Countdown to the End of a Dream

My daughter’s (very small, but very lovely) birthday party was this afternoon  and, on Wednesday, she will turn two. As the first birthday presents arrived, I realized there is no denying it anymore: Cupcake is growing up. She’s not a baby anymore. It’s been two years since what was, until recently, the hardest period in my life came to an end. Two years since the baby I longed for and dreamed of filled my empty arms.

This momentous occasion should be one of joy, of celebration. And it is. Nothing, no amount of sadness, can stop me from appreciating and rejoicing in the life of the child I was not certain would ever exist. Of the child I wanted more than anything else in this world and the next. But with this day also comes a rock of dread sitting in my stomach. I imagine part of this is normal stuff that mothers feel as they watch their tiny, helpless babies morph into real people with their own opinions and desires. But for me, it is more than that. It is tangible proof that time is passing. The clock is ticking. And nothing in my life is changing, evolving, or improving.

There was a time when I expected to have a ginormous belly for my daughter’s second birthday party. I do not. I do not have a baby bump of any size, in fact. And then I prayed that I might become the mother of a second living child by my 30th birthday. As the calendar pages flip one-by-one for this month, though, that dream is fading. My next hope, my forever hope, is to have another baby in my arms by the time my daughter celebrates her third birthday. I have always wanted my children to be two to three years apart. To make that happen, I must conceive in the next three months. Cupcake’s second birthday is the start of the countdown. And while I know that the world will not end if this doesn’t happen, and that I will welcome any baby whenever s/he comes, it is hard to see your dreams diminish. It is hard to accept that the way you envisioned your future may be nothing more than fantasy.

Please do not mistake this whiny, listless post as a lack of gratitude. I know I am lucky. I am reminded every day as I read all of your blogs that I have been given a great gift. So many of you would give anything for one child. I am forever thankful to be in this position of worrying over having another baby. If it comes to it, my daughter, sweet beautiful precious perfect Cupcake, will have to be enough. She is enough. I love her more than air, water, and chocolate and I couldn’t ask for anything better. But having just one child is not the dream. Having a big family, a house full of noise and laughter, screaming and too many toys, is what I want. Having now what I never had as a child is what I want. I want that more than almost anything. (And yes, I did say almost, because good God, I do not want it at the sacrifice of the life of the child I already have or that of anyone else I deeply love…but that it is it. That is the only thing more important to me than this.)

And as days like today pass me by, it feels as if that dream I have been holding onto is slowly slipping away.

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9 thoughts on “Countdown to the End of a Dream

  1. I hear you – my family dreams never included not giving birth until I was nearly 31. I imagined having one by 27 and my second (if I wanted another) by 30. The only reason my 30th wasn’t harder for me, I think, is because we were starting our IVF cycle that ultimately led to this pregnancy. I have to say now, though, that being 30 and pregnant isn’t nearly as big of a deal. I appreciate now being a little older especially because we’re having twins. Anyway my point is that theres no reason why you can’t be grateful and still a little disappointed. No one imagines conceiving to be this difficult and for most it isn’t. For us its different though – we know that one pregnancy does NOT guarantee another. Hugs.

  2. You have written much better than I could have exactly how I am feeling. I think how you are feeling after your experiences is very natural. Although I know that is easier said. I struggle on a daily basis with the guilt related to being happy but sad. And with just turning 40, I am trying to figure out how to come to terms with everything. Your post helps me a lot. Please know you are not alone. Hugs!

    • I’m so glad to know this post helped you a little and, while I would never wish this upon anyone, it’s so nice to hear that I’m not alone in this either. Thank you for your support!

  3. Oh sweetie, I know the feeling. But I’m still holding out hope that you will make lots more babies!!!! Luckily at 30 you still have several years to keep trying. Your family is in my prayers.

  4. There was a time I wanted three children. That was my perfect number. Then time crept by and it dwindled to two. And now, as I’m 36 and no closer than I was many years ago, I’m hoping for just one, one tiny baby, to make us a family. Dreams change and evolve with time.

  5. I’m with you. I just turned 34 and my hubby is 9 years older than me. I dreamed of having children beginning in my late 20s but that never happened. And since my hubby is so much older than me, the pregnancy we have now will be our only one. IF robs us of so much and it’s so heartbreaking!

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