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COLUMN: Letter to the lost

— To the baby I will never know:

When I found out I was pregnant on Valentine’s Day, I was over the moon. I’ve wanted you for so long, a little niblet to complete our family. Your dad and I couldn’t wait to meet you. And you were due right around my birthday; you could have been the third generation born on Oct. 23.

At first, all was rosy. Then things changed. I started spotting. A sonogram showed you were too small for your gestational age. More and more signs started to appear suggesting that you weren’t going to make it.

Then it came: a miscarriage. Such a clinical word for such a brutal experience. As if it doesn’t mean loss, ruin, death. You were gone just as suddenly as you came, and with none of the fanfare.

There are no words for the depth of my grief, and your father’s. We had such grand hopes for you, such sweet plans. Now they’ll never come to fruition. We won’t even get to meet you, much less hold your hands while you learn to walk, hear your first words, read to you, watch you grow. Sometimes, when I feel like torturing myself, I fixate on each and every thing you’ll never do.

I can’t decide what’s worse, the grief or the numb, empty sensation that replaces it. I feel dull, colorless, washed out much of the time, but then the world comes rushing back, all harsh brights and sharp edges. I’ll go to Wegmans and realize I can’t park in the “Expectant Mother” parking (at least, not legitimately) and break down.

Meanwhile, everyone else goes on like nothing happened. How am I supposed to do that? How can I go to work, run errands, eat, sleep, breathe, when I’m not going to be your mommy anymore?

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