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A thousand little daggers

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

A lunchtime yoga class. A woman with a burgeoning belly lays her mat next to mine. "How far along are you?" I ask. "Sixteen weeks," she replies, her hands instinctively rubbing her stomach. Later, it's time for inversions, and I contort myself into a position with the crown of my head on the floor, palms to the mat, knees to my elbows-- a position my neighbor has been specifically told not to attempt. As I right myself, she looks approvingly in my direction. "I'm jealous," she grins.


Facebook. A friend posts about her anniversary. "Three years, two kids. We're tired." I click “like.”


Scrolling through Instagram. A picture of a cherubic 4-year-old, peaceful in his sleep, chubby little arms flopped over his mother's face. The camera fixes on her grimace. "Motherhood means never getting to sleep alone," the caption reads. "Enjoy this while you don't have kids."

My email inbox pings with a new email. It's a baby shower RSVP. "The invitations look great! You're such a good sister for doing this. You must be so excited," it says.


Twitter. Someone random I follow, who apparently is having a bad day. "All you people calling yourself 'dog moms' need to get over yourselves! That is not REAL parenting, and it never will be!"


Various friends, who’ve observed stretches where I’m not crying. “So glad you’re feeling better!” I smile and nod.


Facebook again. "Something to brighten your day!" a friend chirps. It's a video of her 3-year-old son listening to music through giant headphones and dancing to a beat only he can hear.


Instagram again. I post a series of photos of my husband, me and our dogs. My hair is curled and my makeup is done. "You're living your best life!" a friend comments.


Facebook again. Several friends post a link to a column about a woman dealing with a miscarriage. “We should talk about this more,” the caption reads. My mouth is dry.


A text message from a friend, wanting to know if I’ll be OK if she brings her baby to a group happy hour. “Of course,” I text back. My watery eyes blur the words.


A phone call. It's a daycare center responding to my inquiry. "Our circumstances have changed," I say.


A marketing email. It's Motherhood Maternity with coupons for clothing. Delete.


At night. I cry but I still can’t sleep.

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