The algorithms-that-be think I’m still pregnant.
I let out a breath I wasn’t even really aware I was holding after E’s due date – June 4 – passed. I wasn’t sure I had any right to feel sad about it. I’m not even sure I felt sad, more of a sigh, a shrug. E is here, after all. I am grateful. It’s at once the honest-to-heaven truth and also the thing I find myself saying compulsively over and over to smooth away the complexities of her arrival.
Then a day or two ago, the ad popped up.
For maternity clothes.
I remember mine: still with their tags attached on the couch, laid out for the next day. I hadn’t ordered them until I was a little past 19 weeks because everything had been so precarious, and they had come the day I reached 21 weeks pregnant. A few shirts, a pair of maternity jeans, but beautiful and precious to me. So excited because I was finally going to take my first bump photo the next morning in my wonderful new clothes.
I was going to be normal. Finally.
I remember this too: tears running down my cheeks in a hospital bed that next day when my mother-in-law asked if there was anything they could do for us and answering her please, please return those unworn clothes for me.
The candy-colored uncomplicated women with cute bumps stared out at me from the computer screen.
I just felt exhausted.