J~ is back at work, B~ is back at his mom's for one last week before gearing up for eighth grade. As for me: still no bleeding. Barely anything that can qualify as a cramp.
I've begun taking phone calls. Some phone calls. A few. I'm not quite ready for normal life, its pace and rhythms and distractions. In another world, another time, I would be dressed in black, head shaved. My mourning would be visible to all. People who can't cope with grief would know to keep their distance.
On the other hand, there is a Phoenix rising from these ashes. I'm not all gloom and doom. In fact, I'm looking into applying to graduate school, and that excites me somewhat. And J~ and I are hopeful about our long term future, with or without a child together. We've done the math: Shortly after B~ graduates high school, for instance, the house will be paid off, J~ will have enough years under his belt to earn a small pension and continued good health insurance for life. We could both work part-time and have leisure to do some traveling. Or we could start a business together (that's another category of fantasy we lose ourselves in occasionally). And if I get that degree and find something lucrative that I love, a tenured teaching position, perhaps, he could quit working altogether for a while, or go back to school himself, or volunteer. We won't be rich, but we won't be destitute either. (Then again, if we had a child, we'd have more time to enjoy it...)
But I can no longer keep this question, Babies or Not, at center stage. Though truly, who am I kidding? Haven't I said this before? Until I no longer menstruate, it will never quite leave the stage entirely. As it is, dressed in red, flailing about, it will not quit diverting my attention. I accept that. It's biological. It's emotional. It's part of me. As much as I wish I was done with it, as much as it reduces me to tears to think we could go through another miscarriage, I can't quite close the door on trying again, on ever being someone's biological mother.
Thanks, by the way, to all of you who've reached out to me. I feel your words, your hearts, buoying me up, and it means a lot. As long as this question is relevant in my life, as long as you are interested, dear readers, I will keep you posted.