Ever since Hawk went to daycare I've felt like something was missing.
These days, the strangest things trigger my sense of loss: a trip to my old grocery store, walking by the fish tank in the mall on a late mid-week morning, meeting a friend for a coffee downtown.
I tell myself that all of this would be happening regardless of my marital status, but it just somehow adds insult to injury.
I see mothers with their children cooing at them and carrying on conversations in that lilting singsong that mothers have. I see them piling into their cars with arms laden with groceries or shopping bags seemingly content with their position in life and I think, "That was me."
What paralyzes me the most, though, are pregnant mothers. Their bellies swelling with a sibling, their little ones expectant big brothers and sisters, their families growing.
Before Rooster and I admitted that we were falling apart we tried to get pregnant. For roughly 18 months we tried. I never said anything on this blog because I didn't want to jinx it.
The first time we tried to get pregnant it worked in the first week and I naively I figured it'd be just as easy for round two. After 3 months and no pregnancy, I started charting my ovulation. After 10 I went to a fertility specialist who wanted to immediately put me on clomid. I balked since I checked out 100% and didn't want to generate twins just because I was desperate to have a baby. Instead, Rooster got checked out and we discovered things were a bit amiss. We tried IUI, but that didn't work, either.
Meanwhile, I was raising Hawk, spending afternoons in the park and planning weekly meals; trying valiantly to deny the state of things between me and my kind, loving partner.
Eventually, Rooster and I had to look at each other and be real. There were times when I hoped I'd get pregnant just so I could give Hawk a sibling, marriage crumbling be damned, I'd make it work! It was that important to me.
I myself am a big sister and Larry (my sister - and no, that's not her real name!) is an inspiration, a support, and a friend I can't imagine my life without. I used to joke with Rooster that I didn't want Hawk to have to deal with our crazy asses alone for his entire life. I wasn't really joking. We're going to be a motherfucking handful.
And now my sister is trying for her second baby. I have blogging friends who are on their second pregnancies, too, and with each joyful sharing of news I feel punched in the gut. Chances are extremely slim that I will ever feel a life growing inside of me again, a babe at my breast, Hawk as a big brother.
I don't agree that "It could happen," because I won't let it. I don't want to argue my rationale, but suffice it to say, I'm 35 years old and I'm trying to reboot my career; I don't want a huge age gap between my children; I don't want two daddies, two schedules, two disjointed lives.
I realized I was holding my breath for months in hopes that no one I knew would get pregnant again just so I wouldn't feel my own loss. Selfish, I know, and I'm ashamed to admit it, but there it is.
I feel nothing but love and joy for all my pregnant blogging friends (Dionna, Lauren, Allison, and Arwyn), those women whom I know in real life (at least 4 I can think of off the top of my head), and those who are trying, but it also shines a spotlight on my own void -- something I need to just work through, I know, but it's there nonetheless.
For months, before I told anyone about my relationship, I couldn't speak about a second pregnancy without tearing up. It was the one topic I tried to avoid with all my friends and family as I told them what was happening to me and Rooster. I can talk about it now without feeling overly emotional about it, but if I think on it long enough, the tears will come - oh, they most definitely will!
I feel like I've let Hawk down. Robbed him of the bond only a sibling can provide. I grill any only-child I come across, "Did you wish you had siblings?" "How do you feel about your parents' aging?" "Were you lonely growing up?" For the most part, you only-children out there are pretty well adjusted folks with an air of sophistication about you I've always admired and coveted. You're not spoiled, weird, reclusive assholes!! Well done! haha
I know that a sibling doesn't guarantee happiness - lots of siblings are freakin' jackasses - but based on my own experience it's been a breathtaking journey of love and life to have a baby sister. I feel things for her I don't for anyone else on the planet and I wanted that for Hawk like I want air to breathe.
But it's over.
That window is closed and I'm walking past it with as sure a stride as I can muster. I tell myself I'll love my bright, Star-Wars-obsessed little guy all the more for it; try not to think about horrendous what-ifs and I'll not laugh at "The dingo ate my baby!" jokes, because, really, it's not that fucking funny to have a dingo eat your baby. Come on!
I've said before that I never thought my life would be linear, so I need to embrace that belief and be happy with what I've been given which is one little boy who is sunshine and rainbows, and a few years spent with his wonderful father. It's really not all that bad. Maybe, if I'm lucky, my future holds step-children, or even just another's children, and I can grow my family in a different direction. I'm down with that. Definitely.