In my early thirties, as my body lost baby after baby, dreaming I was pregnant broke me. In my mid-thirties, after I decided I wanted off the ‘try and get pregnant/stay pregnant/lose another pregnancy’ rollercoaster, pregnancy dreams became less frequent. They were the scent of a campfire in the late fall when you know winter is coming.
About this time last year, I had a dream I was pregnant. I woke up panicked. The Irishman kissed me the next night and I cringed. Finally, I confessed the dream. He looked bewildered. Between the IUD, the condoms, my age and the fact he’d had a vasectomy 8 years earlier – there was no way I was pregnant.
The Irishman didn’t quite get it. I did. I noted the change. Pregnancy was panic. A sudden, rapid and profound adjustment of a life that I like. No, a life that I love. There is no longer room for a baby. That was ok.
A few weeks ago I went on a date. He was all the things I like in a man. Smart, funny. Self-aware. Valued family and intellectual thought and good grammar. He wore a shirt in his profile photo. (This is bigger than you would think).
My date told me he wanted a family. He desperately wanted to be a dad. I smiled and told him that age and destiny had passed me by. I wished him well in his search.
I find myself, not sad, but remembering.
That woman who wanted to be a mum? Who wanted to carry a baby? Give birth? Nurse a living child? Watch that child play and grow? She’s part of me, although a decade gone. Sometimes I picture her in the glowing light of a winter afternoon with a baby in her arms. I hope she’s happy.
I know I am.