Childbearing Age (Emily Polson)

One of my best friends from college is writing poems about infertility. Another friend tells me that she’s worried if she starts studying for the LSAT now, she’ll be past peak childbearing age by the time she’s established enough in her career change to take maternity leave. A valid fear, I guess, because my pregnant older sister—a psychologist—is saving up vacation and sick time from her new job as a substitute for the paid leave she doesn’t yet qualify for. My sister-in-law says she knows she doesn’t want to have a baby of her own, but she and my brother are planning to foster-to-adopt. An acquaintance admits in an emotional Instagram Story that she worries she’ll never find a partner but would do motherhood alone if she had to; she wants it that bad. Another friend tells me she’s assuming she’ll be partnerless, so she had to get out of the publishing industry, because who can afford a baby on these salaries? My long-distance best friend texts me to say that she knows just enough Spanish to understand that her boyfriend’s mother just asked when she was going to make her a grandma. I receive a corporate benefits email about egg freezing.

After Texas passed the six-week law, I learned from Twitter that doctors estimate length of pregnancy from the first day of your last period. So I guess you could say I’m two days pregnant right now, in the twilight of my 26th year, drinking white zinfandel alone in an apartment I don’t have to share with anyone else.

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Emily Polson is a writer and book editor from Iowa now based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Salt Hill Journal, HADCapsule StoriesWizards in Space, and elsewhere. She earned a BFA in creative writing from Belhaven University and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. You can find her on Twitter @emilycpolson. 

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image: Andrea Damic lives in Sydney, Australia. She has been published in 50-Word Stories and Friday Flash Fiction. You can find her on Twitter @DamicAndrea. One day she hopes to finish and publish her novel. In spare time she takes photos and creates Art.