This morning, as the twins were getting ready for school, my daughter said, “I wish I had a baby sister. One I could hold.”
Me too, kid. Me too. (Though I’d take a baby brother, too).
In the past month or so, J has grown obsessed with babies. Mothering her dolls, making faces at cute babies in the store, interacting with the babies at gymnastics. She notices how cute little ones are, sometimes even before I do.
I don’t know why her obsession seems to coincide with my letting go of the dream of another. It’s hard not to think about the last time I was pregnant, when I’d imagined the twins putting their hands on my growing belly to feel movement, a dream I knew better than to verbalize. Despite registering positive on every pregnancy test I used, I knew how transient that reality could be. It wasn’t my first time at the rodeo.
It often feels greedy to have wanted more. Especially when so many are still trying. And it’s hard to think about the many people who have hopped over here from Mel’s post who may see me as the imposter I often feel like. Infertility’s demons don’t go away because you have children, they just change.
I went to the doctor last week to have my shoulder looked at. When you have Kaiser, all of your recent medications show up in the prescriptions in the computer, and they make the medical techs go through the whole list to find out what you’re still taking. Which means that all of my fertility meds from earlier this year are on the list. I finally just told the tech that she could delete the entire rest of the list because they were all from the fertility clinic. She proceeded to tell me that she used the fertility clinic for her two kids, and all I needed was to “take a break, then try again.” She said it three times. “You just need to take a break, and then try again.”
Even after I said, “No. We’re done.”
“You should have another one. Take a break and try again.”
The gaping silence made her uncomfortable enough to leave.
I find myself finding ways to fill in the gaps. The gaps where searching for treatment options and scheduled monitoring appointments and living life in 2 week increments used to be. I fill them with good things mostly: getting healthier, focusing on photography, being more present at work. I do this. I fill the silence because the silence can be scary. I’m an introvert in many ways, but even when I’m alone I fill the perceived silence with activity for myself. I figure as long as they are healthy and productive activities it’s ok.
Sometimes, though, the gaps are so obvious there’s no way to fill them. All I can do is wait. Time will pass and they’ll get filled with something eventually.