I think perhaps my hormonal urge to make a baby person is getting stronger as I age.
This is unfortunate when combined with my current inability to do so and my memories of pregnancy loss.
Today on the bus this tiny, fat, rosy-cheeked squeezling sat up in her stroller, all puddly rolls and fine down of feather-light hair and strong wafts of baby scent. She was perfect in every way – even her coughs were this kind of endearing aheh-aheh from a chubby infant tummy.
I found my hands dancing in my lap and I realised I wanted to pick her up. I felt a kind of physical pressure and heat on my chest and a flush that spread up my throat and a kind of pressing hot sensation in the back of my chest cavity. I wanted to hold that baby, so much, my whole body was burning to cradle her and soothe her and be close to her. And then memory and sadness seared through me like a hot knife in nuttelex and I was – mortifyingly – crying openly on public transport.
Try as I might to wipe the tears away, I wouldn’t stop making them, and my chin was, oh god, wobbling and my face cracking and I couldn’t stop it from happening, shit! It was so strange. Usually I have some control but not this time. This beautiful baby had destroyed me on a pheremonal and cell-memory level and it was all I could do to sit there and silently cry, with the odd choked cough, and not seize this poor woman’s kid and pop her under my cardie. I actually felt for a moment that I could understand those very ill and sad women who steal other people’s babies. Inexcusable, but the aching – I get it. Man, I do.
I called my mother, sobbing in the twisting walkway of the Queen Victoria Building. Hiding my face, ashamed of how potently want and loss and hope can mingle in one person’s body and render her this sudden, unexpected wreck. I recovered quickly enough and got on with my day, but boy – was that ever an intense hour.
It is terrible to me, that I have these urges and these memories and nowhere to put them. I feel as though motherhood lives in me with an impotent rage that rails at nobody, with nothing constructive to do with itself. I mother the cats, and that’s nice, but it is a different kind of mothering to having your own silly-old, funny, gurgly, naughty, frustrating, tiring, pooping and crying and loving you with big shining liquid-eyes human baby.
There are some very dark times when my medication doesn’t kick in at night, when I lay awake staring at the walls alone. I wonder if I’ll ever get my shit together enough to have one of these little people at all, and I’ve already lost one. I’m 28 this year. I don’t have forever.
But nothing comes to those who give up.