Although I had been married at a young age, I felt mostly alone in my life through my pregnancies and raising my children. My ex was a typical husband of the 1950's, even though we were living in the 1990's. He worked and brought home a paycheck, and everything else was my job. The cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, banking, paying the bills, maintaining the garden, changing diapers, bedtime routines, carpools, and middle of the night feedings. Loneliness seems amplified when you are living with another person who does not value or acknowledge your existence. After our relationship ended it took me a long time and a lot of therapy to learn how to love myself again.
When my wife and I reconnected after twelve years I had my three children from my first marriage, and I was in the process of getting a divorce. Over the next year and a half, my ex dragged me in and out of divorce court and then passed away in a car accident. My wife was there for my children and me through it all. She was in love with my girls, and we were becoming a family unit. After my wife and I moved in together our commitment to one another was sealed. Although it would be another year and a half before we walked down the aisle and made it legal, I knew that we would be together forever. When you look into the eyes of another human being and you can see your own soul staring back at you; you know that love is eternal.
"IT WAS THEN THAT I KNEW THAT I WANTED TO HAVE ANOTHER CHILD."
It was amazing to me that when we reconnected it felt as if no time had passed at all. Apparently, I had buried all of the intense love and affection that I had for her and tried to move on with my life without her. Once we were together again all of those feelings came bubbling back up to the surface. I was delighted and told myself that somehow the years of suffering in an abusive marriage were all worth it because in the end she and I were together again. I was overjoyed, my children were happy, healthy, and safe, and my wife loved them as if they were her own. It was then that I knew that I wanted to have another child. My youngest was four, my family was thriving, and I wanted to bring another life into this world with the one person I loved the most.
So we stopped using birth control and went for it. At this point, I was no spring chicken, but there were women ten years older than me having kids so I was not tremendously concerned. I was elated at the thought of having another baby, but month after month I was left disappointed. Out in public I was nonchalant about it. I said, "If it is meant to be, it will be," but on the inside I was dying. I so desperately wanted to bring another life into this world that was half of me and half of the love of my life. My wife traveled a lot in those days for work, and I had too much time alone in my head. I never really shared with her or anyone else, how much I wanted this to happen and how very sad this whole experience made me. Some nights I just cried myself to sleep.
"IT WASN'T UNTIL AFTER WE WERE MARRIED THAT HER FAMILY STARTED ASKING WHETHER WE PLANNED ON HAVING CHILDREN."
It wasn't until after we were married that her family started asking whether we planned on having children. I said with a smile, "Yes of course, we are working on it." It would be at least another year or so before I totally lost it and told my mother-in-law, in tears, that it is just not working and to please stop asking because it really just makes me feel like an inadequate piece of shit. I was so heartbroken and the only person I could share these feelings with an inanimate object, my journal. I did not want to put any unnecessary pressure on my partner, but at the same time I was miserable. Once my wife came out to me as transgender I kind of put two and two together. Her body was not making any testosterone. There were never really any babies with her in my future. I accepted defeat and let it go, or at least I thought I did.
A few weeks ago my wife was telling me how much she wanted to have another baby. I thought she was being facetious, but I am really not sure. What I do know is that it brought back all of those horrible emotions. All of the longing to share that with my partner, and the sorrow knowing that it will never happen. She made me feel as if I had no idea what is was like to want a baby so very much, but I do. As I sit here today and write this I am still brought to tears thinking about it. Bringing a life into the world is the most intimate things two people can do, and I felt like I did it all alone. If we were younger I would have said that we should look into adoption, but I am way too old for sleepless nights. That ship has sailed. Now, I look forward to my children having children and one day being someone’s Nana. Perhaps one day I will get over the loss that I feel when thinking about having a baby with my wife, or maybe I never will.