Making room for Hope in Infertility
When I walked into the warm breezy room I was immediately overcome with a mix of emotions. The afternoon sun poured in generously through the window. The white cotton curtains danced on the breeze in somewhat etheric fashion. This room has always had a sense of softness to it. It feels uplifting, filled with light and hope. Yet, it also has a touch of emptiness too, probably because its intended purpose has yet to be fulfilled. I looked across at the wall near the blowing curtains where I’ve hung a decorative mobile. It’s a colourful string of four animals made from vibrant patterned African fabric. My husband and I bought it at a Maasai market in Zanzibar while on holiday a couple of years ago. I guess it was what some may call a ‘faith purchase’, something special for our future baby’s room to help keep the doors of hope open.
I sat down on the couch and just reveled in the comforting sensation of toasty golden sunrays on my skin. And for a moment my mind drifted to the place it often tends to wonder off to whenever I settle down in that spot. I saw it all so clearly in my mind’s eye. I could see my future baby in my arms, their tiny head resting on my chest and moving gently to the rhythm of the rise and fall of my breath. I often catch myself wondering what it will feel like when our baby is finally here. Here in the flesh, here in this room. What will it feel like to know that they are mine, to know that I am their mother? What will it be like to nurse and nurture my baby? For several moments I’m lost to the idea of these beautiful possibilities.
People sometimes talk about how rooms hold memories and how walls are silent witnesses to the happenings of our daily lives. Perhaps one day I’ll look back at this room in reflection of its past and the heartwarming ways in which it served me, but for now it offers a glimpse at our hopeful future. It is a window peering into the things that we are dreaming into being and keeps me mindful of the meaningful experiences that I want to invite into my life. At present, this room is our home office. It houses a cozy couch and beautiful wooden writing desk that we had custom made by a talented carpenter just before he retired from making furniture. The draws and cupboards in the room are filled with files, important paperwork and office supplies. Yet in its quiet corners and hidden spaces are little love notes and gentle nudges of hope. Like the wall-hanging mobile that I mentioned, and the special shelf in the cupboard that I’ve cleared to make space for the things we’ve collected for our one-day-baby. Books I’d love to read to them, a couple of soft toys, a baby blanket, a few cute onesies and the journal that my husband and I write notes and letters to our future child in.
If this room had a memory I’d want it to tell the story of our hope in waiting. Somehow leaving traces of the function that we dream this room will eventually serve – for it to finally become our baby’s room – feels comforting. It gives me a sense of peace knowing that I am putting a message out there, an invitation of sorts, one that says: “We love you. We welcome you. We have created the space for you in our lives in the meantime.” I always want my child to know just how much they were loved and wanted long before they arrived, and I endeavor to keep kindling the feelings of hope and to create space for them in my life physically, mentally and emotionally.
What makes you feel hopeful? How do you create space for hope along your fertility journey? What keeps you connected to the heartwarming possibility of eventually bringing your baby into your life? To draw from the words of Christina Oberon, author of Hope Strong: Navigating the Emotions of Your Infertility Journey: “Hope is a constant pillar even in your darkest hour.”