Here is what you do.
You take all of your maternity clothes out of your closet. You wash the ones you wore that week. You put them back into the suitcase in your basement storage room. You expect they will be musty again by the time you next get them back out. If you get them back out. Your regular jeans still fit. A small kindness.
You fill out a new form and write new cheques for E.’s registration for nursery school. You go to hand it in. “Q. tells me your work schedule changed suddenly,” the admin assistant says brightly. She looks at your new requests. “You’re working more then. Is that something you’re excited about?”
You burst into tears.
You call your midwife. Or, to be more accurate, you call the number for the midwife collective, on the weekend, when you know no one will answer, so you can just leave a message cancelling the appointment you were supposed to have this coming Wednesday, so you don’t have to say to anyone but a machine that you’ve lost the pregnancy.
You take the ultrasound pictures out of your agenda where you have been keeping them (collecting them, adding one with every new scan) and tuck them away in the filing cabinet, along with the picture E. drew for you on Thursday afternoon to help you feel better.
You ask a friend, one of so very many who has asked if there is anything they can do to help, to take your M coat back to the store. The store normally does exchanges or store credit only for items that were on sale, but you emailed and explained the situation and they are being kind (so kind) and will absolutely refund the money. You don’t want to keep it in the house ‘just in case’. You can’t stand to look at it. The basement is filled with baby things that you have kept for close to three years ‘just in case’. They weren’t supposed to be ‘just in case’ any longer. They were supposed to be ‘in September’.
You email your supervisor. He didn’t know you were pregnant but you tell him the truth. Your work has been so badly disrupted over the last few months that you cannot stand him not knowing, not understanding why you have gone from being months ahead of any expected timeline to being dangerously close to falling behind.
You reread books about great racehorses when you wake up at 4 a.m. and cannot fall back asleep (because you cannot fall back asleep, not any more. You wake up, and then you remember, and then you cannot fall back asleep because you cannot unremember it.) Seabiscuit. Secretariat. Ruffian. You are running out of options because you already read most of your comfort books, the ones you will gladly read over and over again because they are beloved friends, during the first couple weeks of the pregnancy, or during the IVF, or during the FETs. You are wary of reading anything new because every time you try (Gone Girl, Life After Life), you are ambushed by an unexpected pregnancy, or miscarriage, or stillbirth. You certainly cannot face the third volume of Call the Midwife, although you enjoyed the first two. It is surprisingly difficult to find a good book that is not going to ambush you with some sort of story about babies.
You have stopped crying, for the most part.
Most of the time you don’t feel anything at all.