I once wanted 4 kids, insane, I know. I was the birth coach for my best friend whose husband was serving as a Marine in Afghanistan. She brought a lovely daughter into the world, and I was happy to attend the birthing classes with her, and be by her side throughout the birth coaching her. It was an amazing experience for me, one I knew would either “make or break” me from wanting kids. It was so fascinating that I immediately went into a baby craze.
When I married Kevin, who was 12 years older than I, we knew that it would be a few years before we were financially read to have any children. Kevin would write me love letters calling me the “future mother of his children”, and it was something I desperately wanted. When Kevin first became ill, and was on life support at Hopkins, I prayed that I was pregnant, that the birth control had not worked and I had magically conceived a child that would bring some happiness into our bleak situation.
It turns out that it was merely stress that caused me to be late on my period, as had and continues to happen during especially traumatic times in my life (such as this month during the two year anniversary, and prior after a boyfriend turned out to be married after we had been together 6 months). There was no baby, the test was negative, I was upset. Sad. Wanting something. Knowing my husband might die, and I might be the only left.
The doctors, when telling us Kevin’s diagnosis of Angiosarcoma, that Kevin may never eat by mouth again, also killed a huge dream of mine: child bearing. They told me that the chemotherapy would destroy any chances we might have of conceiving a child. The only way would be if Kevin could provide a sample to be frozen for future use. Kevin was too sick to do so, and I couldn’t bear to make him go through another biopsy just on the chance of getting some sample that may or may not be used in the future. He was bawling because he would never eat by mouth, I was bawling because I would never have his child.
Over the next few weeks, I was comforted by the fact that adoption and foster care was always an option. Kevin was never a huge kid person-He loved children, but would have been fine just sharing his life solely with me. I however, did not think I could be sustained just by that.
I gave up the dream of children, or my children. It seems, I never gained that dream back. I am dating someone whom is older again, someone who has an older child who could potentially have children before I do. If I ever do. I never regained the dream of having my own children after Kevin died. That dream of 4 children died with him it seems. I don’t know if it’s because of my super-independent nature at this point in my life, because I am dating someone older, or because I am super content being an “Auntie” to my friends’ children and my sister’s future child. I love that role-do I want to give up my time to be a Mom because I’m afraid I’ll wake up one day and say “Man, I wish I had a kid”?
The worry of wanting children in the future is much more present that the desire to have children. I worry that 10 years from now I’ll wake up and want children and it may not be possible. I have always dealt with the possibility that I may not be physically able to have children due to my heavy history of ovarian cyst ruptures. But I figure there’s always a chance right?
I’m so confused when it comes to children. I love children-that’s why I still watch kids every Thursday afternoon, why I love babysitting and hanging out with my friends whom have children. But for my own sake? No desire. Not right now anyways.
I have this fear that this mindset will change, and then it will screw up everything, or cause me to lose everything. I guess part of me still reverts back to that moment when the dream of children was taken completely off the table. What if I dream of that again, and it gets taken from me?
So for now, I choose not to dream of children. There are plenty of kids out there that need mentors or homes, whether I volunteer, foster or adopt in the future. My talents with kids will still be used, and it doesn’t mean they have to come from my body.
It’s so weird how widowhood changes our dreams completely. We become, or at least I have become, an entirely different person. Have you?