The kitchen resembles a war zone so I decided to run out and get lunch. As I walked in to the Chik-fil-a, I ran into an acquaintance I hadn't seen in years. She was holding a tiny baby in a yellow monkey onesie. We paused to chit chat. She congratulated me on my pregnancy. I congratulated her on her son. She asked when I was due. I asked when her baby was born. He came two weeks late, she said with a smile, November 21.
On a good day I can't do math to save my life, yet somehow this instantly processed: Her due date was November 7. My due date. I imagined her as she saw the positive pregnancy test, February 2009. I imagined as she told her parents. As she saw the ultrasounds. As she had baby showers. As she gave birth. And now there he was. A visible tangible reminder of what could have been. Speck would have been just that big. He could have been curled on my shoulder just like that. But he isn't because he left my body April 13, 2009.
I kept it together until she left but I was amazed how quick the tears sprang and how sharp the pain still is. I felt like something inside me was twisting and falling apart. I thought I had healed but despite where I am right now, pregnant with a beautiful baby inside me, seeing in physical form what could have been still has the power to hurt.
I made myself snap out of it. I took a deep breath, drank some water. Counted my blessings on each finger (Sunflower, Sunflower, Sunflower. . .) and got it together. But I learned something today- you can move forward, you can be happy again, you can make peace with the pain, but the pain- somewhere inside you, it remains.