I missed my period this month. In a heart-quickening few days with whispered “what if’s” I peed on more sticks than I care to admit. Missed it. Completely. I had a blood test done on Monday and the doctor’s office dramatically informed me that I was “NOT pregnant.”
Where you disappointed? my mom asked me. That’s how you’ll really know.
We’ve talked so much about this vasectomy, and I’ve never felt that “knowing” that I thought I was supposed to get.
What about what’s meant to be? I’d ask, to which Steve would staunchly inform me that what’s meant to be, is. But how can that be so? Haven’t we made a conscious decision to use birth control all these years? That’s not meant to be: that’s a decision.
Did I ever tell you how I got pregnant with Leila? At the beginning of the third week of my pills, we went away for the weekend and I forgot them. By the time we got back there were only three more days to go, so I scrapped the month and planned on starting again the next week after my period. The one that never came.
Leila was 15 months old when I got pregnant with Alena. I didn’t menstruate once between giving birth to one and getting pregnant with the other. For six months, I had been talking to doctors about my lack of menstruation. They told me another child would be difficult. Not impossible, but obviously not ovulating would make things difficult. And then I decided that I was going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with my dad and brother and husband. And then I was feeling particularly weepy, so I took a pregnancy test. And it was positive.
By my calculations, I’ve ovulated exactly twice in the past five years.
Today was a home day, spent cleaning toilets and bathtubs and the clutter from the corners of our bedrooms. The girls were tired, and followed me around from room to room with their dolls. They play Mommies constantly, one leading and the other following. But today they spent most of the day quietly resting – watching me putter and scrub.
I look at them sometimes and my heart bah-dumps for them. I glance at Leila and realize, somewhat shockingly, that she’s not a baby anymore. Her size four pants are too short and her waist is thin.
We cut Alena’s hair a few days ago, about two inches off the back. And as I walked up the stairs last night to run the bath, she waited for me, then turned and walked away. And from the back, she didn’t look like my little baby anymore.
I can’t say this problem they have of growing so quickly doesn’t make me sad, or at least a little nostalgic. For all of its encompassing exhaustion that caring for two young girls entails, I’d freeze time at 4 and 2 for another year if I could. But I can’t. And another child won’t change that, merely accelerate the speed of it.
It’s not possible to hold onto them, and perhaps that’s what unsettles me the most. This is a beautiful, magical, heartbreakingly painful process of learning to let go.
Today, for the first time maybe ever, I imagined the future of my family. And there were four of us. Two wonderful babies, two amazing girls and eventually, two grown women.
No, I wasn’t disappointed. What’s meant to be, is.