Eulogy for Baby Winter

5+6. It is snowing again. I leave the office well after dark, treading carefully on the ice lest I slip, and hurt the baby. The world is so beautiful, frosted over like a cake; it seems full of magic and wonder. It is so cold that it almost hurts to breathe, and I find myself marvelling yet again at my life, at my tremendous fortune, to find myself working here, which I love, and going home to them, whom I love. My heart feels swollen and I am giddy with the joy of it all, with the snowflakes dancing a blizzard about me and landing in my hair.

I don’t begin to register the dampness until I’m on the Underground. By the time that we pull in to Waterloo, it is starkly apparent that I am bleeding. And I am thinking to myself, as I walk toward the escalator, that this is a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. I have never lost a pregnancy before. My legs are shaking. And because I am remembering the image of our blastocyst in its Petri dish, how it looked like the moon, I don’t think to stop. I am rushing to get home, to take the progesterone that might, if I grasp at straws, put an end to this catastrophe. So I take the escalator steps two at a time and settle myself onto the train, which is gravid with commuters seeking refuge from the snow. And I bleed. And I bleed. And I bleed.

And I can feel the unravelling of you, of the possibility of you, as the blood seeps out of me and I am frozen in place – it is so busy, and the seat is saturated, and I don’t want to move because people will see and I am not ready to acknowledge the passing of you, the flipping back of the clock to a time where there was no you, there will never be a you. I am messaging Kirsty, whose hands are full with sick toddlers, and Lisa and Rhian, who are keeping me grounded, every time I can feel my mind sliding away from me they ask me another question. They feel like human hands; I feel devoid of blood, of anything. I feel emptied, like a carrier bag sailing past on the wind. This morning I was expecting a baby, and now I am nothing at all; a woman who owes SouthEastern a new train seat and who has forgotten how to regulate her breathing.

I am unwriting our future with you; the origami-baby newborn that won’t lie on my chest, wide eyed with the shock of birth, and the laughing Christmas baby who won’t crumple the paper in fat fists and the little brother or sister to Balthazar and Lysander, who are still so excited for Baby Winter, and to Embla and Olympia, who would have been big sisters. And the little boy or girl whom you would have been, one day, whom we hoped to give a sibling close in age – it seemed unfair to leave you alone, the only child without a twin. I had so many dreams for you.

My bed is full of children with sore throats and swollen tonsils; they thrash in their sleep like octopi whilst I try to get on silently with the business of miscarrying you.  You were such a tiny thing and I have no idea which part of this miscarriage is you; it all feels surreal, my body is an alien thing.  I am awake until the early hours of the morning but not alone, because my bed is full and my phone is full too with so many little lifelines, so many hands to hold.  I am never alone, and sometimes that feels like the hardest thing in the world but tonight I need so badly to feel the many heartbeats in the world.  At six weeks, your heart should have beat like a hummingbird’s wings and I shall never know if it ever did.  It takes me what feels like forever to sleep, but when I do, it is dreamless.

And I wake up to a world of white, which seems like the perfect tribute to you.

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2 Comments

  1. March 7, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    Amber, my love. There are no words. Just love.

    Sending all we have from our brood to yours, We love you both xx

  2. March 16, 2018 / 7:35 pm

    I am so sorry. Holding you all in my thoughts x

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