Our niece is having a baby girl. A baby. Girl.
And when I heard, I swear I had to be the worst aunt ever. Because my face fell. And my heart broke just a little bit.
And at first I thought, “why can’t I have girls?” And I was seriously…sad. And of course this instantly turned to guilt. Because I have two amazing little boys. Perfect, miraculously healthy little boys. What in the hell is wrong with me? Why would I think like this? And then I thought that maybe it isn’t just about the baby’s gender. I think it’s about the whole damned pregnancy experience. Not that I would wish my experiences on anyone, but it really isn’t fair. At all.
Which turned to even more guilt because there are people out there who’ve lost babies. Who have babies with disabilities. I have two preemies who are perfect. I am so undeserving. I am such a piece of shit.
John immediatey asked me if I am really that upset about not having a daughter. No.
I’m upset that I’m not ready to be finished yet.
That I don’t want to go through it again. And yet that is the only way to have a chance of having a daughter.
I’m upset that it took 7 years of no birth control for me to get pregnant with Zachary. That I’m 34 and I don’t have 7 years. That we have hurdles to overcome before I can even think of putting my family through that. John needs not only a job, but one that is capable to replacing at least most of my income for the entire pregnancy. That as soon as the stick reveals two pink lines, my team of doctors will write the order for bedrest, and so we need to wait for John to accomplish this before we can even think of it.
I’m upset because there is no way pregnancy should ever be so fucking traumatic that I have all of these issues as a result of two of them. I’m upset that it is likely that I need psychotherapy for what I thought I was getting over.
I’m upset by the unfairness of it all. Because while I thought it would make me feel better to at least be able to shop for little girl stuff, it wasn’t the same. And I kept throwing things in the cart. As if, with each item I pulled off the shelves, I would heal a little more. And I didn’t. Instead I felt the wound splitting a little more, the pain of it all feathering outward from the epicenter llike it was going to consume me. Those little pink pants with the ruffles on the bottom…you are a fucking failure as a woman. The lavendar sleeper with the tiny, delicate embroidered flowers…you cannot do that to these boys again. The white eyelet dress…it will kill you if you do that to yourself again. The baby pink cardigan…you can’t you can’t you can’t…. And so it went, until the cart was brimming with every piece of negative self-speak my mind could generate.
And this whole time, Zachary was smiling up at me from his seat in the cart. He is so sweet. Those eyes. Those huge blue eyes. But wait…They are turning colors. Flecks of green mixed with the blue. Green like sea glass. And I have only seen that eye color in one place: the mirror. He isn’t a girl. He may be the last one. But that child is all mine. And the connection there runs so deeply that I swear I can feel the invisible cords that connect us tugging on my soul when I am not with him. Maybe it’s wrong for me to have this feeling because his job is just to be, but this child will be my healing. He will make me whole again. With each smile from him, the gap in my soul started to close a little more. Eventually there will be nothing but dense, jagged scar tissue to remind me of where I have been. And it won’t matter so much any more. That’s all: just a reminder. As if I could ever forget. Eventually it will just be a story I tell when someone asks.