Two weeks late. Two pink lines.
“Honey, are you ready to be a daddy again?”
Calling everyone we know.
Tired. So tired. Just waiting for Grace to nap.
Queasy. Just a bit queasy.
Gerber commercial on TV.
“We’re havin’ a baby! Whoop…whoop!”
“If it’s a girl, can we name her after my grandma Shelly?”
Groundworking a bucking horse.
“Whew, that’s a lot of work for this pregnant lady!”
Taking shorter walks,
because I was pregnant and protective
of my unborn baby.
Woke up one morning in my eighth week,
wide awake and perky.
Like I wasn’t even pregnant.
Playing with Grace in a motel parking lot.
“Come here, honey, quick.”
Picking her up, walking back to the room.
Before I make a mess.
Folding up a cheap washcloth while dialing the cell.
“Hi, Tami, can you come pick up Grace?”
I need to go to the doctor. I think I’m having a miscarriage.”
Doctors can’t help
or make it stop.
It was too late before it began.
Laying down to sleep.
Sleep could stop the thoughts.
“I should have gone to the doctor sooner.”
“I should have had my thyroid checked.”
I should have started prenatals already.”
But sleep couldn’t stop the blood.
The constant, bright red reminder.
Did you know it takes days to miscarry?
I didn’t know that.
Now I do.
Telling my husband.
Telling family and friends.
“That’s why a lot of people don’t tell anyone they’re pregnant at first.”
Really? No shit.
“At least it happened now. That’s easier than having a baby who doesn’t live.”
Yes, the sooner my baby dies, the better.
“Jo, I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this.”
Hiding in my house.
“Grace, baby, come here. Mama needs a hug. Thank you, you’re the best hugger ever. Mama loves you.”
Holding Grace for her nap,
because she is alive.
And I can.
Venturing up to the barn,
where the smell of manure and leather mean safety.
Saying hi how are you
to the cowboys,
Roping the dummy,
because a rodeo is coming up.
Roping at the branding,
because I can now face people again.
Becoming a mother alerted me
to the fragility of life.
Some lives are so short,
barely a vapor in the wind.
A handful of heartbeats,
a few long naps,
and they’ve disappeared.
My baby died.
I wish it hadn’t.
I miss it.
I will have another,
but I can’t have this one back.
Two sympathy cards,
and this poem
are all that I have to remember this tiniest of babies.
This picture was taken at the Jordan Valley Rodeo this year, where we told everyone we knew plus a few strangers we were expecting our second baby on January 12th. I love looking at it because I look so happy, but I hate looking at it because it makes me sad.