As I write this, I’m sitting in the center of our third bedroom, as per my therapist’s suggestion. A bedroom I never come into unless someone is coming to spend the night. If that’s the case, I come in to blow up an air mattress for them and then I quickly leave. The room is small, tile floor. It has a bookshelf and a dresser that don’t fit anywhere else in the house, that we don’t really need. The dresser is empty, save a few blankets for the guest because the room gets cold. The closet is filled with Christmas boxes and general junk that has no place to go. (My husband feels that his garage isn’t for storing things, instead it is for watching rugby on an old TV that I’m surprised hasn’t called it quits yet.)
When we were looking for a house to buy, I would try my best to imagine our lives in the house. I would stand and close my eyes and try to imagine our lives going on, our boy running around and growing into a teenager, bringing friends to spend the night, playing baseball in the backyard. I closed my eyes and imagined his room all set up with his toys (funny how I didn’t imagine the gigantic MESS that he’d make in there).
I needed a 3 bedroom house, I was certain that post surgery there would be a baby coming. I just knew there would be. I stood in this room and imagined painting the walls a bright orange, having a white crib and sheer white curtains. I imagined finding the perfect white rustic looking dresser and white shelves filled with orange buckets of toys for her to pull down and make a mess. (yes, I always imagine a girl). I imagined my brother putting in wood floors and throwing a shaggy rug on the ground, the place she’d learn to crawl. I imagined a big soft beanbag type chair where we would crawl away to and read, like I did with our boy. I imagined sparkly letters on the wall spelling her name and art hanging on the walls, bible verses everywhere about how God answered my prayers for this baby. I knew this was the house. This was the house it would all happen in.
It’s been almost a year in this house and that has yet to happen. This room has become a catch-all for junk, it’s a blow-up mattress for our guests, it’s a room I never enter. Yet, it’s the room I think about the most. I hate it in here, it makes me cry. It feels lonely and wrong.
The husband and I once put an elliptical machine and weights in here, my in-laws suggested making it a playroom for our boy, we’ve talked about setting it up as an actual guest room with a proper bed.
I can’t, I’m sorry. Not yet. Not now.
I made the husband pull the elliptical out, I closed the door. I don’t want to be in here. I gave the baby stuff away. There is a box in the closet of some baby clothes that I can’t bring myself to get rid of. Maybe there will be a baby someday, right? That’s what everyone tells me. There still could be a baby, keep up the hope.
Y’all, it’s been 6 years. SIX years of this heartbreak, one I’m reminded of every single month. One that exhausts me to my core. My heart aches and my longing is fierce. I cry just at the thought of all we’ve been through.
I’ve declared that we’re done, we’re done trying. We’re done with the hope and we’re done with the pain. We adopted one kid and that’s all we’ll need (think of all the money we’ll have!).
But we aren’t. I can lie to you about that all day. I can tell you I’m fine and I can tell you the thought of another child exhausts me, but it doesn’t. Not really, that’s just me trying to cope. It’s me trying to be fine and hoping that one day it’s true. Six years is a long time. It’s such a long time to long for something. Last month I could swear to you that the ovulation tests said that I ovulated. This month they didn’t. My mind is playing tricks on me, did I really see two lines last month? Or did I just hope so hard that my brain thought they were there?
Hope is a hard thing. It’s an easy thing to have hope for someone else, but it’s a hard thing to have for yourself after all this time. I am infertile. I cannot have kids. I know you want me to be positive, I know you want me to not say that, but I have to. I have to remind myself of that to cushion the blow every month when the cycle comes. It’s okay, Tabitha. You knew you couldn’t have kids anyway. And I convince myself that I cry a little less. I probably don’t, it’s probably the same number of tears. They hurt. Those tears hurt.
Maybe one day this will be a baby’s room, maybe one day it will just be a regular guest room. Maybe one day I’ll get the courage to leave the door open.
Maybe one day.