When somebody has a baby, my first reaction is an overwhelming flood of grief. My heart aches, my stomach feels heavy and empty at the same time. My ears burn and my head spins.
Not because I am not happy for them – I am absolutely delighted, and so excited to meet the new arrival, and so relieved that everything went smoothly.
And it’s not because I regret how my own journey to parenthood has gone. I am grateful to God for those years of infertility – for how I learnt more to lean on him, for how the journey brought me the long way round to just the right moment when my path would cross with these wonderful little boys and they would become mine. I would not swap my boys for 10 babies from my own body.
It’s just that every time I hear that news, the memory of the feelings I had when it was painful, when I was bitter, wash over me. I don’t know if that will ever not happen. So I brace myself, I grit my teeth and I pray.
And the feeling passes, it always does. Then I give myself a little shake, dust off the self-pity and go shopping for baby clothes.
But please bear with me, while I wait for it to pass; because I am truly happy, but it is not easy.