As soon as I found out my sister was pregnant, I made the plan. "In March," I told her, "I am renting a minivan, packing it to the rearview with all our baby junk, and disgorging it into your apartment."
"Okay," she said, perhaps not realizing that for once, my statement was without hyperbole, and would actually come to pass unlike most of my poorly considered schemes. Hey, there's a lot at stake -- we live in a 2-bedroom apartment, and it would be awfully nice to be able to hang Sophia's current clothes in a closet heretofore occupied by a tower of Rubbermaid tubs filled with two years' worth of outgrown baby clothes and cloth diapers. Not to mention the precariously balanced Aquarium Wonders Molded Plastic-o-Rama and teetering Pack And/Or Play that threatened to behead unlucky passers-by with business in the grown-ups' closet.
I got to sorting and packing and going back over everything, oh my God, did she ever fit in that rainbow onesie? Look at those teeny socks! You know how it goes. And I got a little wistful, as I imagine just about everyone does, because it all seemed so fast, you know, and if I had it to do over I wouldn't be so jacked up and worried and hurried about everything. Here she is this fairly autonomous human being who is capable of visiting the potty on her own with no fanfare, of helping herself to a brimful bowl of yogurt (the quart container of which I later found on the sofa, surrounded by a Jackson Pollock design of its own contents), but this tiny soft-footed snowsuit is evidence that she once didn't need shoes because she couldn't walk anywhere! This kimono shirt proves that her head was once as big around as the whole rest of her body!
(The snowsuit also proved that, growns-up as she may be, she is still a trifle unrealistic in her expectations. I found her whining angrily in a hunched heap on her floor, feet jammed into the snowsuit, arms jammed into the closed-off mitts, and unable to zip the thing past her waist. It was a poofy pink straitjacket, but dammit, she wanted to wear it.)
So there was a little bit of maudlin mooning over the baby things, but off they went, and the swing and the bassinet and the million handknit wool covers and cloth diapers and tiny shoes with monkeys, off to the next little person. The glider rocker we lived in for six months, now lovingly recovered in a rainbow stripe, gone to Massachusetts.
Now we have a lot more room in the apartment, which is wonderful, and my sister is a little more ready for the babe on the way, which is best of all.
Is there also more room in my head? I'm not sure. Whatever our reproductive future might hold, there just isn't room in my life for the kind of obsessing I did before, the constant thinking, the mourning. Of course we have Sophia now, so it's an entirely different game. But I'm -- mercifully -- not feeling the dull ache of secondary infertility. It's in there like a cyst or something, I guess, since Ye Olde Menstrual Cycle has been back about nine or ten months and nothing to show for it, but for now it remains asymptomatic.
Here's another thing: I've got school. A lot of school. I have six prerequisites to get through, nice fat ones like microbiology and organic chemistry and anatomy and physiology, and after that I have two very intense years of nursing school IF I can even get in -- IF I can keep my grades in the A's and B's and IF I can get a good score on the GREs. I've been meandering through one statistics class at a time, which is great, but I suspect I'm going to get my ass handed to me with a big letter D on it at some point during the next year. At any rate, we're talking several jampacked, very expensive years here. Not a good time to have a baby, right? Right. But we have this tiny window of the next, oh, three months, where it could kind of all work out. Which, if experience is any guide, means that it almost certainly won't.
I don't know. I don't like to think on it too hard, which, thankfully, I don't have to, because hey! If there's anything I've learned on my spin through Infertility Kingdom, it's that my reproductive destiny is entirely out of my hands!* The baby stuff is gone. Sophia starts preschool in June. And I have some multivariate regressions to do.
*Put that in your feminist pipe and smoke it. Sigh. Planned
Parenthood, I am seeking absolution by sending you half our tax refund. (The other half will go to Philabundance.)