18 February 2009

Blues by Anonymous

I thought I'd be over it by now.

It's been a month, almost five weeks, and it wasn't like you were with us for long enough to really make a difference.

But you did.

Our lives changed when we saw those two pink lines. Six months of hoping, trying, crying, praying, culminated in a slender plastic dipstick, gripped tightly in my trembling hand.

"Honey, you did it!" I called from the bathroom. I carried the test into the living room, my smile so big I thought it'd crack my face.

His face reflected my joy and he held his arms wide, waiting for me to leap into them.

At that moment, everything changed. All the despair, the worry, the frustration that I'd felt for over a year slipped away, replaced by a bubbling euphoria that I thought I might never experience. We debated trying since our future was so uncertain, but I stubbornly insisted that we couldn't put our lives on hold. Now I finally had something to hope for, something concrete that wasn't affected by the outside world. My normal worries suddenly didn't seem very important; they were no longer the hinge in my daily existence.

Something more profound had filled my heart.

We were cautious at first. You're not supposed to tell anyone in the first couple months, but I couldn't contain my excitement. I called my mom while my grandmother was visiting, and through the magic of the internet and webcams, I watched my happiness spread to their faces.

One month turned into two, and my clothes were getting tight. It still felt surreal. Part of me didn't believe it had actually happened but I couldn't deny my growing belly. My hip-huggers found a new home in the back of the closet and I took up stock in long shirts and leggings.

The holidays passed and we started counting down the weeks – only two left! – until we could tell the world. After so many months of sadness, I was getting used to this constant state of elation. I spent hours online learning about everything I'd need to know, preparing myself mentally and physically for your arrival, which seemed so far away. My doubts and insecurities didn't seem as important as it had before you existed. The only thing that mattered was that you were here, you were real, and you were ours.

Then the blood came.

It wasn't much, but my heart plummeted to the floor. I knew it could happen, the odds weren't on my side, but that logic didn't stop the tears that streamed down my face and dripped onto my bare legs as I sat in the bathroom.

"Honey," I called from the bathroom. My voice was shaky this time. His shocked face mirrored mine and the frantic phone calls began. The doctor was on vacation, nowhere to be found. We ended up at a clinic where I had to wait hours before anyone could see me.

While you slipped away.

Finally, someone brought me into a room and confirmed what we already knew. You were gone. You were too small. There was nothing they could do.

More waiting. Something about me not being able to eat for six hours before they took you away from me. Then an IV, more blood.

A scary room with three men who didn't speak English, their masks concealing their faces. I'll never forget their eyes as I drifted into unconsciousness.

Waking up with my husband at my side, I knew the sadness in his eyes matched mine, and the ache in my heart was as heavy as his.

He helped me to the car and the awful day continued as we undid our good news.

I slept.

I didn't want to eat. What was the point?

Two days into the year that was supposed to be the most important of my life, we lost you. While everyone around me was excited for a new beginning, I wanted nothing more than to turn back the clock, or rip away the calendar pages to this time next year.

The days crept by, turned into weeks, and now it's been over a month. It feels final now.

Not better, just final.


  1. Very powerful. It might have more of a 'story' feeling with dialogue between the couple, but the interior monologue does make it more personal to the reader. Strong storymaking.

  2. This hits hard. It's heart-felt and I can completely identify with the sense of loss one feels after a miscarriage.

    Most certainly a situation that brings on the blues.

    The only part that I found odd was the 3 men, in the scary room, who did not speak English.

    I would think that all professionals in the health care field would speak the language and there was no indication that the woman in your piece was not English.

  3. This is amazing. I like how we know from the beginning what will happen and then lead through the joy and hope and finally devastation. (I can relate.


  4. Anonymous sent a response to the above comments:

    Thanks everyone.

    ASC - the woman speaks English but is in a different country, and I realize now I should have spent more time making that clear. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

  5. I was once admonished for using the word "surreal," and haven't been able to read it since without hearing voices saying "Oh? Why surreal? Isn't it real but you just don't get it? Did Salvador Dali paint it?" It's a desperate word that people misuse all the time, but I can hear this character's desperation, exasperation, and affirmation in her use of it.

    Without ever saying "The Blues," you captured it.

  6. I felt this was a powerful piece. There were numerous spots where you turned a phrase beautifully. I specifically liked "as we undid our good news".

    There was also a "hollowness" to the story that really spoke volumes about the grief. Almost as if the grief was so great that it could only be dealt with at arms-length.

    Really nicely done.

  7. Anonymous sent more responses:

    ThirdMate, I can see the argument there, but in this case it meant it as it's used. (I even double-checked the definition to make sure, and yes, it applies in this case.)

    theblog - that's one of my favorite phrases too. :)

  8. I like how the raw emotion of the pregnancy and miscarriage were captured in such a gripping way - it's obvious from the beginning what is going to happen, but the emotions are conveyed so well that you can't help be be drawn into the couple's plight. Nice job!

  9. I really don't have any constructive comments to make. It was well told and very sad, something that so many can relate to. I guess if it's in a different country, do make that more obvious, as I think that can only contribute to the fright and desperation the narrator feels. Kudos.

  10. Thank you for the story. It makes me want to know if she ever gets over it. I also missed that they were in a foreign country, but I often miss details like that. I read this story a few days ago and it keeps coming back to me.. it's quite haunting.

  11. From B. Anonymous:

    I tend to dislike things written in first person because I feel it's a cop out, but I can't imagine this story being told effectively any other way.

    My heart aches for the couple, particularly the woman. I read it to my roomie, and she cried. That says everything.

    Thank you.


Constructive comments, please. Thank you for your cooperation.