For some years …

“For some years now, the wedding invitations that had once crowded the mailbox had been replaced by shower invites and pink-or-blue-beribboned baby announcements. I bought onesies or rattles, wrapped them in yellow paper, and delivered them to friends. I had done it with a happy wistfulness, believing that someday my time, my baby, would come. George and I had hoped that I would be pregnant by the end of his congressional run. Then we hoped it would be by the time his own father announced his presidential run, then by the presidential primaries, the convention, the general election. But each milestone came and went. The calendar advanced, and there was no baby.

The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not. Still we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only “I’m sorry for your loss.” But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?”

First Lady Laura Bush so beautifully describes the process that I have been experiencing (and countless other women as well) The excitement in the beginning of trying to conceive and oohing and awwing over every baby that slowly turns to a deep sadness at the sight of the tiny little baby booties and onesies.  She so accurately defines the lack of vocabulary for those of us who are mourning the unfulfilled desires of our hearts and the longing with each passing milestone to have special news to share, it is something so difficult to explain because, like she shares, who can describe the mourning over what has never been?
P.S. Laura Bush did eventually have twin girls after trying to conceive for 3 years!

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