“Oh, you have two boys with Irish names. How cute,” the lady said to me.
“You really need to have a little girl. Caitlin would be a beautiful Irish name for a girl,” she continued.
I cringed and laughed it off.
“No, I am fine with my boys,” I nicely replied.
“Well you must try,” she said with a smile and a glimmer in her eye.
Outside, I was laughing. Inside, I was thinking “if only you knew.”
If only she knew I really had three boys with Irish names.
If only she knew I buried my firstborn son who only lived about four hours. We learned about his rare trisomy while I was pregnant.
If only she knew the dread I felt while pregnant with my two boys. All our baby planning was put on hold as we waited for each level-two ultrasound to tell us that I was carrying a healthy baby.
If only she knew that social workers visited me in the hospital after each son was born. “We read your records. Do you need to talk about your first son?”
If only she knew that my third son’s port wine stain on his face was the cause of alarm after he was born. Thankfully he is fine, but there was quite some concern about his brain tissue development when he was first born.
If only she knew the number of appointments with specialists my third son has endured. Eye doctor. Dermatologist. Plastic surgeon. Eleven laser treatments.
If only she knew how thankful I was for two healthy boys.
If only she knew the agonizing decision process it took for my husband and I to decide we were done having children.
If only she knew that I dread any questions about how many children I plan to have, when I am having the next one or when I am having a girl.
If only she knew that I am asked these questions all too often.
If only she knew that if she presses me hard enough, I will tell her why there are only two boys.
If only she knew I would give almost anything to have my Aidan back with me.
If only she knew that I have to go to my son’s grave site for my three boys to be together.
If only she knew that my family will never quite feel complete.
If only she knew. But she doesn’t.
I simply laugh her comments off instead of telling her my life story. I don’t want “the look.” I don’t want to make her feel bad for asking. I don’t want to cry.
If only she knew.
My son Aidan would have been nine this past December. You can click to my blog post on his birthday here.
Also, occasionally I will go into my story with random people. I quickly consider a lot of factors as to whether to go into such detail with someone.