One crazy morning, Jolene, a thirty-something suburban housewife, (and that is early thirties in case you were wondering) in an effort to escape the madness of her hectic life, and drown out the noise of her three small children bickering with an intensity and immaturity only rivaled in parliament, looks for somewhere to hide…just for a moments peace.
The bathroom? No, they will hunt her down. They will follow her.
The cupboard? No, it is overflowing with toys and other useless bits of plastic crap.
The wardrobe? No, definitely not. It’s full of ugly, boring, I’ve-been-pregnant- for-the-last-20 years-of-my-life type of clothing.
Running out of options, Jolene kneels on the kitchen floor, opens up the oven, and pops her head inside.
First the smell hits her – it’s a grimy concoction of last week’s lasagna and other assorted baked on crud.
She makes a mental note to clean it…someday…soon…ish…
But it is quiet, so blissfully quiet.
The noise of the squabbling children has faded and white noise fills her ears in its place.
Then the strangest thing happens. The oven begins to spin…(or at least Jolene hopes it is the oven, otherwise it is her head.)
Could it be the result of caffeine overload? Quite possibly.
Could it be the cumulative effects of years of sleep deprivation causing her mind to play tricks on her? Most probably.
Could it be the medical repercussions of years of breathing in harsh cleaning chemicals? Haha! No! Not a chance!
Pulling her head back out of the oven Jolene realizes that she is no longer in her kitchen.
I am sitting perched on the toilet seat nervously unwrapping a pregnancy test. The year is 2005. I know this because my stomach muscles are still firm, my legs are freshly shaven and the curls that hang about my face are not only washed but also styled. Yes. It is definitely pre-kids.
My period is now two days late. Only two days. Not long enough to get excited, but long enough to give me hope.
The test I did yesterday was negative. Could it be wrong? I so badly want it to be wrong. I so badly want to fill the void inside me that has been left by the child that didn’t make it passed nine weeks in my womb. The baby that ‘I miscarried,’ that ‘I lost.’ The terminology of it stings me. I resent the implication that I did not do my job properly, that my body somehow failed me.
The longing, the necessity to fill the hole that this has created in my heart almost consumes me.
With every month comes another period, another failure.
What is wrong with me? I am too embarrassed to discuss it with friends. I don’t want to hear someone else telling me not to worry, that it will all be okay, that I lost my baby because there was probably something wrong with it, and that my body knew that. It may be true. But I don’t want to hear it.
We have been trying for a year now. I know we should go to the doctor, but I am afraid of what they might find. What if I can’t have children? I don’t think I could bear it. What if there was a problem with Hubbster? Could I stay with him? Could I live with that constant aching? Would the hole in my heart continue to crack open and grow?
My hand trembles as I place the stick between my legs.
I take a deep breathe. Please, I beg silently. Please let me be pregnant. Please.
The urine trickles out slowly onto the absorbent end of the stick and even before it hits the toilet bowl below, I can see that it is tinged with pink.
I will not see the two red lines this month. Another cycle has been and gone.
The excitement, the buoyant feeling of hope leaves me in an instant. I crumple over, my head in my lap, and let my grief, my guilt, my desperation take hold of me, once again. Deep guttural sobs rock my limp body. Tears for the child that was not to be. Tears for the children I may never get to hold, to love, to bring into this world.
I feel so tired. Soon the tears will dry up. There will be nothing left.
I leave the bathroom, with a handful of tissues and crawl back into bed and pull the covers up over my ears. I do not want to hear the silence of my empty home.
The silence, the emptiness of our ‘family’ home suffocates me.
I would give anything…anything
for the noisy chatter of children,
for the hectic bustle of family life
to fill these lonely days with all the magically mundane muchness of family life,
even if it means never going to the toilet alone, drinking hot coffee, or getting 8 hours sleep a night….ever again.
What a small sacrifice all these things would be, just to have a family of my own.