It is impossible to convey how powerful the maternal urge can be if you have not experienced it. Minnie describes it as being eaten by longing from the inside out. Her urge to conceive was strongest in her late 20s/early 30s. At that time she was in her most stable ever, “grown up” relationship.
As she remembers, she and John discussed having a family shortly after meeting. They decided to revisit the idea after a year. During that time, she helped care for John s three children. At the end of the year he asked could we wait a little longer? Another three years passed; Minnie s bond with her stepchildren was strong; John s parents adored her and his friends started making references to a baby. She dutifully visited their homes and praised their children. The thing they did not talk about grew. It grew so big Minnie would drive home from work and expect to see its shadow in the driveway.
Eventually, Minnie could stand it no longer. Fortified by wine one evening, she brought the shadow into the room. She said I need to know when. He said I never promised that. She tried to breathe into the howl that fought for breath in her belly. John said, “I never wanted more children. Three is enough. I will marry you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. But, there s one condition. You change your mind”. Minnie looked at the man in front of her and wondered who he was. With tears in his eyes he asked how can you miss something you’ve never had? Minnie drove away, her heart shredding in her chest.
John moved in with a single mother (two children). Minnie worked, cried into her dog’s coat every night and researched fertility clinics.