Last night, I dreamed I gave birth to a giant baby boy. In my dream, I remember being in recovery wondering what the holy heck just happened. I couldn't bring back a memory of the operating table or of the needle in my spine, so I just kept thinking I had been put under general anesthesia.
And then I placed a phone call to tell someone, somewhere, that I'd had a boy and he weighed 10 pounds, 20 ounces. Perhaps because I needed a more unique way of saying 11 pounds, 4 ounces. "10 pounds, 20 ounces," I shouted! "10 pounds, 20 ounces!"
The kids keep chiding me about having another baby. Hannah's inquiries get downright personal. "You mean you don't want another kid?" she asks with these eyes that suggest a feeling of betrayal. Are we that bad?
It's impossible for them to understand the juggling act that comes with each child, or why my career aspirations are important, or why my body -- despite what my midwife told me seven years ago -- apparently wasn't made to give birth and that I truly do not desire the scalpel once more.
But I think they can sense it's a weak spot too; that, for all my talk and certainty, underneath lies a woman who could probably pull it off.
We talk about adoption sometimes. They still believe, despite what I tell them, that it's as easy as going to the baby store. You simply go somewhere and pick one out.
"We can go to Haiti!" Hannah says. "But can we please bring home a boy?"
You can't comprehend the large part of me that simply wants to see my girls as older siblings. Siblings to a baby. This is no reason to get pregnant, of course, but I can see Hannah, all skinny limbs and angles now, hovering and doting, being nervous when the baby cries and being giddy when the baby smiles.
She and her sister are still primarily these selfish beings. But as their world and experiences expand, that falls away bit by bit, leaving empathy and a desire to help. I know they would help, and I know my heart would burst with the sight of it.