I should be a mother.

I’m not.

I got pregnant at 18.  My boyfriend (now husband) and I hadn’t been together long – it was a long-distance relationship, and the two months he spent visiting me that summer were the first time we’d been together face-to-face, the first time we’d gotten intimate without a phone or keyboard or webcam involved.

It wasn’t until he left to go back home, after plans had been made for me to visit his family at Christmas, during my winter break, that we found out I was pregnant. And not exactly in the best way possible. I was on the pill, and my period had been almost non-existent thanks to the contraceptives.  I started bleeding and cramping.  So get thee to the doctor, young Anne, where I had the fright of my life.

That I was miscarrying was shocking enough – I was on the pill!  That I was still pregnant after that was even more so.  Twins run in both of our families.  My boyfriend and I flailed around, tried to make plans and decide what to do – we were 18!  Living in different countries!  Both in school!  What would we tell our parents?!  Nothing, it turned out.

I miscarried the first at around five weeks, and the second four weeks later.

Intellectually, it was a relief.  I was 18, in university, no job, living with my parents and siblings, my partner lived in another country… a baby was the last thing I needed.

But oh, how I wanted it. Far more after I lost them both than while I was still pregnant. A pregnant woman or small baby would bring me to tears.  I was a wreck for weeks afterward (I’m still surprised my mother never seemed to figure out something was wrong) and ended up withdrawing from university and entering a modern apprenticeship at a daycare.  Which was even more agonizing, though I loved working with the children.

I gave that up after six months (and trouble with both the senior daycare staff who (illegally) treated me like a cleaner and the ‘adviser’ for my apprenticeship work forgetting to meet with me and holding our meetings in front or the co-workers who were breaking the law so I couldn’t SAY anything) and moved to office work, which is where I’ve been since. Fewer babies and pregnant women.

It’s been six years, but it still hurts.  I cry at baby product advertisements on the TV.  I sobbed for hours after reading some of the posts here on Band Back Together.  I watch children on the bus and on the street.  I wonder what my babies would have been like.  I brush off co-workers’ and in-laws’ questions about when we’re planning to start a family with a flip comment about having plenty of time.

I don’t tell them that I should have twin five-year-olds.

It still hurts.  I sometimes wonder if it will ever stop.