I met someone who was childless not by choice. You know how some people just gush over their friend’s kids and want to know all the details of their lives and others just kind of stand back and look at them and just smile? She was the latter. I kind of got that.
When I was in the throes of infertility, I always felt a little awkward around children. It’s not that I disliked them, I just never had any real experience with them. A parent’s life was not relevant to me in any real way. My life was simply different. I never really knew I was going to be a parent, so why immerse myself in that world. I wanted to hold a baby, but inevitably, I would be asked when I was going to have one, and then I’d fake a smile to hide the sadness at being left out of that whole female experience so it was just easier to stand back and smile. Eventually, I did get to a good place where it was okay for me to be around babies and enjoy their preciousness.
This woman was about 10 years older than me, and I thought, wow, that sadness just never goes away. She may have led an incredibly satisfying life, but still that grief lingered. I guess I knew that in my heart, but when I saw it in this woman’s eyes, it just reminded me that infertility is not something you just “get over”. What I saw and felt, lasted a few moments before we went on to talk about other things, yet I never forgot that moment. Infertility impacts lives forever.