I’m standing on the cold platform waiting for a train. Surrounding me are a large group of Women who like me, are considering starting their journey to motherhood. We’re all here, simply waiting for the fertility train to take us on to the biggest journey of all. I know some of them by face, some by name.
Some are my close friends, my neighbours.. the girl that works in the corner shop who I say hello to everyday. Some are total strangers. There’s even a few celebrities lined up, but I try not to stare. There’s a buzz of excitement in the air, everyone’s a little giddy. This journey is going to be a blast, right?!
A train pulls in and a group of ladies hop on board. I wave goodbye to them, happily mouthing ‘congratulations’ as they pass me by. I hope that sooner or later my train will appear and I’ll be sitting in that seat. I daydream about being on the warm train, knowing I’m onto the biggest journey of my life. I can only imagine how I might feel. I ask myself whether it’s okay to daydream for a little while, and I think it is for now.
Even if it wasn’t okay to dream.. now I can’t escape it – on the platform, screens project images and videos of the all the women reaching the end of their journey. They are happy and smiling alongside their new family. Huge announcements have started to ring over the platform as soon as another train reaches its destination, sometimes they ring so loud they vibrate my entire body. The sound of the ringing has quickly become something I dread. I can also tell that it’s coming by the way everyone goes silent around me. No matter how much I prepare for it, it rings just as loud and hard in my ears each time. These announcements provide just a tiny glimpse of what could be for those of us still waiting to board, but I’m starting to doubt whether I really want to know whilst I’m still here waiting.
Eight more trains have stopped by the platform and I notice things are starting to feel less crowded than before. The mood has shifted and we all seem disappointed, whilst trying to avoid the platform announcements (which now seem to be ringing every hour or so) It’s cold, icy.. I forgot my gloves. I feel.. alone. I’ll admit quietly that I’m starting to feel concerned my train might not come. What happens to me if it doesn’t turn ever up? Will I be here forever? I tell myself I must stay hopeful, just as another announcement bell rings fiercely through the silence.
More trains pass. I stopped waving goodbye to everyone boarding about five trains ago. I guess it just started to feel like all I do is wave goodbye to everyone else. I did have a brief encounter and managed to hop on board one train a little while back, but it didn’t take me the full journey so it was back to the start for me. It’s left me feeling sad. I don’t want to feel envy for the women that have managed to hop on board the trains so easily, but I do. I can’t help but feel hard done by – we were all sold the same ticket and no one told me what to do if the train I need doesn’t turn up.
The conductor appears from nowhere and aggressively shouts at us to leave and come back next month, with no explanation. He has no time for our feelings of despair, he’s just doing his job.
Panic sets in. The ones that are left are all searching to see through the fog. “Is that another train in the distance?!” But deep down I know it’s just our eyes – and minds – playing games on us. There are no more trains this month, so we just have to keep on waiting. Who knew that this journey would involve so much patience (something I’ve never been good at)
Still I can only dream of the women meeting together at the final destination, sadly knowing I won’t be joining them anytime soon.
There’s always next month.