Saturday night my husband and I were both suffering from his having worked for 6 out of 6 of the last weekends, and wanted to go out for a nice dinner where we could look at each other, not just sit on the couch and look at the TV. We were seated next to a couple who looked normal from the back, but from the front, the guy had a really odd bulge in his jacket. Lo and behold, it was a baby in a sling, under his jacket. I was bracing, but I wasn't sure for what. It isn't always wrenching to see a baby or a pregnant woman, but sometimes it is, and those 'sometimes' don't always fit into neat categories. So we all ordered dinner, and when there were little sounds from inside the jacket, the dad would get up and walk outside and jiggle the baby for a little while and come back in. The mom was eating her dinner--clearly, this was the plan. The whole time the dad was soothing the baby, it was hidden from view. Finally the mom finished her dinner and it was the dad's turn to eat. The baby had gotten wiggly and mewley (not a crier at that point), and so the dad handed him to the mom. He was probably 2 months old. A little bigger than a new born, but not as fleshy as a 3 month old. I ate my dinner and watched as the mom snuggled the little baby, kissed his fuzzy little head and moved him around to keep him comfy. I really kept it together. Near the end of their meal, we interacted with them a little bit, complemented them on their baby (I must have said something, but mostly I remember my husband talking to them). As they were getting up to leave the father asked us if we had kids. Ugh. Clench. My husband smiled blandly and said "We're working on it." and got a little advice about taking your baby out in public. As soon as they left. Tears filled my eyes,and I tried not to cry. One of the ways that infertility manifests is that you no longer think about babies, or actively admire them, or even imagine your own or play the name game. It's like a scab on a wound that never quite heals. As long as the scab is in place there is no oxygen getting to the wound, and aside from tightness and tenderness, the wound is covered. But then there are times when the scab get's knocked off, and the wound opens up, and you remember what it is that hurts. So back to those tears. They just started falling of their own accord. It wasn't a noisy sob fest, but I was really crying. My husband took my hand and just held it while I cried. He said "We'll get you pregnant, by hook or by crook." Which was so sweet, and something we say to one another in the hard times. The 'crook' changes from time to time.
So what was I crying for? I was crying for so many things. For my little Sparky, who would have been around 26 weeks gestation by now, for all of times the scab stayed intact and I didn't feel how bad it felt to have empty arms, and for the fact that the dream of a baby seems so far off. The little fuzzy head, and the sweet little face feels like a mirage. I really miss the part of myself who could conjure up my dream baby, and feel their little head in the crook of my neck, the fuzzy baby head all ready for head kisses. Infertility is a thief. It not only robs you of your children, but being able to dream freely of your children, and that gets to be a hard spot in your soul. That little baby saturday night opened up the box of dreams, and I still feel a bit raw where those scabs let loose.