“When will you have another one?”
It’s been two years. Two years since I was last pregnant. Two years since my last pregnancy ended. Two years since: The timing isn’t right. Two years since: There’s a baby in momma’s tummy. Two years since: No heartbeat. Two years since: Trisomy 18, Turner’s Syndrome, female. Two years since: Not your fault, nothing you did or didn’t do.
It took me four months to say: I was pregnant. And then I wasn’t. Again. But I still didn’t say that Charlie’s (almost) baby sister was ripped from a wall of my left uterus (my first pregnancy on the left) and collected for testing then was sent to a lab that would later tell my reproductive endocrinologist who would later tell me the genetic rational (at least I had answers) for why she (who should have been/would have been/was) stopped forming and died.
Before Charlie, the question was: Do you have kids? Or, when will you have a baby? (I don’t remember the last time—
- I have no living children.
- Or, my first was stillborn and then I had two miscarriages.
When my pregnancy with him became undeniable, the question became: Is this your first? I trained myself to respond:
- My first that’s made it this far.
- Or, This is my fourth pregnancy.
- Or, Yes (fake nod, fake smile; especially if it was another pregnant woman, because I’m supposed to be thoughtful and not terrify her).
Now that I have Charlie (alive, thriving, amazing), the question is: Will you have more? Or, when will you have another one? Or, make another one; have a girl (not a question). I don’t know what to say, so I respond:
- (Pause, grab the pendants with each of their initials), Maybe when he’s older.
- Or, (pause, grab the pendants with each of their initials), Having one is already hard (force the laugh).
- Or, (pause, grab the pendants with each of their initials), It took us a long time to get Charlie.
What I really want to say is: I did have another one. I did “make” a girl. I have one dead son, one living son, and three dead daughters. Charlie is my only living child, but he isn’t my only child. I don’t know if I’ll have anymore. I have one dead son, one living son, three dead daughters, infertility issues, low follicle count, possible premature ovarian failure, a double uterus—how can I possibly know? (But would you really want to hear that?)