Slowly but surely, the apartment where our lives changed rapidly, so many times, over the past 6 months, is growing empty. Tonight I was able to get Eric’s parents to keep the dog at their place for a few hours so that I could try to clean without someone following me around and damning my efforts. The windows no longer have puppy nose prints smeared on them and there’s been a significant drop in the number of dog hairs in this place. All our excess bakeware and dishes have been boxed up as have our out of season clothes.
I decided it was a good time to clear out the bathroom. All our excess shampoos and medicines are now thrown out or in boxes.
On the top shelf of the medicine cabinet I found two spent pregnancy tests.
It was unsettling.
I’ve known they’ve been up there this whole time, but I wasn’t ready to do away with them. I’m still not. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with them, but I cannot throw them away yet. They were supposed to be keepsakes. They were supposed to be reminders of the moment when I found out that I was bringing a child into this world.
And then they weren’t.
Suddenly they’ve become this bitter reminder of what was supposed to be. What should have happened but did not. The little life that I was supposed to carry but could not.They remind me of my failure.
I don’t want them.
I don’t want to find them one day down the road when the healing has begun and tear myself right back down.
But I can’t lose them.
This is all I have left of the child that never was.
This is all that exists to remind me of that one time when, for just a brief while, I thought that our love would be commemorated by a small child who we brought into this world and would continue to raise with that same love and compassion.
But that child, that dream, has died. Before it even was.
Our relationship is as strong as ever after having to support each other throughout all of this.I still wonder though, how does love survive when the product of it, the very real, concrete, tangible evidence of it, disappears. How do two people go on with well enough after they could have had it all?
I know we will. We’re no where close to a floundering relationship. I know life will go on and that we will go on to have more, successful pregnancies and that this experience will make us appreciate that child all the more and we will love it more than we ever could have imagined because that child will have to experience the love that we couldn’t give to his or her sibling.
But it still seems strange. We shouldn’t just be able to put things back the way they were. This baby, however tiny and seemingly insignificant it was, should leave a mark on us and our world. But we’re supposed to move on. We’re supposed to try again when we’re ready and it will be just as good because we will know that we’re ready and that we can provide a life and opportunity for our child.
I don’t want to do that.
I want this child, regardless of how much struggle there will be.
I want it back.