I keep a list in the back of my head.
It’s composed of the names of women, friends and acquaintances and colleagues, who have one child within a year or two of E. and no others.
One of them e-mailed me the other day.
The subject was “News”.
I didn’t even need to open it to know what it said.
Due in April.
Finally able to get excited about it because she can tell people now.
She wanted to tell me in person, but did it over e-mail instead because the next time I’m going to see her is at our Christmas party and she didn’t want to surprise me.
It was a very kind and thoughtful gesture on her part, and I appreciated that I wasn’t going to get blindsided at my own party.
She was the second one that week.
Two years ago, I wasn’t even keeping that list.
A year ago it was still plenty long.
Now it’s almost empty.
I don’t begrudge these women their second children.
Far from it.
I am happy for them.
Many of them have struggled, even if they didn’t the first time around, like my friend who discovered her pregnancy was ectopic the same week I lost our baby, or my friend who lost a baby very late in the second trimester to a fatal genetic disorder, or my friend who had four chemical pregnancies before one stuck.
Of the two last week, one had been ready to add to her family for a long time, and the second was on her very last IUI before walking away from treatments forever with an only child.
E. is getting old enough now that if my friends were going to have had a second child easily, it would have either already happened or it would be on the way.
So an announcement these days is often a little victory.
It still hurts.
Every name I take off my list is a reminder of what we tried and failed to do.
I have never been more grateful for this community. Here, on my blog, I do not feel alone.
In my ‘real’ life, I’m so terribly lonely.