Usually, when I see photos of children of my ectopic message board friends,I smile. Whether biological or adopted, I’ve followed them since they were born (perhaps since they were conceived and before the first pregnancy test), and feel as if I know them, even though we may have never met. They’ve become part of my life, even if I’m not part of theirs.
But recently I had one of those moments. After our first ectopics, a good friend and I conceived again at the same time. We even shared the same EDD. I lost that baby to another, rare ectopic pregnancy, but my friend’s pregnancy proceeded without difficulty. So her daughter has been a permanent reminder of what I might have had. Most of the time, I’ve been happy for my friend, and remember the bright, happy young child I met when she was small. I don’t allow myself to think, “what if?” because it does nothing for me.
But it was a shock recently to see this young woman all dressed up for her end-of-year school ball (or whatever it was called in the country concerned), possibly at the end of her schooling completely. She was tall and elegant and so very adult. So real. All of a sudden, I'm hit with the realisation and sadness that my own child would have been that age too. All grown up and ready to go out into the world. Many of you know what these shocks feel like. It's been a long time since I experienced that, and so it was a shock. So much so, that I shared it with my husband. I don’t usually do that, as I don’t want to bring him down. We had a moment together, and now I’ve brushed it off. Mostly.