Friday, March 3, 2017


There are only two pictures of me visibly pregnant, from the same day at 16 weeks. I'd just gotten home from the hospital from my nth visit for fluids, and only recently did I see how really pregnant I did look.  I had been so hunched over with nausea and worry and exhaustion,..but hope.  just a teeny bit of hope that grew as my boys did. There was one day, I was weepy after class, worrying that I was so sick, I couldn't give them what they needed to grow and be healthy. A friend, mother of 3 soon to be 4, put her arm around me, comforting me, "Don't worry, it's okay, really, they'll take what they need. They'll be okay." It helped,

My memory of my pregnancy is not one of round, full, excitement.  There were wonderful moments, Ultrasounds and sharing the news, the butterfly flutters as they moved around my belly, early on. Then the first real shove.

After it was all over, I was empty. At least at first. The roundness disappeared, my arms skinny, my belly loose, but empty. It surprised me that it was loose, since I had never put on weight (I had lost 6 lbs by 19+ weeks), I lost the roundness after, though. the fluids and extra blood of pregnancy. And after, all of a sudden, it seemed, people started saying, yeah, you were pretty sick, skinny, It had even been hard to tell I was pregnant if I was wearing a coat. I guess because it was just belly.
I had had no idea how round and excited I had become, though. I was happy to finally be getting close, despite the nausea and puking and stress and everything else.  And I had found my work, and colleagues I enjoyed, and now pregnancy -- and my child would have a brother! And no more fertility treatments! -- and my loving husband.  My family, I was growing my family. I was helping to grow my family, with the sleepless nights and the first days of kindergarten and the adolescent arguments and the first days of college, the empty nest, And the silliness.

Way back before we started trying to conceive, when one of my nieces or nephews was little, a toddler, no more that a year or 18 months. or they looked around and found  who they were looking for: "Mommy!" they exclaimed. Mommy! and my uterus ached and my chest clenched. I felt it. I wanted it. I knew.

Every day it becomes more clear to me that I am Childless and will ever be.  I am missing all these things, yes, but that not what consciously runs through my mind.

This is really who I am now. No pregnancy... none of all that stuff No miracles, no adoption at my age or status or PTSD (even now that it's treated), Foster children? To have a child, love a child, and let it go -- I've already done that. I don't know if I could do it again.

There won't be a child that is mine to raise. Not a family.  Plan A is gone. Time to embrace Plan B. Long time past that. Or C, maybe. If I can figure out a way to do that.