A sample of intense, emotional conversations with the beloved:
me – (sitting on the edge of our bed, crying damply) What if I can’t ever get pregnant? (sniff) And what if you can’t get pregnant? Or what if you can, and then I’ll be devastated because you can and I can’t? (blowing nose hard and sniffing some more)
the beloved – I’m sure it will all work out. (rolls over, pulling doona up over her head)
me – But (sniff sniff sniff) what if it doesn’t? What if I do get pregnant and lose the baby? What if it happens again and again? (letting tears splash all over the place)
the beloved – (silence)
me – Well? (sniffing hard)
the beloved – (short silence) Wha? Huh? Oh, I thought we were done talking.
me – (lying in the dark, wide awake and twitchy, about ten weeks before Boofer is born) I’m just wondering what it’s going to be like, having a second baby, being a mother to a non-biological child, being the one going to work…. Did you worry about this stuff?
the beloved – What stuff?
me – Being a non-biological parent?
the beloved – (sighs) No.
me – Being the one going to work?
the beloved – No.
me – I was thinking about buying this book I saw, written by a woman who is a non-biological mother.
the beloved – (long silence)
me – Well?
the beloved – Are you done?
me – (massaging achy jaw and head) Can you pass we some panadol while you’re over there?
the beloved – If you get up and come over here.
me – (sigh) I think I’m grinding my teeth at night again. Probably anxiety.
the beloved – Well you should figure it out and stop.