Today Josie, my youngest and almost certainly my last child, is 21 months old. This is something of a landmark as by 21 months i’ve always already had, already been well pregnant with, or at the very least just conceived the next baby. So today i ought to be entering the month where i get to be not pregnant for the longest ever time. A watershed, i’ve been told. The moment where perhaps i’ll feel better and more at peace with the end of my childbearing years.
By a strange twist of fate, in an alternate universe, i would also have been 21 weeks pregnant today. It probably surprises no one who didn’t already know, that back in April i was briefly, entirely surprisingly, pregnant. When i belatedly realised, the pregnancy only lasted 2 more weeks, two of the longest, saddest and most traumatic weeks of my life. Some things are not meant to be and that was one of them. It was somewhat ironic that just as i was blogging that i was coming to terms with being done with pregnancy, i was conceiving, somewhat ironic that it happened in the very month i had scheduled in my head as the last month i wanted to get pregnant in, if we were going to do it again.
I can’t say i’m a wiser person for the experience; i’ve had sad and distressing times in my life before and that was just another of them. If you’d asked me to guess how it felt to go through what i went through, i could have guessed it pretty accurately. It was pretty much how i expected it to be. I’m not sure quite where it leaves me; grieving for a baby, grieving for me, grieving for pregnancy, grieving every time i see a bump, a baby, my children beg for another. But at the same time, well, i just drift by. I’ve had my luck and i’m not churlish enough to wish anyone ill because of it. I’m sad that was my last experience of pregnancy, waiting out something i knew couldn’t last and just wishing it over. But that is a private story and not one i’ll drill over here. I blog this now because i sometimes read this blog and wonder what on earth i’m writing about, when everything about me is so completely changed and i drift along in a haze of chemically induced optimism. Better than pessimism i suppose. No one is suffering, except me.
But the point anyway, of this , is that i don’t get my watershed. Josie is 21 months and i’m not passing a place i’ve never passed before. It would be ultimately ridiculous to pretend all that never happened, no matter how i try to gloss it over. It will be another year or so before i get my “longest” and Josie will be my youngest but not quite my last. There will always be that space, a little nameless space. I will always know.
Here is hoping, that by the time that longest comes, i’ve worked out how to throw away baby clothes. I so don’t want this bit of my life to be over, even if i’m not physically or mentally up to anymore right now. I miss little warm heads in my hand and froggy tummies and curled up legs. I miss a sleeping body in me and on me. I miss meeting someone new. I’ve no idea how people make families of larger than 4 children work, but i know i’ll always regret not working it out. It feels like tearing out my heart and putting it in boiling oil every time i think about it.