Little reminders are everywhere, it seems.
Just when I’m certain that I’ve moved on, that I am finally putting the past behind me and just enjoying each moment…that past comes crashing in. Flashbacks consume my every thought, and tears become sobs before I can even process what triggered my emotions.
Infertility never leaves us. Whether or not our babies find us, the pain of infertility lingers in the background, waiting for the right moment to pounce.
It was a day like any other. Hot, sunny, without a cloud to be seen. I stared out the window as the kids colored, wondering if I could skip the grocery store run since the babysitter called in sick.
No, I couldn’t. I needed ingredients for those birthday cookies…
I put shoes on the kids and strapped them into the car, very much against their will.
We just want to play with you, Mommy.
Me too, little ones. Me too.
We made a game of the grocery list, sorting by size and color. We used teamwork to get the heavy items into cart and compared numbers on the price tags. We found a way to make it fun.
We laughed, we smiled, we made the most of the otherwise boring errand.
And then, in the checkout line, past and present collided.
As I reached for my credit card (that had somehow slipped out of my wallet and into the pocket of my favorite Coach purse), I found something that I hadn’t seen in a very long time.
I pulled my hand from my purse to find an ultrasound picture. The last ultrasound, in fact, before I lost that very last baby. The one who would have made #3. The one who would be nearing his first birthday. The one who left an unbearable hole in my heart.
I froze, suspended in time. With glassy eyes I stared at the picture, unable to make a move. I could feel the line growing behind me. I could see the kids staring up at me in anticipation.
It was an innocent prompt from the cashier that brought me back to life for a moment.
Did you already swipe your card?
Switching to autopilot, I paid for my groceries and found my way home.
Later that night, as the kids slept peacefully, I curled up on my bed and finally let the sobs escape.
Infertility never leaves us. It hides out for a while; hanging out in the recesses of our souls, but it never truly leaves us.
All we can really do is just keep swimming.