Someone I know is pregnant.
This statement is becoming increasingly rare as the years keep marching on in my life. It used to be that everyone I knew was in a couple. Then, couple by couple, everyone seemed to be getting engaged, and then married. Back in “my day” (intone the Old Lady In Me here) this was around age 23-28. Most of my close friends were good and married off by then, which I know isn’t exactly the case with kids that age these days.
Then the babies came. Each time I was pregnant I shared my pregnancy with at least someone else I knew. In my eldest’s case, these women were my older sister’s friends. But with my younger two there were any number of contemporaries that were either in the same family way, or who had just had a child within the last year, or who would find themselves pregnant shortly thereafter.
My youngest was born when I was the ripe old age of 31. At first, we weren’t really sure if we were done having kids. I stubbornly packed up all of the tiny baby clothes as he grew out of them and put them in sturdy plastic bins in the basement; the kind that would last. I put the Pack and Play and the swing and the crib down there with them. We kept thinking….maybe. Maybe just one more. But it never seemed to happen.
As M’s issues came to light, we actively avoided the idea of a fourth child in our house. We had too much on our plates with him and his issues and needs. So many therapy appointments and meetings at school and worries. It wouldn’t be fair to bring another child into all of that. And then, after we felt like it might be an option again, our eldest went to college. He turned twenty. And then twenty one. By then, it just seemed preposterous that we would give him a brother when he was old enough to be a father himself (Lord help me that I’ve actually put that in printed form).
That door has been closed for quite a while now.
But then, I heard about this woman I know who is pregnant. She has two adopted children from China, hard fought adoptions after years of infertility issues between her and her husband. It had been universally assumed that they couldn’t have children, and their two perfect cherubs made them all the perfect family from the outside looking in. Except that around Christmastime, the woman somehow found herself inexplicably pregnant. The weeks wore on, everyone quietly waiting for doomsday to occur, but it didn’t. She is nineteen weeks pregnant, and forty four years old. It is an amazing thought, after all of this time, that she and her husband will have a biological child.
It makes me wonder if my door is truly closed, as well. There have been times in the last five years, perhaps six or seven, when I thought I was pregnant. A few times so sure that I purchased pregnancy tests and took them. But each time, the test slowly turned negative before my eyes. And each time, I was a little disappointed.
I do wonder.