I walked into the room. A young woman lay in a bed recovering from a caesarean section. Two infant cots were parked beside the bed. Healthy twin baby boys had been delivered the day before.
They both had a poor suck from the start so the little ones had small tubes inserted in their stomachs to help with feeding. That is what I was doing in the room. As a midwife I was there to help with the feeds.
I could sense the new mother was nervous and unsure of herself. I started some small talk in an attempt to help her feel more comfortable. We honestly didn't have much in common with each other and I was struggling for something to say. Then seemingly out of nowhere she piped up with a conversation starter - the litmus test question for midwives, "So have ya got little ones at home?"
My heart sank. Despite being asked the same question many times before I still had not come up with a short enough or 'right' enough answer. So I replied honestly, "No, not yet unfortunately".
The young mum proceeded to offer commiserations and even some suggestions. "Ya just have to not worry about it. When I stopped thinking about wanting to get pregnant, it just happened ya know..."
So much wisdom from a 19 year old I thought.
A great man once called irony 'that hard crust on the bread of adversity'. If only I had a brumby's hard crusty loaf on hand to throw at my wise friend.
Infertility can feel so personal and so, so unfair. As a midwife the pain sometimes feels so much more acute and the challenge so ironic. 'Her body works like it should, why doesn't mine?'.
But, in the end we all have holes and gaps in our lives we wish were full. We ALL experience crusty irony but some of us (read: me) are so much more brittle. Tests and challenges by their very nature are unfair - but in the words of my 2nd choice husband Mike Rosenberg, "... WE CARRY ON".
Enjoy the music...