There’s a natural order for life when it comes to being a woman. You get your period. You grow boobs. You graduate high school. (For me, those last two were reversed.) You go to college. You meet someone. You vow to spend the rest of your life with that someone. And then you have a child together.
What if you go through life never reaching that last step?
Will I still be bitter at baby showers? Will I still feel like an animal in a cage when women in a room begin discussing their baby’s poop habits, or their child’s temper tantrums, or the fact that they wish they could have just one moment of peace and quiet to themselves? Will I still cry every time I pass baby clothes in a store? Will I still avoid aisle #1 at Publix? Will the sight of a pregnant woman’s belly still make me want to scream, “WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO MUCH?” toward the sky?
What would my life be like in twenty years if we fail to have children? I will never fit into an adult conversation. It seems as though every discussion I sit through now has to do with having children, wanting to have children, or the many experiences you get when you have one of your own. I may never be able to relate to that. When the conversation now drifts off to the taste of different baby foods, I bring out my phone and pretend to be engrossed in a game. It's the only thing I can do to keep the tears from flowing.
I don’t know what pregnancy symptoms are like. I don’t know what it's like to crave pickles and chocolate. I don’t know the difference in breast cream. How to travel with a child. What the best way to get your baby to fall asleep is. How bad morning sickness can be. Which store has the best deal on maternity clothes. What car seat is the safest on the market. How amazing it feels to hear your child’s heart beat.
I have nothing to contribute. And it hurts.