I dropped DS1 off at preschool and walked up to the doctors this morning (passing a heavily pregnant woman on the way, of course).
The doctor is running late (he always runs late), and in the waiting room next to me is a mother with four beautiful children, aged around 3 to 11. A little old lady comments on what a lovely family she has. I try not to stare at them. I refuse to think about anything that might change my mind.
I promise myself I won’t cry when I go in. I try all my usual tactics. I pretend I am a Russian with deep emotions who never gives away what she is thinking (yup, I really do this. I have no idea why I have to be a Russian, I just perceive them as being brave). I imagine a lead box inside my brain that is cold and empty on the inside. No emotion. Nothing. I have done all my crying.
The doctor finally calls me in and after a bit of chit chat about my 100% normal hospital results, I say the words I’ve been planning. I ask him for the contraceptive pill. And he looks at me with sympathy and says, You don’t want to think about it any more. You want a break. Yes I understand that completely.
And I cry.
And then he hugs me!
My doctor gets up and comes over and puts his arms around me.
It’s a little awkward. But I’m grateful for his compassion.
He prints off a prescription without any questions. And before I leave, just as we are saying goodbye, he tells me he thinks I am making a good decision.
I feel sadness and relief as I walk out.
I go to the chemist to pick up my prescription, and guess who comes in to queue behind me?
The woman with the four impossibly beautiful children. Two girls, two boys. Her gorgeous children tug at my heart.
After a few minutes the pharmacist calls my name and holds a paper bag in front of me. She asks me if I have any questions.
Is this how it was meant to end?
Why couldn’t I have another baby?
Is there really no possibility it will happen?
Why I am suddenly infertile?
Am I doing the right thing?
I shake my head, take the bag from her, and I walk home in the cold autumn sunshine.