The quiet grief


It is so subtle.

It is just a little niggle in the back of your heart.

People talk about a ticking biological clock but, who thinks it is still ticking after you have had a baby? It didn’t even occur to me that is what I was feeling.

After all the years of infertility, after the miscarriages you would think I would recognize it.

People talk about aching ovaries, but they don’t tell you it is your heart that aches.

My biological clock is screaming tick tick tick tick. It has me thinking about what a second child would look like. Would this baby be such a complete blend of both my husband and I as our daughter is? Would this baby have blue eyes I could get lost in like my husband and daughter do? What kind of bond would my daughter have with her newest sibling?

My brain tells me that it is not responsible to get pregnant any time soon. Financially or even medically,probably both,  it would be a disaster.

I have said I am done having kids for awhile. I mean it. I know in my brain that we are done.

Then a friend is pregnant, or someone has a baby.

I thought I had worked through this and was on my way to I don’t know….. worrying or grieving about something else. When all of a sudden my biological clock says HELLO, I want a baby!  It just adds a little melancholy to otherwise sweet moments snuggling others babies.

It is only made worse when people ask when are you having another one. When someone complains about how chaotic it is having more than one kid. When someone asks how many kids I wanted. Just a little nudge, just a small twist. Its like a barb that is lodged in your heart and words can just nudge it just a bit, make you wince.

It is not something I bring up often because I am truly and completely happy for my friends with new babies. I am completely thrilled with hearing all the details of pregnancy and breastfeeding and all the cute little newborn things. I don’t want anyone to think they can’t tell me that stuff. I was at that place once, when we were dealing with infertility. I don’t want that strain on my friendships.

It really is this quiet grief, a grief of what can not be.

It seems in my blog reading I keep clicking on others, others about rainbow babies, and infertility and new babies. Not to say I am not happy for them, Not to say I don’t get the warm fuzzy feelings that are meant to be conveyed. Its like that small smile of happiness that doesn’t quite chase the sadness from your eyes.

I debated even publishing this. I thought well I wrote it, I got it out, so maybe now it won’t be so heavy on me. Then I thought about my readers, others who struggle with multiple chronic illnesses at a young age that know they can’t or shouldn’t have more babies.  It is a personal look deep down but so much of what we deal with is super personal. So here it is.


4 responses »

  1. Thank you, Erin. I found out in my twenties that I would never be able to have kids, due to all the damage I’d suffered internally from years of abuse plus being gang raped at seven. It is something I never talk about.

    I decided to be okay with not having kids. I told myself it was good because I wouldn’t have to worry about passing on all the wrong things without meaning to. But sometimes even now, when I hold a new baby, I wonder, for just a minute, how my life would have been “if”.

    I know I don’t have to explain to you how that feels. Thank you for being brave enough to post this. ❤


  2. I had a son, at a relatively young age, and 10+ years before my fibromyalgia diagnosis. He was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and although he survived the surgery to repair his diphragm; his body was too weak and despite living in the hospital all of his life, he caught an infection and his stressed body and organs couldn’t take it. He passed away from sepsis at 5 months. Though I had him earlier than I intended, I would give anything for him to have been healthy. Not just in hindsight, but as a mother. Now that my biological clock is ticking at a deafening level, I too, understand how irresponsible it would be for me to have a child right now. I can barely take care of myself when I take my meds, so not taking then is out of the question. Even adoption is something that we can’t be certain of because of the uncertainty of whether I’ll be well enough to care for/give the attention required to a child. Love and intent is one thing, doing is another. I completely empathize with you and your struggles. I’m experiencing the exact same thing.


  3. As a personal friend of Erin’s, I grieve for her. She is an incredible mother, aunt, friend… and I and my three children are so blessed to have her and her daughter in our lives. I will tell you I could not do it without her. I know for a fact there are other moms that can say exactly the same thing. So Erin, you are the universal mom who has taken so many under her wing. There are so many blessed because of who you are and how big your heart is. Never forget how much you are loved.


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