Sunday, February 1, 2015
It’s a rainy Monday like any other.
I go into my work building and fold up my umbrella.
The front-lobby security people are talking
about a baby who was born small.
“How much did she weigh?” asks the security woman.
“Six pounds,” answers the security man.
“Six pounds is normal for a baby,” says the woman,
emphasis on the word “normal,”
wanting to be reassuring.
The mirrored elevator doors close on me
and I think of my would-have-been-baby
who died at five weeks inside me
at the size of a sesame seed.
“Don’t you listen to them,” I think.
“Don’t you fucking listen to them.”
Trying to have another baby feels like a betrayal.
On a shelf in my home are mementos:
a locket from my mom, with the words “Love Never Dies;”
a necklace with an angel-wing charm and a “birthstone”
(this has to be in quotation marks, because there was no birth);
On the shelf just above it:
things I use to try to make a new baby –
ovulation-test kits, basal-temperature thermometers,
A Kermit the Frog who sings
why are there so many songs about rainbows,
because a “rainbow baby” is one that you have after a miscarriage,
something nice after a dark storm.
That second shelf is like a slap in the face to my would-have-been-baby.
I have stopped wearing the necklace.
I feel like a traitor for this, but it made me too sad.
When I knew I was pregnant, I was so happy.
I sang in the shower, and in the steam on the glass wall
I drew a heart.
For a long time, after I found out I had lost it,
I could still see that heart.
Then we had a houseguest, and he must have wiped it away.
So I drew a new one last night, a symbol of hope, or of betrayal.
When I got out of the shower I saw
that the old heart was still there, inside the new one.
The old one had been there all along.
The new heart was big. It could encompass it all.
Posted by Call me Lauryn. That's not my name. at 4:40 PM