Before, way before, when my life was moving along according to 'plan', I used to walk by the extra room in our house and wonder if someday, maybe, I'd get that last baby. We never decorated the room, when we bought the house we moved each of the kids into their own rooms, put ourselves in the Master and then sort of left the definition for the last room up in the air. It became a junk room with a desk and a computer and all the crap I didn't know what to do with or didn't want to deal with, ever. Occasionally it became a guest room, for the husband...not for couples counseling but for sleep deprivation issues(mine not his) related to his snooooring. It was never painted and the wallpaper was half way torn down by me in a late night I'm not sleeping so I might as well get something done stupor(obviously before the idea occurred to me to throw the husband out when the snooooring was bad). I always had it in my head that maybe, eventually, it would be a room for another baby. I was waiting for the green light from the master snorer. Which came some 4 years later. Yeah, we move quick, don't we.
I've had three pregnancies since then, one miscarriage, a stillborn son and Cason. I guess in the card game of pregnancy you could say I have a Full House. In total, I've been pregnant six times, My two other C's and another miscarriage. Maybe that makes a Royal Flush? The room has been successfully converted into a nursery for Cason although he only ever spends time on the changing table, not sure when I'll let him sleep that far away from me, but that's a post for another day.
Back then, before, I thought once I had that third baby I would feel it. "It" being the knowing feeling that would come telling me we were done with babymaking. I expected a comfortable peace, a settled in sense of a job well done and maybe even some nostalgia for the end of my fertile self. I thought the third would finish the sentence, put an ending to the story, that the extra room would get an identity and I would feel complete.
Maybe that would have been the case if things had gone according to plan. I never got there so I will never know.
My third child is dead. My fourth child is here with me and still I feel the ache from within calling for another child. And it seems I will never really be able to finish the sentence. In the beginning, in the days right after Cason was born I thought I really wanted another child, to get pregnant right away and have one more, one whose existence wasn't wrapped in all things dead baby. Never mind how unbelievably terrifying the mere idea of being pregnant again was (and is) to me, I just wanted that other baby. Now, while I still like the idea of Cason having a sibling that is closer to his age (all this loss has created a pretty decent gap between him and his sister and more so his brother) I realize that the real longing is for the one who got away. I won't ever get to be finished because one will always be missing. There is no sense of peace, no feeling of that job well done and certainly no nostalgia about the state of my fertility. Instead there is a feeling that I escaped something, that I got away with something, that I am where I wanted to be but I don't belong there. My outsides don't match my insides anymore. I am a misfit. I am and will always be incomplete.