With a fresh cup of tea in her hand, she stared out the window watching the snow fall gently to the already several inches they had. Her other hand rubbed her ever growing belly. Sarah was in her final trimester, only 5 weeks away from her due date. Baby H was a surprise. Sarah and John had only met a few months before getting pregnant. They chose to find out the sex, but hadn’t decided on a name yet, so they were calling him Baby H.
Sarah had dreams of Baby H taking his first steps, trying skates for the first time, learning how to play baseball just like his dad, learning how to shave with John, choosing which college to go to. Sarah wrote many of her dreams down in the baby book they received as a gift over Christmas for Baby H.
Baby H was rather quiet in this moment, despite all the commotion around them. “He must be sleeping off all the holiday foods,” Sarah thought as she heard John bring up another box up the stairs. They bought this place together so they could raise Baby H in their hometown. They had chosen adventure to be the nursery’s theme. John painted the walls a pastel blue, while Sarah had chosen the wall décor with maps and pictures of great ships and airplanes. She was currently working on creating a mobile to place over the crib.
Continuing to rub her belly Sarah was thinking of all the things they still had to set up in the house before Baby H made his arrival. She admiringly glanced down to her big baby belly and she realized her hand was flat. There was no ever-growing large baby belly underneath her hand.
It was then when she awoke from her daydream and remembered she had miscarried. She and John had met through friends at a birthday party. Having had a couple glasses of wine, they slept together. Their companionship continued on for several months at a comfortable easy going pace. Sarah hadn’t even thought about where she wanted it to go, she was just enjoying getting to know John and the fun they had. But one day in May, she realized her period was late. Sarah’s menstrual cycle was as regular as the mail delivery on her street; predictable, on schedule. She bought a pregnancy test, and there it was, a little blue plus sign starring back at her within seconds of peeing on the stick. The side of the box said to wait at least 2 minutes, wishfully thinking it may change within the remaining 1 minute and 45 seconds, she waited. Sitting on the toilet, starring at this stick, not sure what she would do. It didn’t change. The plus sign stayed blue.
She went through the rigmarole of confirming the pregnancy with her doctor and began to notice all the pregnancy symptoms from nausea to tend breasts. Sarah told her best friends; they were surprised, as they hadn’t even met John yet. “Didn’t you use protection,” they all asked. Of course she did! They wore condoms every time, but this one night, the condom wasn’t enough. They looked at her with sad puppy eyes. They didn’t know what to say, how to console her, and what advice to give. It wasn’t easy to drop the word abortion.
Sarah had thought about it. She hardly knew John after all. They weren’t married, or in an exclusive relationship. They hadn’t even discussed if they wanted kids. Sarah was in a good place with her career; John just started a new job. They couldn’t raise a child together, could they? Did they have enough money to do so? They would need to find a place together, buy all the baby items… Sarah’s head spun when she thought about it.
John had no idea. Sarah waited until she had the final confirmation from her doctor about the pregnancy before toying with the idea of telling John.
It was a Sunday night she decided to tell him, they always spent Sundays together. They would cook dinner together and settle into her couch for a movie. It was a perfect way to unwind before the workweek. They had just finished up the dishes, were about to sit down to check Netflix for a movie, when she said it “soo, there is something I need to tell you.”
John remained calm. Little to no expression in his face or voice. He too had no idea what to do. That tricky word, abortion, was heavy in the air. He told Sarah he didn’t even know if he wanted children. He went over all the things that made Sarah’s mind spin, living, money, work. How would it all come together?
They decided to give it time. They had no rush. She was only 4-5 weeks along, they had a lot to think about and there was no way to determine what to do over night. So they left it. They may not have talked about it much, but the thought never was far from their minds.
Sarah toyed with keeping the baby. John was a good man and would take care of them. She had always wanted to be a mom, for as long as she could remember. It never occurred to her it would happen like this. That’s where she struggled. She wanted the conventional be together, be engaged, get married, build a life together before having children.
The pregnancy wasn’t easy. Sarah struggled with really bad nausea and had a hard time finding foods that she wanted to eat. She was always tired and had a hard time processing her thoughts. She may have only been 5 weeks along, but even her clothing was starting to feel too tight.
At 7.5 weeks, Sarah brought the topic up with John. They hadn’t said much about it since she revealed to John. John was a very quiet guy, especially with his emotions. It wasn’t easy for him to have the conversation. But through all the awkward silences and tears, they decided to keep the baby and see where this adventure would take them. Sarah felt relieved they finally made a decision; soon she could tell everyone and no longer have to keep this secret!
Two days later, it happened. Sarah had been spotting throughout the past weeks, but knew that was typical. This Monday morning Sarah’s spotting became rather heavy, and thick. She felt intense cramping and started to feel feverish. She decided to go to the emergency room. Thankfully, John took her and went with her. It was an hour after arriving they confirmed that Sarah was miscarrying.
She was approaching Baby H’s due date, just a few weeks away. She and John stayed in touch for a month or two after; she even helped him continue with a hunt for a house in their hometown. But after awhile, Sarah’s loss took over and she couldn’t face John. Her moods overtook their new relationship and she couldn’t get past the idea that she failed.
Her future was so bright for such a short time, with the prospect of gaining a family and a home, things she desired for a long time, were gone as quickly as they had come. Her dreams were filled with images of Baby H and what he could have been, even though she was only 8 weeks along, Sarah knew it was a boy. These dreams haunted her. Baby H would never be forgotten, or far from Sarah’s mind. He was her perfect little boy even though she never felt him move or held his hand; Sarah knew she loved him deeper than she could ever love again.
Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash