When you suffer a 2nd trimester miscarriage at a hospital you are sent home with a satin covered box. Inside the box might be a lovely card with the tiny footprint of your baby, and if possible a clip of his or her hair. There might be a condolence note signed by your head nurse. Physically not much, but emotionally that box is filled to overflowing with heartache and potential. So much… I won’t say lost because given my experience displaced is a much better choice… potential.
When you get home you will add momentos of your pregnancy, of your baby, to the box. A tiny onesie a sister-in-law gave you when she found out you were pregnant because she was also pregnant, ultrasound pictures, congratulations to the parents to be cards, anything that you were saving for the baby book. Some women put this box away, hiding their broken hearts from prying eyes. Some women share it. And some women, like myself, tuck it into a bigger box and display it with the other matching boxes she keeps on her hutch. It’s there, it’s accessible. Just as the boxes marked ‘finances’ and ‘pictures’ say something about me to those who would enter my study and poke around a bit, so too does the one labeled simply, ‘Baby Girl.’
I don’t open that box as much as I did four years ago. I don’t need to anymore. I don’t need the physical things, her footprint, her final ultrasound, the tiny onesie with a frog on it, to assure me that I had a baby and though she was tiny, she counted. She was real and she was loved and just like Amy, Amelia, and Olivia she changed our lives.
Happy birthday, April.
Mommy misses you.