Is One Child Enough?


Dr. Gyno snaps off her plastic gloves and tosses them into a trash can.

"It's your period. A heavy one, yes, but just a period."

But what about the rash? The sudden vertigo? The uncontrollable gas?

My doctor shrugs. "I don't have an answer for you. But thank you for waiting until after I gave the exam to tell me about the gas."

I wasn't pregnant. Not even a little. Huh.

Now you're probably thinking, "Wow, she's flaky and has a tendency toward hysterical pregnancy." And again, you'd be right. But the most interesting takeaway from this story isn't the fact that I'm able to talk myself into thinking I'm pregnant; it's how I don't feel the slightest bit relieved at finding out that I'm not. And that "fear of change"? It's gone. Seems it's been replaced, knocked out of position by a faint sense of sadness for the little delinquent who never was.

Which isn't to say there can't be another. Dr. Gyno says it's true, given my age and the dustiness of my ovaries, that my odds of conceiving are low and getting lower every day; but, she says, if I want another there's no reason we shouldn't keep trying.

And now I do, and so we will.

Originally published in the July 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

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