Every few weeks, Westley asks me for a little sister.
"Mommy, I would like a little sister." (He's starting to enunciate his Ls more often. It's heartrending. Just a few months ago, Westley would have "whiked" a "whittul" sister.)
"That would be great."
"Can we do that? Can we do that today?"
Then I clench my emotional muscles and explain that, well, it would be very nice if we could have a baby right away, but it takes a long time to grow a baby, and whether we have another one is a big decision. We don't have a lot of control over it. Whether there's another baby is bigger than Mommy and Daddy.
"But we can try," I tell him. "And we can all be very hopeful."
Except that I'm not feeling very hopeful. I've been hopeful in the past, but keeping it up requires lots of effort. My disobedient body parts (and other people's losses) keep interfering with the hoping.
Last year, hoping was a little easier. The weather was cold, but very beautiful; the world felt festive. It started snowing a few days before Thanksgiving. As soon as the lawn was covered, Rob, Westley, and I bundled up and went outside.
I remember Westley saying he was a rat who was going to put snow on me. I remember how cold my hands got once the snow I was packing together to make snowballs seeped into my knit gloves. I remember that was pretty sure I was pregnant.
I had been thinking about babies and feeling very hopeful and my period was late. I don't remember whether I'd taken a pregnancy test already. If I had, it had come back negative. In any case, I was excited, having decided that on Friday, I would officially be late enough to see those parallel pink lines.
On Thanksgiving morning, I started bleeding. It was heavier than my normal (heavy) period bleeding, and I was in more pain than usual. I tried not to think about what that might mean, but I cried for what felt like an hour before getting up and weakly starting to put together a vegan feast.
A year ago, deciding to have another baby was, if not exactly an easy decision to make, a much simpler idea. This time last year, I was ready. Now, I'm not sure I'll ever be ready again.
Today, Westley expressed his desire for a sibling once again.
"I want a little sister," he said. And then: "Can you and Daddy try?"
"We'll see," I said.
Day 17: My family.