Our boys, age six and two, are affectionately nicknamed the “wildlings.” For privacy’s sake, let’s call the eldest Little and the youngest Tiny. Little is bold, outgoing, affectionate, charming, and a bit of a clown. He has a knack for being the ringleader among his peers, and I have a feeling he’s going to make our home the “hangout house” in his teen years. Tiny is an adventurous little explorer who loves anything with wheels and will only give snuggles if it was his idea first (this makes his hugs extra special!). Investigating how things work is a favorite hobby of his, and he loves to pal around with our lab puppy. Both boys are handsome beyond words and use their big beautiful eyes to manipulate Mom and Grandma into doing their bidding. They could probably take over the world with their good looks alone, honestly.
Generally when I tell people that I have two boys, the next thing out of their mouth is “Are you going to try for a girl?” This question has always been a bit odd to me, as though it was implying that my family was somehow incomplete without a daughter. Adding to the pressure (that I put on myself), Husband always dreamed of having a daughter, as did his mother who ended up with two sons and two grandsons. I wouldn’t have minded having a daughter either – someone to take to dance classes, get pedicures with, etc. Plus, it would have been nice to have a bit more estrogen in the house to balance out the overwhelming testosterone. Husband and I have our hands quite full already and we probably would not have ended up having a third baby, but there was something a bit comforting knowing that we had a few years left to make up our minds.
Being diagnosed with adenomyosis has taken that choice away from us though. You see, even if I’d opted out of the hysterectomy that would cure the disease, my uterus would be too rigid to stretch adequately as the baby grew inside me, and that’s if an egg would be able to implant properly at this point. I’ve felt quite blue knowing that I’ll never feel another baby kick again, or that I’ll never be able to rest my lips against the sweet-smelling forehead of a new little life that I brought to the world. I’ll miss the tiny onesies, the itty bitty toes, the swaddling blankets, and the wonder of holding something so small.
Today, I gave away the remaining baby goodies (crib, high chair, a rocker, and a bunch of other items) that we’d been hanging onto “just in case.” It was bittersweet letting go of the things that once cradled my babies. I’m happy they went to someone who really needed them, and in an odd way it will be a bit of a relief not having those things in the attic as a constant reminder of what could have been.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel this way when told that they need a hysterectomy or that they have a disease that would leave them infertile. It is not lost on me how blessed I am to have had my two sweet boys already – I know that I am more fortunate than most in my position. The wildlings help me cope, too, by letting me hug them a little tighter, hold their hands a little longer, and Little is always up for extra snuggles (Tiny is far too busy for such things, thank you very much). Getting through this will just take a little time I suppose.
But if I could leave you with one action item, please consider not asking people about their children unless they bring it up first. You never know if the childless couple who’s been married for years or the mother of two boys is battling infertility.