So a lot has happened to make me feel, *ahem* older lately. I had a birthday. My son turned 12. I celebrated my 20-year high school reunion. And while any one of these things is enough to make you wonder whether you’ve done Oprah proud, one big question continues to nag at my consciousness: should I have another baby?
This mental tug-of-war has been going on for a while now. First there was the year when “No more babies!” was replaced by “Well, maybe one more baby,” followed by the year of, “Should we really? Could we really?” which ultimately led to last year’s pregnancy loss and general mistrust of the universe.
October 4th marked the one-year anniversary of my miscarriage and I’m sorry to say that I’m no closer to reaching resolution on the “maybe baby” front than I was three years ago. In fact, I’m probably further away than ever. And it’s cruel, ya know? The inevitable expiration of my fertility. And that’s what I’m struggling with. I’m 38 years old dealing with some female issues and my eggs are getting tired. I’m getting tired. But despite these unyielding truths, I can’t quite shake the suspicion that I’m not done having kids.
That said, I haven’t so much as talked about another baby with my husband in the last 365 days. I haven’t pinned a single adorable thing to my secret Baby #3 Pinterest board. And I especially haven’t so much as allowed a twinkle to flash within my eyes as I cradled friends’ newborn babies. Yet for some reason on October 4th, the very day I lost my baby last year, my husband said to me, “You’re not done having babies. I just know it.”
Trust me when I tell you he didn’t realize it was the anniversary of my miscarriage. He wouldn’t. This is a man who regularly misplaces his wallet and can’t remember his social security number. And while our loss surely affected him, I know he didn’t mark his mental calendar the way I had. He didn’t remember the exact day and time the bleeding started. He wasn’t privy to all the tearful conversations and prayers between me and my maker. Sure, he remembers me crying. He remembers telling the kids about the pregnancy almost as quickly as untelling them, but doesn’t remember the details of our loss — at least not the way I do.
“How do you know I’m not done having babies? What makes you think as much?” I asked with raging indignation. “Nothing,” he said, “I just know you.”
Know me he does, but what he doesn’t know is that the root of my baby fever matters to me. It matters a lot. In fact, it’s everything. Is another baby what my heart really wants or is it a “Quick! Get you a baby while the gettin’s still good!” Is there a way to know for sure? Is there some BuzzFeed quiz I can take? Is it a gut feeling? Or does it not matter at all?
I know a baby, whether born to this earth or only living in my tender heart, means forever. Forever joys, forever sorrows, forever fears, and forever blessings. But am I ready for another forever? The answer is as much “no” as it is “yes,” even one year and 9,000 spins around the biological clock later.