Seven years ago I told my two bestfriends from Uni, that I’d be pregnant at their weddings. I remember the exact moment I said it and I’m surprised that the universe didn’t capture it and put it into motion. I guess it had other plans. I didn’t bank on their weddings being seven years later. I hoped I’d be pregnant at each of their weddings (meaning two children.. how naive and greedy I am) and here I am preparing my camera for wedding no.1 today. No child. No pregnancy. Just svelte me dressed in flowy coral Islamic dress and wearing a smile that’s for my friend’s happiness and to hide my own pain.
Every aspect of my being was challenged: my self-worth, my femininity, my profession, my marriage, my faith. – Randine Lewis, The Infertility Cure
Last night at the henna party, the bride’s mum told me I better have a baby soon. I caught my bestfriend cringing at her mother and nudging her with an elbow. I’m used to being told what to do by elders now. I wanted to reply ‘Sure, I’ll just go home and conceive one right now.’ If only it was that easy. Women in scarves asked me if I’m married, then nodded and smiled approvingly when I said ‘Yes, for 8 years!’ Only to go silent when I answered their question, ‘Do you have any children?’ I’d like to have answered ‘No, I feel like my heart is made of glass and God’s stomping on it but you’d all say to me this is a test and that I ought to accept it.’ I’m not religious but I was given an Islamic education so the religion is woven in my heart. I feel a connection. I need to work on my relationship with God – however weak my deen (faith) might have become. My bestfriend sat with her single Muslim girl friends and told them God does things in his time, not ours – a saying my father once told me too. She hadn’t expected to meet her husband-to -be so quickly. However, it’s easier to say it when you’re on the other side. All the times she’d be on the phone to me in despair over not meeting someone to share life with, I’d say ‘Stop looking and he’ll appear.’ Maybe I should be doing that with infertility?
The next wedding is in August. Chance of being pregnant by then? I’d have to believe in a miracle. Truth is I’m dreading the next couple of years- I can’t help but feel that again I’m going to be left behind and standing in Baby Gap buying presents for baby showers…for cute little beings that aren’t mine. Just as the bride’s single friends might be feeling left behind as she steps into married life.
They’ve created the film Bridesmaids for single women, Expecting for all those expecting and mums.. well they ought to create a one for us Infertiles! I could do with a good movie to help me laugh through my sadness at the end of this day.