I like to think that I am not affected by societal expectations. The truth is that I am affected every single day. The truth is that social media makes it worse. I am genuinely happy when I hear that a friend becomes pregnant, once, twice, three times…however many times. Whether planned or unplanned, married or not. Regardless of that woman’s situation I feel sincere joy for the life stirring in her belly. It’s hard not to, I am a doula after all. I love being able to be a part of the expectation process, the birth, the tears, the fear, the sheer joy. My heart and my spirit swell with happiness for her because even though I have never experienced such joy I feel it when I hold her baby and as I slowly cradle that baby’s tiny body in my hands.
It’s kind of funny to think that as a pre-teen and most of my adult life I was against having children for myself. I remember sitting in church camp at the age of 13 and praying to God that he would never give me children. My thoughts were always very mature and I knew that in my heart I was not ready nor did I want to bring a child into the world when I was still too selfish to care for anyone else. My little selfish heart felt so strongly that I knew that even as an adult I would feel this way.
Now at the age of 29, after being married for almost 5 years, I am feeling this strange bubbling inside of me. Even though there is the “unspoken” pressure to have children my stubborn self won’t do it just because my mother, husband, sisters, etc. ask me to or tell me that “it is time to have children.” First of all, stop it. Just because we are close does not mean you can tell me when I should have children. Furthermore, I would not say that it’s my biological clock because I think that is a crock of shit. No, what I am feeling is this overwhelming urge to love more deeply. I don’t mean love my husband more because the love for him is not the same as this other type of love. I don’t know how to describe it but to say that it is what I imagine what my mother’s love is for me; a tiny glimpse into how God loves us. This “maternal love” that feels so heavy inside of me reminds me of my grandmother. I feel it so deep inside of me it’s like my roots, or my ancestry is crying out for nourishment. I feel this on occasion in my waking life, but it is in my dreams that I feel it the most. This feeling in my dreams occasionally lingers about in my mind as I go about my day. These messages that linger often feel like someone or something is trying to speak to me. As I sleep I accept these visions as true and real, but in my waking life I disregard them as just dreams. My inner critic chocks it up to just wishful thinking and reminds me that I never wanted children in the first place. Who knows, maybe this isn’t even about children.
Perhaps it is that my infertile womb wants what it cannot have. I don’t know.
But my dreams tell my soul a different story; one of deep, unexplainable love. I don’t know.
Maybe the deep rooted love my soul craves isn’t for a physical being. Maybe the deep rooted love I crave is for a deeper spiritual connection and to be reminded of those who came before me. Maybe this infertile womb has a greater purpose; a deeper and more meaningful purpose that cannot be filled with the same joy experienced by the women around me.