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I sat there, a faded hospital sheet draped over my legs, blood sticky to my inner thighs. It was too early to find a heartbeat, but the blood draw confirmed there was a pregnancy, he said.

I was told there was nothing to be done, the “tissue would pass.” I was given a brown paper sack full of giant disposable pads and was told to call my OB on Monday to have another HCG test to see if the levels declined. 

And I walked out of the ER and went home to wait for my baby to die.

The pregnancy test was still wrapped for my husband to open. The new “Party of 3” sign was still en route on a FedEx truck to our house. I expected a weekend of excitement and celebration, but instead, I was going home to wait for my baby to die, I was going home to tell my husband he would be grieving when he did not yet have the opportunity to know there was someone to grieve. 

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The tissue would pass. That sentence played over and over as I drove myself home. From the moment the word PREGNANT appeared on that digital stick, I had a child—she was blonde and giggly, I saw her dancing in the kitchen while standing on her daddy’s toes as he sang my favorite song. From the moment of the word PREGNANT on that digital stick, I saw a little boy jumping in puddles and snuggling his mama as he drifted to sleep.

Never once after the digital stick confirmed my greatest dreams, did I think of my child as tissue that would pass.

I got home and thought about saving my husband from this grief, keeping it to myself. I could shower and he would never know. He would think the pads are for my time of the month, and I could save him from this pain. I could save him from the gut-wrenching feeling of blonde giggles and warms snuggles vanishing from his heart with the words that are even hard for my mouth to form, “the tissue will pass.”

When my husband arrived home, I wanted to smile, I wanted to greet him warmly. I waited at the door planning a kiss and a hug, but I collapsed in his arms the moment his feet crossed the threshold and told him in one breath, and he collapsed with me to the floor.

The weekend passed and along with it, our child.

Our child who would have had blonde curly hair, I am sure, our child who would’ve laughed at my husband’s jokes, and snuggled me close. Our child who I dreamed of breathing in, our child who we loved even before the word PREGNANT appeared on a digital stick.

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The doctor was right the tissue did pass but so did our child, because from the moment that digital screen showed the word PREGNANT we were parents, and we had a child. We decided to save the hearts of those we love and never told another soul about that weekend, but we know long before another digital stick appeared again with the glorious word PREGNANT, we had a child and we were parents.

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