About a year and a half ago, I had a strange vision.

I was at acupuncture, which can definitely mess with your head, and I was very relaxed. I was trying to picture something about work, I think I was visualizing a talk going particularly well, and then all of a sudden, boom, I had this vision of a baby landing smack dab in the middle of my lap. I could feel the weight and see the child.

I was so surprised. My instantaneous reaction was something like “Holy shit! A baby! Wait? Is it OK?” And then my eyes snapped open.

At that time, A and I were deciding if we wanted to try for a third child. I thought the sudden image of a baby in my lap meant we should have another one. Ultimately, months later, we decided against it and got rid of our remaining vials of sperm from our kids’ donor, and mostly I forgot about that vision. But every now and then I wondered what it meant. I wondered if maybe years down the line we’d end up in a sudden and strange situation where we might need to take in another child.

But now, I think this question of my gender, of who I am as a whole person, of who I will be, is that baby. The question felt like it came out of the blue, hurled into my lap when everything was going really well, when I wasn’t paying attention. I was busy with other things. And that baby in my vision, something didn’t seem quite right. I didn’t get a good enough look before my eyes snapped open, but the baby seemed floppy, maybe a little blue. Not dead, but not thriving. Maybe like a baby after a long hard birth, or one that went way post-dates. When that baby landed in my lap, I definitely wondered if it was a good idea, if this was actually a baby I wanted.

I sure wish I’d kept my eyes closed, that I knew how that baby turned out.