people standing in line on stairs

I’ve been waiting in this line for a long time.

I’ve been in this line for nearly four years, waiting for my turn to get into the building, see the show, and be part of the club of parenthood.

I’ve gotten close. I’ve been pregnant three times.

Infertility is...waiting in line and watching everyone else cut in front of you. Image: people standing in line on stairs

The first time I got in this line, I got up to the door.

I had been in line for a while and had watched a few friends go through the door ahead of me while I waited. And then after what felt like ages, I was there at the door. I even had a ticket to enter. I was thrilled. But as I was handing over the ticket, I was told it was invalid. I had to go back to the end of the line.

And that’s when the waiting started to get hard. I’d thought that first bit was difficult because I was so excited to finally be in the line. But now, here I was watching from the back while more and more people started filing through that door. And every time I got close, someone else stepped in front of me and went through the door instead.

After what felt like an incredibly long wait, I made it to the front of the line for a second time.

I had a ticket and I was inside walking to my seat. But, just as I sat and started to prepare for the show to start, I was dragged roughly out the side door and told it wasn’t my turn, go to the back of the line. It was the worst experience of my life.

But, I got back in that line, hoping my turn would come.

Then, for the third time, I got to the front of the queue.

And once again, I was told that my ticket was invalid and to go to the back of the line.

From the back of the line, I’ve watched friend after friend go inside.

Cousins and siblings, coworkers and acquaintances. Some of them have gone in and seen the show multiple times since I’ve been waiting in this line. The line just keeps growing, and I never seem to get any closer to the door.

I’m waiting, as patiently as I can, while listening to everyone around me talk about how wonderful the show is, how being part of the club is so great and rewarding. And I know it is. That’s why I want to be a part of it. But I’m still waiting.

I try not to begrudge the people who get to cut in line and go through the doors ahead of me. But some days it’s really difficult. Because my dream since I was tiny has been to see that show, be part of that club.

I am part of it…I’ve been pregnant, I’ve given birth. But I’m not part of it because I’ve never brought a living baby home.

I’m in a strange state of limbo — a mother and yet not.

Today is my son Hudson’s second birthday.

I should be thinking about potty training and if we have clothes in the closet that will fit him when the weather starts to get chilly in the fall. Instead, I’m remembering the words “there is no heartbeat” and the way I cradled his tiny body in my arms before they took him away for the autopsy that gave us no answers about why he died.

If someone in your life is waiting in this line with me, please be gentle with them.

It’s not an easy wait. It’s full of pain, of fear and uncertainty, of hope and of hope dwindling. If someone in your life has, like me, gotten to the front of the line or made it inside only to be dragged back out, be extra gentle with them. They are forever changed. They will forever grieve that loss, no matter how far into the building they got.

And today, have a cupcake in honour of all the babies like my Hudson who aren’t here to celebrate their birthdays.

Infertility is...waiting in line and watching everyone else cut in front of you. Image: people standing in line on stairs

Photo by Levi Jones on Unsplash