“Oh my goodness! Look at how great you look! When are you due?!”
And so it goes. A conversation with a pregnant woman who is visiting our office.
“Can you believe I still have two months left to go?” she exclaims. “I’m due in September”.
September. I smile. Nod. Sit quietly until I am once again alone in the room.
That belly. That wonderfully taut and round and beautiful pregnant belly is so different from mine. Yet, I am startled to realize that at one point, we were very similar.
Two months. That is how much time I would have had left. September. So unfathomably soon. 34 weeks. I can’t believe it is that time already.
As she ardently counts down the days to her due date, counting kicks and Braxton Hicks, I reluctantly watch the calendar days pass, feeling a distinct lack of movement. Nothing but a sinking heart.
Pain grips me, not at all unlike labour pains, coming and going, flooding over me in waves until my whole body is clenched in agony. Tears stream until, relief. As quickly as it has come, the pain recedes, leaving me a moment to breathe. Counting the seconds until I’ll collapse into it again. Counting the hours until it will be over.
But over for her means something different for me. At the end of this, there will be no warm bundle of life to bring home. That was delivered to me months ago, forgoing the first breath, the beating heart, the ten toes. No life. Anti-life.
I assumed this would get easier. I thought that as the swell of physical pain subsided and daily life proved to move forward, that the pain would drift blissfully into nothingness. But instead, like her blossoming belly, it grows. It approaches the point where I don’t know how it could possibly fit any more, or how it will ever get out. Milestones approach and pass at unimaginable speeds. Milestones that simply aren’t. They will never be. Anything.
Life moves on.
Except not hers.