The Old Me

When friends or family used to ask me when we would have a baby, I would always laugh at them. The silliness. Having a baby doesn’t define you, I’d say. I don’t need a baby to be a complete, successful, satisfied woman or lead a full, happy life. No, no, no! My husband and I were fine on our own, and maybe we would have a baby, but the reason would NOT be that I felt empty or unsuccessful. It would NOT be because I was seeking additional meaning to my life or because that is what society expected of us. A baby, I said, would not complete me. I am a complete woman without a baby. And if I feel incomplete then I should work on that before having a baby.

 
We were married for five years before we started to try. During the five years I got asked often – what are you waiting for? Or asked, what is the point of being married if you weren’t going to have a baby and start a family?  Isn’t that THE POINT?
 
No, I’d say. The point is to make a commitment to someone you love with whom you want to spend the rest of your life. Not to be a baby factory. 
 
So now I keep thinking about those words. I meant them. I mean them. I still believe that you can be happy and complete without a child. But having it ripped away from you, even if you think you don’t need it, changes you. How can I feel happy or satisfied when I went through this trauma? How can I feel successful when I oftentimes feel like a failure because I could not do the same thing as the teenagers that are glorified on MTV could do? 
 
Some days are better than others.
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