For the last two weeks I was pregnant.
And now I’m not.
Because I never was pregnant.
The situation was so incredibly improbable considering the circumstances, that had I been pregnant, I should have been sainted and my silhouette spotted on barn walls and pieces of toast in South America for years to come. And yet every fiber of my body, every cell I had, every neuron and mitochondrion and DNA strand said pregnant.
The boobs were enormous. I was crampy. I was devouring every carb in site, including some sort of wrapped Little Debbie brownie thing that tasted like sugar and ass. I started having those wacky, vivid dreams–first that I won Top Chef, next that Schmutzie was running a really nice little bake shop in the West Village and invited me in for scones. I was bloated. I was exhausted. But above all, I was terrified. Because if this wasn’t the return of the PMS from hell, something I hadn’t experienced since before Thalia was born, then it was something very very not good at all.
For the last two weeks, every waking moment and most that should have been devoted to sleeping, were directed towards the question of What To Do. (And so apologies to all people I have encountered recently who may have found me to be distracted or manic or detached or all of the above.) I tried to weigh the pros and cons of having a third child, twisting them and contorting them every way, trying to make the columns line up.
The columns weren’t lining up.
It’s not to say that people don’t live wonderful fulfilling lives with three or more kids every day. But I know that I just can’t handle another pregnancy. I just can’t. I did not make a particularly good baby transport system, as my sister-in-law Lexi (a third child herself) put it, between the bedrest and the depression and the feelings of being fat and slow and stupid and ugly and irrelevant. As I teeter at the brink of forty, I fear I would be even worse off. To say nothing of the existing struggles in our relationship, the challenges in our lives, the financial burdens we have right now – a pregnancy would surely push us over the edge.
I drank a whole lot of wine this week.
“You know your limits,” said the one friend I confided in, who may have just talked me off an actual ledge with her words. I know my limits. I know our limits.
So I started to consider the options. And none of them were pretty.
We mostly think of unwanted pregnancies as the bane of the young and single. But to be a parent pushing forty, relatively responsible and in a committed relationship–I will simply say that is its own fresh hell. I can’t elaborate right now without this turning political. And I don’t want it to be political. It’s personal. I debated whether to share it at all, except that it’s been so consuming, I fear if I don’t get it out, it will eat me alive.
It’s over now. I am feeling emotionally battered.
I am going to have to deal with the fact that my nearly debilitating PMDD has returned after a four-year respite. I may end up on Wellbutrin again and eating my weight in donuts before it’s all over.
But for now, I’m going to hug my kids so tightly and thank the universe for them, then take them to Rye Playland. Where I can push through the cramps, get myself some cotton candy, and go on every single ride in the park.