Monday, October 19, 2020
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“When will you have another one?”

Still of sky lantern scene from "Tangled"
Still of sky lantern scene from "Tangled"
(Still from Disney’s “Tangled”)

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—if ever—I’ve asked either of those questions.) I trained myself to respond:

  • 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?)

Crystal is a mother-wife-writer whose explorations include parenting, grief, food, and semi-crunchy living. She is currently an MFA in writing student, a content editor for Still Standing Magazine, and the technical editor for Switchback.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

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