I've been debating telling this story for a few days. At first, I told myself that I wouldn't, that I would keep this one to myself because I didn't want to listen to those out there who like to tell people like me that grief somehow implies that we are not grateful for what we have.
Then I decided to tell this story because I know that there are other women out there like me, who everyone else insists should be done. Who can't conceive of a world where we might not be. Who can't understand that having as many kids as I do already doesn't mean that I have cherished memories of them. Who can't possibly fathom my reasons, not that I'm going to hash them out here, because I don't intend to.
Mostly, I'm telling this story because it needs to be told. It needs to get out of my head. And I need to let it go so that I can write the other things I need to write this week.
In this world of motherhood, there is a lot of conventional wisdom out there. One of the phrases that I've heard a lot lately is how there are certain things that can virtually guarantee that you will have another baby...like getting rid of all your baby stuff, or planning some kind of fancy vacation, or sending your youngest child to Kindergarten.
When you actually want to have another baby, all those phrases sting a little. Instead of letting on to anyone that I'm crazy enough to want another one, I wave off the jokes and laugh because that is what I'm socially expected to do.
I'm not supposed to actually want another baby.
But I do.
To compound the situation by a thousand fold, I missed a pill last month, on a day after I was sick and it probably ran through my body too fast to do any good. After a while of wondering, of nervous anxiety, of wrapping my head around the idea that an oops might be happening, I stopped taking my pills, knowing that if I got a period in a few days the oops wasn't meant to be, but knowing in my heart that I wanted it anyway and that I would be elated.
I resisted the urge to buy a pregnancy test because I knew I couldn't wait to use it.
I stopped the pills and nothing happened for days. And days.
Initially scared to death, I became more and more used to the idea of this happening. After only a couple of hours it seemed, I'd gone from hesitant to fully embracing this idea.
I wasn't just okay with having another baby, I wanted one.
With every day that passed period free, my hopes grew bigger and bigger. I was working things out in my head about carpool numbers and when the baby would come. I was thinking of names already, jumping way ahead of myself.
Until the morning of the first day of school. The fateful day that I ushered my youngest over the threshold of his Kindergarten classroom. That day.
I got my period.
On that day.
Trust me when I tell you that finding out you aren't pregnant when you want to be is always devastating. Finding out you aren't just minutes before you have to let your baby go on the first day of school - unspeakable.
Grateful that I hadn't confided the possibility of the oops to anyone before that day, I laughed off the jokes people told at my expense. I smiled through the tears I fought back whenever someone asked if I was doing okay with little boy being gone. I nodded along when the conventional wisdom came out and those who didn't know told me that this would be the day I would wish for another baby.
I did wish.
It just didn't come true.
Society says that I should be done. My heart isn't. The timing sure didn't help.
Maybe someday that wish will come true, but I know that it probably won't. It's not in my hands and all the hope in the world can't make it happen. Hope can be pretty soul crushing sometimes.
I was almost pregnant, but almost doesn't count.
At least my baby already started Kindergarten and I never ever have to relive that day again.
I have to apologize for my moods the last few weeks.
This was why.
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