It starts slowly. A little suggestion that something has changed. A pink smear that nags at me, making me start to wonder.
But this has happened before. Only last time it was a trickle that turned into a torrent. My heart broke a million times over and I believed that my existence would end with me. I wept and mauled at unmade bedsheets. It was devastating. It was unspeakable.
Someone told me, ‘Nevermind, these things happen.’ My mind screamed in pain.
I slept. So much sleep. I couldn’t keep my eyes open in the car as we tried to get away from it all. But always a reminder. Multiple times a day, always a reminder.
I sat on a swing over a lake and pretended a smile. For a while, it felt like I had stopped existing.
Then reality snaps back and it was work and making tea and watching television to try to escape again.
My mum was losing her mum. She was tired and bruised. She took me into her arms and smothered me in a blanket of pure love. She told me to go back. Ask questions.
So that’s what we did.
On the Monday we sat in a darkened room and witnessed a miracle. A tiny heartbeat. Our lentil baby squirming away and looking distinctly owl-like.
Two years on and our lentil has grown into a beautiful and gregarious little boy. He is smart and funny and inquisitive. Right now, he is mainly obsessed with cars. The more, the better.
He embodies our hope.
But hope is so inconsistent. It waivers, it pounds, it sits quietly, it jumps and screams.
I have a natural inclination towards hope. Prayer even.
I have prayed for lots of people. I prayed for my brother when he got ill. I prayed for my sister when she was faced with an impossible decision. I pray for my parents all the time. I pray for victims of tragedies and their loved ones. I pray for people I know and people I don’t. There are not many times in my life when I pray for myself.
Last week, I prayed as I tidied up my son’s cars. Maybe I should have stopped and prayed harder.
But that wouldn’t have changed anything at that point. Because I was too late. It had already happened weeks ago. I just didn’t know that then.
I breezily told colleagues I was having a few issues but it had happened before and I wasn’t worried. Only I was worried. In fact, the closer it got to ‘reassurance’, the more panicked I became.
So we found ourselves sitting in a darkened room again. Only this time, everything was very quiet. Seconds of time stretched out into minutes as measurements were taken.
Little Pea had gone a month ago. A whole month.