For the record, I am not pregnant.
I will never be pregnant again.
But I like taco salad. And despite having an ablation which fried the hell out of my uterine lining, I’m a special snowflake and I still get my monthly cycle. This month, partially thanks to the extra swelling of cross-country travel, I bloated even more than usual with my cycle. It is what it is. I no longer bleed for upwards of 17 days per month, so I’ll take a little monthly bloating over being bed-ridden and vomitting repeatedly.
But no, I cannot get pregnant. Neither with my husband, by myself, or in any variation thereof. This stuff doesn’t work anymore.
Before it didn’t work anymore, my OBGYN and other doctors told me it would “be in my best interest” to “stop having the babies.” In short, if I wanted to continue living and parenting the children I already brought into this world, I couldn’t conceive, carry, and push more babies out of my vagina.
It happened at a LuLaRoe party two months ago and again at the library this week.
“When are you due?”
“Is it a boy or a girl?
Eight years ago. Almost nine.
It’s a taco salad.
It’s a weighted question that springs tears to my eyes.
Not about my body shape. I’m fit. I run marathons. I have some leftover tummy pooch after three live births and one miscarriage. I gain and lose weight based on a number of things, ranging from anxiety and depression to holidays to training seasons to life. And buffalo chicken dip. And wine. I kind of like my shape. I feel okay in my own skin.
I love my children. All three. I’d have three more. If I could. I cannot.
And so I hold my friends’ babies. I walk into rooms, sweep them away from their mothers, and snuggle the heck out of them. I tell them they are loved. I tell them they have amazing mommies. I smell the tops of their heads; I breathe their innocence and their peace and I take just a little bit with me when I hand them back to their mommies, go home, and sleep the sleep of a mom whose children sleep all night and make their own dang breakfasts.
But sometimes. Sometimes. I look at a baby or I read another pregnancy announcement or I think about everything I missed with my daughter or I make my sons try on pants and they’ve grown a whole bunch since the spring and my breath catches. I blink. I breathe. I wonder why. I feel a bit cheated. I question. I cry.
So please, people, unless there is a baby’s head or even foot protruding from a woman’s vagina, do not ask her if she’s expecting. It’s probably written in all of the etiquette books ever, but it’s also just common freaking sense. I understand we’re all human and that we all make mistakes, which is why I’ve never responded unkindly to such a question, but know that it throws me—and others—off our games for a day. Or two. Or going on three now.
It is what it is. I will forever feel thankful for the children who bless my life. I will forever feel thankful for those in my life who support me through the thick of it all. But honestly, people. Think before you speak.