The moment I saw those two lines I felt like my chest had given away, my breath had run from me and I wondered how many minutes it would take until I fell dead on the floor.
I didn’t die.
The next morning when reality hit me, I was filled with fear – fear of judgement, of failure, of my inability to care for this life that had been so carelessly put into my trembling hands.
I had company the second time around, those two lines bringing a smile so big to his face I thought his cheeks would crack into pieces. I wondered what was wrong with me that I wasn’t excited.
When we started to plan our movements, our stories, our life together, I became a bit giddy. I began imagining not just doom and destruction, but love and happiness and family.
Weeks later, I felt utterly filled with new life, a new light shining in me where there had never been anything but darkness.
But a cruel joke was played.
I bled. I bled and I bled and I bled and finally I held my little dead baby, with barely formed fingers and toes, his tiny eyes still mended shut and barely a nub for a nose in my shaking hands.
I went to the river.
I wanted to drown.
But I sat instead and I gave myself a few hours to scream and cry and scream into the howling wind, my voice straining against the sounds of water falling into more water and me supplying some of it myself, a tad saltier.
I cannot believe my own body.
To be so traitorous, so unable, so utterly pointless.
This was real. This wasn’t when I was 15 and I wasn’t sure and it hurt yes but I got over it.
This was coming home to him sobbing in the kitchen, wondering why God would allow this to happen to us.
This was wanting to sink a knife into my belly, wanting nothing more than to make myself pay for failing my own self. For my child that never even got a chance to take one breath, to think one thought, to get not even one kiss from me.
This is aching and shivering and crying everyday for what could have been, for how big he would be now and how everyone would come to know as well.
This is anguish.
This is death.