There are good moments too.
My May 2011 birth club has sent us food. Package after package of frozen meals, made by a chef. Because they love me said the card. Not a small number of them have lost babies too. They know how hard we worked for this baby. Q. took the gift in the generosity of spirit with which it was meant, and did not view it as an insult to his ability to look after me. (Another friend wanted to bring us dinner, the day after it happened. I asked her not to. Q. needed to be able to do something. Cooking gave him something to focus on. Before E. was born, I remember my sister turning up at my house and saying, “I’ve just read one of those ‘top ten things to do for a new mother’ articles. Q. would kill me if I turned up and started cleaning your bathroom or cooking dinner! He’d be so offended!”)
“This all looks really good,” said Q., perusing the packages in our freezer.
A friend picked up my M coat so she could take it back to the store, so I wouldn’t have to.
The store agreed to accept the return, against their usual policy.
My sister and her fiance sent us flowers, just to say that they were thinking about us. She keeps wanting to call, but I shy away from the phone right now, will not speak on it unless cornered. When I keep silent, when I keep to myself, I can control it.
The flowers were in a red vase.
E. is deeply pleased by this.
My father called, the night after it had happened.
“I just wanted to say I’m sorry,” he said. “I felt I didn’t have much to say when you called last night. I was just in too much shock.”
He and my mother lost a baby, early in the second trimester, after I was born but before my sisters.
My mother has told me this, many times.
I can’t remember my father ever mentioning it before Friday night.
Q. and I went for lunch on Friday.
Not because it was Valentine’s Day.
I should have been teaching. I shouldn’t have been available for lunch.
We ate and talked.
We didn’t forget.
But it wasn’t omnipresent.
We discovered an ice slide when we went to our farmers’ market on Saturday.
E. shrieked with laughter as he went down.
Shrieked with laughter as he tried to get off the ice at the bottom.
Shrieked with laughter as he ran up the hill.
Shrieked with laughter as he got back into position to do it all over again.
“Q., I need to ask you a question. I’m reading this book and the husband is starting to become a suspect in the disappearance of his wife, partly because he doesn’t know what her blood type is. I don’t think I know what your blood type is.”
“I don’t think I know what my blood type is.”
He thinks it might be O something, says it’s something very common.
“I’m A positive.”
“My A plus bunny.”
We take E. to the pub for lunch, so we can watch the hockey game.
When we planned this, well over a week ago, I said to Q. that if we got through the first period we’d be lucky.
We stayed for the entire game, including the two minutes of overtime that were needed before the right team won.
E. was interested in the hockey for the first two periods and then played with his trucks and read his books when he got bored. During the commercials he asked me what each one was for. Sometimes it took me the entire commercial before I knew.
We’ve never had a restaurant meal that easy.
It was actually fun.
We are lying in the darkness, two spoons in the bed, idly discussing the last episode of the latest season of one of our favourite shows. We watched the download that night. There was pregnancy, but it wasn’t central. I could cope.
“Night night!” I say, in perfect imitation of the sing-song cadence of the show’s master villain, the one we were supposed to think is dead, the one who clearly isn’t.
And Q. laughs. Laughs and laughs and laughs. I laugh with him, and for a moment we are both free of it.
I can’t be sad all the time.
But I don’t know when happiness will be anything but fleeting.