When You Have a Hard Year

Sitting on the cool tile floor, I held my breath as I watched a second faint pink line appear. Feeling the welcoming warmth in my belly, I thought This is what I needed.

I began to visualize holding a delicate bundle of a baby, tracing barely-there-eyebrows, inhaling that delicious cocoa puff scent that lingers on the soft swirl of a baby’s hair. Already, I felt the sudden joy about the kernel-sized secret fluttering inside me.

That day, I trekked myself and my two children over to my mother’s house. Typically, I didn’t visit my mother on a school day. After hugging the children, my mother asked me, “Why did you come today?”

“I’m pregnant!” I whispered, the words involuntarily turning my mouth into a smile.

Instantly my mother’s face changed into one I remembered from long ago.

Her dark eyebrows rose, pushing the new wrinkles away; her smile making the rest of her face jealous. This was the joy that I had missed.

My brother’s marriage had crumbled around him that year, and my parents retreated into shells of who they once were. I saw sorrow slumping into their shoulders, worries settling into lines on their faces as they helplessly witnessed the fracturing of their son’s family.

Maybe this pregnancy, this new baby, would be a welcome distraction for them. It sounded good mathematically—multiply more members into the family even when some are dividing.

As my belly started to swell, my hope for the future would grow too.

***

“They will tell me I’m having a miscarriage.”

I say this loudly to no one as I place my heavy feet on the floor from the bed. At eight weeks pregnant, my baby is the size of a raspberry. My mind is angry at my voice and whips back, Stop being so negative.

But the looming feeling is there. I have been sleeping restlessly and having bad dreams. The word miscarriage has been playing in my back of my mind for days, breaking itself into syllables:  Mis-carr-iage. Mis-carr-iage. It hovers on the tip of my tongue, waiting for me to voice my concerns, but instead I knot my lips and scroll mindlessly through pregnancy apps that compare baby sizes to fruit.

I’m not sure where that voice came from and with what force. I have sailed through textbook pregnancies and am the mother of two little spunky high-ponytailed-girls.

I squirt minty white toothpaste on my toothbrush and attempt to brush both my teeth and the thoughts away. Straightening my back and my eyebrows in front of the bathroom mirror, I ignore the voice.

Rather, I think, Hurry, the appointment is soon.

I bundle up my toddler into her coat. An hour later, I simultaneously rip open a fruit snack bag as the ultrasound technician rips open her gloves. Small talk is made. My toddler chews on her fruit snacks reflectively in the darkened ultrasound room.

“I don’t see anything,” the technician says, glancing at me with her eyebrows furrowed. Her voice is warm with apology, but her words feel like ice on my skin.

I loosen the knot from my tongue, feeling a strange relief for a few seconds. I let the words slip out. Finally.

“I knew something was wrong …”

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Read the rest  here!

More here about my hardest year in 2015! I’ve been wanting to blog this story for 4 years now and am honored to have “When You Have a Hard Year” published with the @coffeeandcrumbs audience. This is one of my most vulnerable pieces and I’m grateful to be in a different place now. Prayers for all those going through hardships.

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