Dear Mother with the Crying Baby
After a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, and still childless, Jessica shares her thoughts on seeing a crying baby.
I sort-of had a baby once. It was about two centimetres long.
I tried not to look. I promise, I did.
I tried not to stare at your infant as they bellowed their disapproval of who-knows-what for all to hear within the busy crowded restaurant tonight. Those lungs, so full of air, so full of life – they were impressive.
You seemed slightly embarrassed by your child’s cries. I kept glancing in your direction but not really at you. I didn’t mean to make your anxiety worse, and I’m sorry if I did. You see, my gaze was not directed at you and your child out of annoyance; rather, I wished that I were you. I wished that I had a screaming, healthy baby in my arms.
I sort-of had a baby once. It was about two centimetres long. I know this from poring over the medical records that were all I had left to make sense of what had happened after the emergency surgery that saved my life. The surgery that was necessitated by the ectopic pregnancy that caused my fallopian tube to swell to many times its normal size. The fallopian tube which ‘was going to rupture at any second’ according to the doctor who performed my surgery.
The rupture would have caused me to haemorrhage to death in approximately five minutes, had it occurred. Thankfully, the affected tube was removed before that happened – the tube, along with the baby. The baby we had tried to have for over a year.
That was four years ago. We are still childless and I am still damaged goods. Fallopian tubes do not grow back, you know. But I am not without hope. That blood orange margarita you saw me sipping tonight? It was delicious. I’m enjoying such things while I can, right up until I start my next round of fertility treatments.
Once I take those fertility drugs, no more margaritas for me. It’s a small price to pay for the chance that one day soon, I will have my own screaming infant in the middle of a restaurant, warranting looks from fellow diners. Perhaps some of those glances truly will be directed at us in annoyance – but I know that there are also bound to be other hopeful would-be mothers casting furtive glances in my direction, wishing that they were in my shoes.
Yes, I cannot wait to be the mother with the crying baby in the middle of the restaurant.