So it's December.
I spent the month of November getting together all of the things I need in order to apply for my Master's program for the Fall of 2014. Writing letters of intent, asking for references, getting transcripts, updating my CV, busy, busy, busy...
Sometimes if I think really hard about it, I can get excited about the idea of moving on (up?) in my career, working towards a plan that I've had since I was in nursing school...
...but, lately I can't get the sad, unhappy, disappointing parts of my life out of my head. I think about Aidan a lot. I think about Kaia's pregnancy. I worry about my heart. I'm sad it's looking less and less likely that there will ever be another baby in our house. In my head, school looms as the end point. Time to move on. I feel I'm being dragged, kicking and screaming.
Friends, family and colleagues have asked if we are ever going to have another baby, and I give them all the same answer of "well, after two difficult pregnancies, and one loss we aren't sure it's a good idea..." Everyone always nods knowingly and agrees it's a big decision and perhaps not in our best interest.
I almost never tell anyone that we've tried....for over year...and failed... At this point, I find our (mine? his? our?) fertility, or lack thereof harder to talk about than my dead child. I could chat about Aidan almost any old time, and do to anyone who asks. Because that sadness, that failure, is old. His death has healed over somewhat. The (likely) loss of Third baby is a new sadness, a new disappointment. It's still happening.
Every. Goddamn. Month.
What also screws with my emotions on the subject is that every month, along with the feelings of sadness and disappointment, is, well...
Relief that this isn't the month that I have to start to worry. About every little twinge. Any speck of blood. Any more strain on my heart. Both literally and figuratively.
I also feel sad about the relief. Because maybe it means I really don't want another baby THAT badly. If I feel relief about not being pregnant, maybe it's only the newness, the wonder, the excitement that a new baby provides that I crave, and not really the baby itself. There is also relief in the relief...because maybe if I'm relieved now, in 10 years when the possibility of ever having another child is long since past, maybe I won't feel so sad.
Then the guilt comes. Guilt for not trying harder to fix whatever it is that's wrong. For denying Kaia the chance at a (living) sibling. For denying the grandparents the possibility of another grandchild. For failing both Brian and myself. We both want this...so why can't we just suck it up and forge ahead. Tons of people do. Make that RE appointment Emily...just do it.
Then the niggling doubt.
Maybe it's not happening because it's not suppose to. Maybe your heart wouldn't tolerate it this time. Maybe it wouldn't be the redemptive pregnancy you dream of. Maybe it would be a new kind of awful? Or maybe the Breus mole and pPROM (TWICE) isn't a fluke. Maybe your genetics just suck and it's time to count your blessings and move on.
Maybe if it happened, you would wish it hadn't...
Then the wondering if we should consider other options. Adoption? Surrogacy?
Both of them seem so far removed from anything I could ever imagine us attempting. The time, the money, the never-ending hoops to jump through. Most importantly the wearing of our hearts on our sleeves. I learned through our experience with Aidan and Kaia that when things get emotional, Brian and I tend to curl into ourselves, praying for privacy and space. Could we ever make it through either of those processes, laying our hearts bare for strangers to see? I see it turn out well for people...but what did it take to get there? What number of sadnesses lay just beneath the surface? Plus we already have a living child, so it's difficult to imagine anyone with either a child or a womb to donate picking us over the thousands of others who admittedly, probably deserve it more.
Both adoption and surrogacy seem like amazing experiences...that only occur for other people.
All of this is just background noise. My daily life consists of a healthy two year old who is thriving. A good home. A happy marriage. A supportive family. An engaging workplace.
Aidan is missing, of course. He will always be missing. He was a real person who had a name and a story, no matter how short. People are generally understanding when I say I miss him. When I think about him. When I wish he was here.
But now, I feel like Third baby is missing too. A person no one ever saw or imagined. Who has no name. No gender. No story. Who never was. Maybe the hardest part is that I get the sinking feeling that if he or she never materializes, I will miss Third baby in the same way I do Aidan.
And no one will understand.