Sometimes I think I’m some kind of strange version of a woman. My ovaries have never ached for a baby. I’ve never nested. I don’t melt when I see babies out there. I don’t long for all that goes along with babies.
I’m pretty sure that’s why I only ended up with one child. And I have to admit, that for only having one child, I ended up with a pretty good one. I have no complaints. He’s the sweetest, smartest, funniest, stubbornest little boy I know. Just like his mom (except for the boy part).
Our happy little family of three (except we’re not owls)
Sure, I wanted him to have siblings. I grew up as one of four, as did my husband. But I never longed for a huge family and a house full of chaos. I actually envisioned two well-behaved children, one boy and one girl, serving as our sidekicks as we traveled the world. Before they were five, they would know how to take their tea and drink it with one pinkie raised.
Alas, the vision never came true. My guy is well-behaved and he does drink tea with me. And most recently, he asked me about raising his pinkie when he drinks tea. It was a proud moment.
But being one for masochism, I still torture myself with the fact that he won’t ever have a sibling. And I’ll never have a second chance at motherhood to see if maybe I would be even better the second time around.
I’m comfortable with that. Mostly.
It came up in conversation with my counselor who asked me if I was okay with only having one. I said yes, without hesitation.
There is hesitation, though.
When I moved to a new community in May, I was lucky enough to find neighbors who all have young children and are still in the midst of growing their families. In fact, two babies have been born on my street since I moved here. (Well, not LITERALLY on the street. I assume they went to the hospital.)
Another young couple is just preparing to start their family and I couldn’t be happier for them. But one mom down the street had me thinking. One of my neighbors has three kids and most likely intended to keep it that way. But things happen and she now finds herself expecting her fourth child as a mother of “advanced maternal age,” a term I know all too well.
And it got me thinking, what if…
What if I accidentally became pregnant? It wouldn’t be a choice I had specifically made so it would be easier to deal with. It would be more like a happy accident. An accident that would shock me but then somehow make me supremely happy.
As luck would have it, I had been lax in making an appointment with a new gynecologist and I ran out of my normal birth control. I finally found someone and we talked in detail about birth control. I asked him about vasectomies (because my husband had asked me about them) and he said it’s a simple procedure to be used when you know you are absolutely and finally done with having children.
Nope. We are done. But I just don’t want to close that door.
So he assured me I could stay on the pill until I reach the M word with no problems. He gave me a new prescription and told me I needed to start it next month because I had missed my window of opportunity. Oh, and remember to use back up, he said.
I didn’t entirely follow his advice because I’m kinda old and what are the chances.
That’s when my psychosomatic pregnancy kicked in. The what if questions started again along with the could I be questions as well.
But I don’t feel the least bit nauseous. Do I?
I don’t really feel like having a glass of wine tonight. That’s unusual. Could it mean?
I feel like I’m really gaining weight. Perhaps THAT’S the reason.
And on it went. For the better part of a month. I knew I wasn’t pregnant. I knew it in my heart. And yet, I entertained the notion that it was possible. I thought about what room I would pick for the new baby. I thought about all the “stuff” we’d have to buy. I thought about Evan as a wonderful big brother and how excited he would be.
I also thought about my husband being a senior citizen before the baby would even finish elementary school. I thought about the sleepless nights and the required naps. I thought about having to babyproof the house.
Then God intervened. We decided to throw a New Year’s Eve party and invited many of our neighbors and their kids. I used to get thrilled when I was allowed to stay up until midnight. So with ten adults and nine children in the house, God gave me a sign that perhaps I wasn’t meant for many children. Not nine, at least.
After the chaos cleared and I reclaimed my house, I realized that the biggest symptom of my psychosomatic pregnancy, that of weight gain, was simply the result of one too many cookies over the holidays.