The sound of a woman sobbing wakes me. Moments pass in the still and quiet hours of the early morning before I realize that woman is me.
Tears soak my pillow. An undeniable heaviness in my heart. I lay back down and begin begging. Pleading with a fierceness occupying every cell of my being, Please, God, don’t do this to me. Don’t do this to us.
My husband gently lays his hand upon my heaving back and begins to silently pray. There just aren’t words to be spoken out loud. Not at this moment.
Low heart tones.
It’s what they call the sound of your unborn baby’s heart as it makes its way to stopping. Ceasing to beat any longer.
No longer a viable life, but instead a life lost.
I drag myself out of bed. Every inch of my body aches. I feel like I’m trying to move 1000 pounds though thick, murky water with each small step. A face swollen from a night full of tears. A mouth dry from dehydration. A heart so heavy it might have been dragging behind me like an anchor—shattered and held together with a thin film of hope—as I make my descent from the bedroom.
I don’t even know why I bothered with getting out of bed.
I make my way to the couch and burrow under a layer of blankets, blocking against the coolness of the early morning summer air flooding through open windows. I pull the blankets up over my head. Birds sing happily outside. The sun rises with the majestic beauty, color splashing across the sky. The cat needs to be fed. None of this matters in my world right now. I attempt to hide away.
I want this to be a bad dream, a nightmare, from which I will soon wake.
Instead, reality hovers nearby.
And we wait.
We wait to see if a miracle of God-like proportion will happen. We cling to whatever faith and hope our exhausted minds and bodies can grasp. We wait with minds racing in endless circles of meaningless thought while the tears cease to flow.
I wonder, in vain, if there’s something more I could have done, something more I should be doing at this very moment. I scour the internet looking for answers. A plethora of information. All of it meaningless because no two situations are the same. There is no answer.
There is nothing to do other than wait—praying and clinging to hope.
Few good things begin with “I’m sorry.”
Though we prepared, we could never have been ready.
And then, the words, “I’m sorry . . .”
The thin film of hope holding the pieces of my shattered heart together breaks away. It crumbles into a million little pieces. There is no turning back. This is not a dream from which I will wake.
Low heart tones change to no heart tones in a matter of four short (or long) days.
Heartbreak so severe, it never fully heals. There is no remedy.
Scar tissue awkwardly forms, tugging in all the wrong places.
A life lost.