Husband and I went to church with my mom for Mother’s Day. It was quite the chaotic affair, as we showed up just before service started. The choir women were arguing about who was the better singer and why said better singer should have the solos. The mother’s were all dressed in white suites adorned with a red carnation, presented to them by the Pastor. Even that good gesture when unnoticed as one of the mother’s decided to gripe about why hers should have been a significant color to represent the death of her mother. Husband and I sat huddled together beside my mother trying our best to avoid any eye contact with any of the drama queens!
The service finally began, much later than it was supposed to, and the choir opened with their horrible covers of the loudest praise and worship songs possible. It wasn’t long before we noticed they were competing in noise level with the church upstairs. I think the drama before service threw everyone out of whack, because I couldn’t even begin to explain the sermon. I just didn’t get it.
Luckily for me, there was the most adorable baby seated right in front of me to occupy all of my attention. She couldn’t have been more than six weeks old, with a head full of hair, wearing the cutest white frilly dress. She rested in her mother’s arms just chewing away on her little fist. She was so alert: looking all over the place, often making eye contact with me.
It was during those moments, that I felt that pang deep in my heart. I want to have a baby so badly. Husband kept looking at me with the strangest gaze, like he understood that want because he feels it too, but sort of feels a little bit helpless because he knows that that want is torturing me. And it is. I want to have a baby so badly and I’m so afraid that I won’t ever get the chance to. I feel like I’m living right in the middle of an unwavering war between my two biggest desires. I want to have children, and to do so would require a lot of medical attention, preparation, planning, time, money, and effort. But, I want to serve in the Peace Corps too. I want to serve, in the trenches, abroad. That’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.
I’m so afraid of not making the right choice. So afraid that this situation is a “you can’t have your cake, and eat it too,” sort of situation; that I won’t be able to have both.
Husband and I want to lead a life of service, we just weren’t built for your average 9-5 jobs; we weren’t built for unfulfilling jobs and a monotone lifestyle. Sure we could start our fertility treatment journey after our two years of service in the Peace Corps, but what if we wanted to stay longer than two years? What if the Peace Corps lead us to something else that would require more time abroad in the trenches? Or what if we decide to just start a family now, and later on down the line, we resent our lives, or god forbid resent our children, for turning us into soccer parents and keeping us from things like the Peace Corps. It’s too much to handle.
A million scenarios, a million emotions, a million fears and concerns are racing through my mind as I’m looking at this little girl. And this happens all of the time, with each baby and each belly I see. As if it’s a silent reminder of a choice that needs making, that’s just lingering in the universe…