I’ve never struggled with infertility. My husband and I could shake hands and get a pregnancy test to show positive. Now, staying pregnant, well, that proved to be a hurdle for us multiple times. 

So much sorrow, loss, emptiness, pain. And nothing really pacifies the devastation after a miscarriage; nothing but a baby, that is.

Those babies I’ve never met make me long for heaven. The place where my late husband now resides as well. I can only assume that he’s spending time loving those sweet darlings we never got to hold. Maybe Aaron shares stories with our little boys and/or girls about a mommy they don’t yet know. 

Nameless, faceless, loved to the depths. Isn’t it unreal just how quickly we fall in love with someone we’ve never seen? Isn’t it spectacular how we can deepen our love for our husband who co-created life?

How grateful I am to have 4 living children; children who are blissfully unaware of these siblings. I’ll tell them one day, but not yet. I look at my tribe of gents who yell loudly enough to scare neighbors, who play hard enough to inflict bruises, and who leave my home in permanent disarray.

I love when I catch a glimmer of Aaron in each son. It’s always unexpected and bittersweet. A simple facial expression or mannerism that was exactly like their daddy. But I don’t get to elbow Aaron and say, “Did you see that? That is so YOU!”  I quietly savor those moments when God reminds me that the man we miss has an unending legacy, even if he’s not alive to marvel at his impact.

Before marrying for the second time, I questioned my fiancé Jason about wanting children together. More like interrogated. “Do you want children of your own? You’re getting an instant family on our wedding day. But I gotta know. Is there a longing to reproduce?” 

I’m going to be very honest when I say I exhaled the deepest sigh of relief when he answered, “You know, I am really okay with having ‘just’ four kids. I don’t need to make my own.”  I debated writing this down and getting it notarized (I’m joking. Almost.). Four boys is certainly enough. I just don’t have the desire in me to expand my belly or my family.

There is a but. But I do not get to share that special sweetness with my marvelous new husband. I will never see his hand reach for my big belly. He will never feel those amazing kicks from our baby in my tummy. I will never teach him how to bathe a newborn and he will not know the delight of cradling an infant in the middle of the night. 

There will be no morning sickness that reveals a different side of me. There will be no crib assembly that demonstrates his eagerness to fill it with his son or daughter. We will not struggle through colic or carseats, strollers or spit-up, first steps or first words.

I cannot catch glimpses of him in our offspring. And he cannot truly know the intricacies of raising a child from Day One.

He is a most wonderful stepdad. He loves these four boys as his own, truly. I know he would die for each of them. And he often tells me, “Debbie, you’re a great mom and I don’t know how you do it.” 

We joke that he would’ve blacked out during delivery and failed at diapering. Without doubt he would’ve passed that baby to me with a sheepish grin, confessing,  “Ummm I have no idea what to do right now.”

We are both very content with my empty womb. But there will always be that but.

Debbie Wilkins Baisden

Debbie is a mom to 4 boys (Paul, Brad, Andrew, and Joshua, or “PBAndJ” for short). Unexpectedly widowed in 2012, Debbie’s world was turned upside down. Clinging to God, her stay-at-home mom days in suburbia now demanded a paying job. Instead of returning to the classroom, she decided that Chapter 2 of life meant pursuing her passion of all things fitness and nutrition. She enjoys helping women look and feel their best. Debbie remarried in 2014 and lives in North Carolina.