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My Son Wants a Baby In Mommy’s Belly

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

Preston, who's two-and-a-half, made this declaration the other night as I was putting him to bed: “Mommy, you have a baby in your belly!” Ummm. Did I miss something here? Even my kid's got babies on the brain.

“Nooo, silly, Mommy doesn’t have a baby in her belly. Do you want Mommy to have a baby in her belly?” I asked.

“Yes!” he said. “Ally has a baby in her belly.”

“That’s right, buddy. Ally’s got a baby in her belly, not Mommy.” Our cousin Ally is expecting her first child in July.

Preston has become very aware of babies lately, probably because our cousins are expecting; my best friend is expecting her second child in only a few weeks; and my “womb friend” Robin recently had her first baby. Most of our friends have two (or more) babies at this point. Plus, Preston has a lot of first cousins; his 11th first cousin, who lives in Israel, was born on my birthday a couple weeks ago. Needless to say, babies are a big part of our immediate world, which is great for Preston. If it turns out Mommy does have another baby at some point, at least Preston will (sort of) be prepared for it.

He’s also starting to understand what “a baby in the belly” even means. I had these terribly cheesy photos taken when I was pregnant with Preston (it’s like a pregnant prom photo, see above), and Preston loves to point to my belly in the picture and say, “That’s Preston in Mommy’s tummy.”

In our hallway we have a photo of Jay and I holding Preston when he was a newborn in the hospital, and he loves looking at that one too. “That’s Preston when he was a bay-beee.”

I’ve been on the fence about starting over with these fertility treatments again, especially right now with everything we have going on, but his fascination with babies is making me consider possibly doing it again, sooner rather than later—he’s probably my biggest motivating factor. I might have one more round of treatments in me. Whether it’s now or later, we’ll just have to see, but I’m not ruling anything out just yet. Taking these last few months off gave me some perspective...but did it give me too much perspective? Or am I still too raw from the experience?

When you’re doing round after round, you don’t have time to think. You go from one cycle to the next; you're very wrapped up in the moment of what you're doing, with an end goal in sight. I went through one round of IVF, had two canceled transfers, then two failed frozen embryo transfers, all back to back, over a 10 month period. It took everything out of me. I got sick. I was in bed a lot. I felt like crap all the time. How do I go back to all of that, knowing what I'm possibly in for? I'm finally feeling like myself again, or some version of my former self—it’s going to take a lot of soul searching to get me to go down that road again.

But the older he gets, the more he understands...and this comment the other night made me realize he would probably like a little brother or sister. This might sound kind of ridiculous, but just seeing the way he is with our dog Barkley—whom he pushes around treats like a real person—makes me think he'd have a lot of fun as the big brother.

Did you take a break during your fertility treatments? Do you think it ultimately helped, or made it harder to continue with them? I thought it would be like childbirth: You wait long enough and you forget how painful it is. Maybe I just need more time.

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