Mister and I always knew we wanted more than one child, so when we learned, just after our (oldest) son’s second birthday, that I was pregnant again, we were thrilled. In hindsight, perhaps, I should have known sooner that something wasn’t quite right. After all, I never really felt pregnant, I was spotting, and oddly, I never wanted to tell our son that he was going to be a big brother. But it wasn’t until the morning of my first OB appointment that I finally put it together. So, ultimately, it wasn’t a surprise when my doctor told me the baby was measuring two weeks small and that there was no heartbeat. I asked for a picture before I left and called Mister to tell him he needed to fly home. I walked into the drugstore with a red, puffy face; bought the supplies I knew I’d need; and headed home to hug my son.
I made the decision that I would do my very best to avoid pain medication. To this day, it’s hard to articulate why. Perhaps, it’s because I thought all I’d ever have to remember him was a pink line, a grainy black and white picture, and pain. After two days, I cried less, and my body did just what it was supposed to do: My baby’s life poured out of me. It was early during that difficult week that I had what initially seemed a morbid thought: At some point, I had flushed my baby down the toilet. But when I was able to laugh at the absurdity of it a few days later (I had flushed my baby down the toilet!), I knew I’d be okay.
I have a dear friend who talks about the babies who come into our lives to make room for other babies. Her mother had such a baby, who made room for her sister and her, and she herself has a beautiful angel who made room for her son. And that is how I have come to think of this baby we never met. I would never have my sweet and crazy second son, or the third son we will be meeting very soon, had it not been for the little one who came and left our lives so quickly. So it has been a long time since I’ve looked back at that time with anything other than the utmost gratitude. For that little baby I flushed down the toilet left me with much more than a pink line, a picture of his tiny body, and pain; he left me with two of the greatest treasures in my life.