that moment my heart shattered

I mentioned in my last post that Mark and I have been seeking some answers for infertility. This has led to some tough conversations with A.J. in addition to another necessity of having some conversations with her about death and dying.

I try to avoid bringing A.J. with me to the fertility clinic when possible (for her sake and mine – it’s much easier to endure blood work and ultrasounds when I only have to worry about myself, and I don’t want to overwhelm her with things she doesn’t need to concern herself with). But there are times when it’s unavoidable and I have to bring her. Yesterday was one of those days; I had to go in for just bloodwork, and the one time she’s come with me in the past, she was so preoccupied with her game (yay, Strawberry Shortcake) that she paid no attention to what was being done to me.

Yesterday, the nurse was having a heck of a time getting blood (out of my bruised arms…. What people must wonder). A.J. looked a little concerned as the nurse was digging for a vein but didn’t say much. As we were leaving the clinic, I grabbed a coffee (one of the perks I guess… Free coffee machine). As I was prepping my coffee in the foyer filled with people, A.J. suddenly asks me loudly “Mommy, are you dying?” I swear, my heart shattered right then and there.

I instantly stopped focusing on my coffee (but didn’t abandon it altogether because, c’mon, free coffee…) and knelt down and assured her I wasn’t.  I finished making it, then we went outside and sat on a picnic bench for a while to chat.  I know she didn’t really understand what she was asking.  But it broke my heart that she even wondered it. I explained to her that some people have to go to the doctor because they are very, very sick, but that mommy’s doctor was helping her to have a baby so she (A.J.) could have a baby brother or sister. A.J. responded with “yeah, a baby brother. So I can hold him. On the plane. When we go on a plane.” She’s so confused, and I don’t know whether that makes me sad that she has to deal with these issues (issues that I find difficult to cope with) or happy that she doesn’t really understand what’s going on. What a constant adventure – figuring out when to address something she says (“no, baby, I’m not dying!”) and when to nod and go with it (“yes, hun, you can hold a baby on the plane…”)


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