An old ache

A familiar sickening feeling is back. I want to have a baby; I know I cannot. 

My ovaries beg me, please, please, isn't it time yet? We're ready. Are you ready? No. The world is not ready, and so our readiness does not matter.

It is not time. Not until the confusion has dissipated. Pregnancy and newborn life is mystifying enough as it is – I cannot begin that sacred chapter more confused by my surroundings than I was in intro to statistics. 

It is not time. But every day, Charlie learns a new word. 

It is not time. Every day, Charlie becomes less of a baby.

It is not time. Every day, the space between my children carelessly stretches wider. Quietly, unflinchingly.

It is not time. But I can feel someone small waiting for me not far away. I don't know her name (his?), I don't know her face or her weight, but every night I lay on my side and I'm pregnant again. She kicks against the balloon of my abdomen, in that one spot where they all kicked me, even though it's shrunken into the wrinkled hills of skin now.

I can almost hear her whispering, when will it be my turn, Mama? I miss you. 

I miss you, my baby. We will wait.