying, “Who’s to say when I’m old enough to start having children. I am an adult, a woman, and when I’m ready to have a baby is my decision to make.”
I could not agree more. Most days I feel old, and part of that is because of the loss and experiences I’ve had. Sometimes, when I really stop to think about it, I remember that I am ONLY 26. I am young, but I have an old soul and will never feel like I am on the same level of this game called life as my peers.
As a woman who lost her mother when I was 19, I crave stability. I feel like my life has been down and up and back down again since my mom was diagnosed with cancer. So, having a family to call my own is what I need to feel stable; it’s what I have wanted for many years.
My mom’s death has forever shaped my emotional terrain. She is a part of everything I do because I spend so much time wondering what she would say in certain situations if she were here.
I also want to share that since my mom’s passing, I have never looked at my friends with their moms and been jealous of their relationships — even as I have watched many of my closest friends get married and observed them with their mothers during the planning process and on their wedding day. While that has been painful to watch at times, I have never felt jealous of the fact that they have their mothers to help plan a wedding and I don’t. However, when it comes to having babies, I am jealous that my girlfriends have moms to talk to. I want to pick up the phone and call my mom, and I want to experience with her all the joys of me becoming a mom and her becoming a grandma.
Being motherless will always hurt, and I realized that long ago. I just wish I knew what to expect with this new stage of grief that has developed since I started planning a family, but there is no way to know how my emotions will play out during this process. Right now, all I can do is take it one day at a time, one moment at a time, and be excited about what the future holds.