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The Baby Aisle

The Melancholy of a Would-be Mother

By Becca VolkPublished 6 years ago 3 min read

Shallow footsteps carry me down the winding row of plastic-wrapped objects. The smell of baby-powder tickling my nose like the memory of childhood. In the heart of the aisle, I am five years old again setting up a pretend family, a pretend life.

Whenever I pass the baby aisle in a department store I instantly want to cry. This isn't because I fear children or because I have an allergic reaction to pacifiers. Instead, it is the re-opening of a wound that might never heal. When I was eighteen I became very sick with an illness no one could understand. After three years of trying to get to the root of the problem, it became clear that I had endometriosis and adenomyosis. Although these conditions are not life threatening, they are extremely painful. The chronic pain caused my nerves to go into overdrive which only made the situation worse. On top of debilitating pain, these conditions make pregnancy extremely difficult and in far too many cases—impossible.

As a child, I dreamed of being a mother, but in an instant those dreams felt shattered. Now there are plenty of ways to have children, much like there are plenty of ways to raise a child. The truth is that as an adopted child I have yearned to know the bond between a mother and a biological child. There is something to be said to be able to hear someone say, "You look just like your Mom!" It might seem selfish but I know the struggles of adoption and the heartbreak when it falls through. Children and families are beautiful no matter how they are made and while my heart is opening up to the idea of adoption for myself the truth still remains. Whenever I walk down the baby aisle at the store, I start to cry.

Standing in a place of such sweet innocence I am reminded of the reality that my dream has died. Fear grips my heart like a swaddling cloth and refuses to let go. Pain comes in many layers in situations much like mine, they do not unravel easily. Pain is in the constant physical agony, the isolation of a bedroom, and the loss of your dreams. Yet in the shadows of bibs and binkies lies the smallest flicker that a new dream will grow. It is just around the corner in the mouth of a stork just waiting to arrive.

Life is full of heartache that can't easily be forgotten or overcome, time is the only enemy of a broken heart. Perhaps one day the tears will stop pressing against the backs of my eyes and I will be able to enjoy the bright pastels staring back at me. For now, there is a bittersweet melancholy of a dream born deep inside of my heart; a dream that bloomed with baby dolls and babysitting. Motherhood to me was something to work hard and aspire to be, to love your children with all your heart and do everything you can to give them the best life. Plans are the name of the game and I had a million of them and now each has gone down the toilet like a dead goldfish.

Dreams die, however; death is the soil in which new dreams grow. There is a bud blooming inside of each of us who have struggled with the loss of our dreams. Whether it is standing in the baby section or staring down what feels like an impossible goal, we each yearn for beautifully inspired things. There is no shame in loss, because loss points us towards where we are meant to be and exposes all that we already have within us.


About the Creator

Becca Volk

Becca is a chronically-ill lady, writes on health, humanity, and what it truly means to be alive. She invites you into her unique world, and the imagination, that comes with being stuck in bed. The world may be still, but words keep moving.

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