I lost it today.
I thought I’d been keeping my emotions in check, that I was at a point of equilibrium, if not acceptance, with the infertility. But small things can somehow slip through the chinks in my emotional armor, and upset all my efforts to keep it together.
Today’s trigger shouldn’t surprise any woman with infertility: the announcement of the new royal baby. I’m a huge royal-watcher; as a medievalist, I’m terribly interested in all the news and pageantry of centuries of British monarchy. It’s fun to watch royal weddings or royal coronations, since I have a very good understanding of the history and symbolism and traditions behind them. I enjoy it. I love debating with historian friends about what names are likely to be chosen, and why.
In a frenzy of interest I looked a the Clarence House website – where I noticed a special Twitter hashtag set up for people to “connect” with the royal birth by posting notices and pictures of other babies born today.
That’s when I lost it. Pages and pages of newborn pictures. Announcement after announcement of first babies, second babies, twins. Proud parents bursting with joy. Joyful grandparents bragging with pride. And tiny, precious, vulnerable, sweet, lovely infants, welcomed into the world.
I started to choke up, the tears started to come, knowing how unlikely it is that I will ever be part of that joyful crowd of parents. I quickly closed the page and switched back to just news articles, until I stumbled on one that had compiled pictures of “the sweetest and cutest royal babies” from around the world. Christenings. Presentations of new heirs to their people. The famous picture of Princess Diana in that awful green polka-dot maternity gown. More babies, and more tears.
I tried to get away from all the baby hype altogether, but today was just destined to be One of Those Days. An acquaintance announced that she’s about six weeks pregnant, just two months after she got married.
We’ll be celebrating our tenth anniversary this year. Unlike all my friends and relatives, our 10th won’t involve a scramble for childcare.