When I found out I was pregnant a couple months ago, I had a dream shortly thereafter.
In the dream, I had given birth to twins. The twins happened to look like my furry orange cat, Marty McFly, but in the dream that wasn’t weird.
What was disconcerting in the dream, though, was that I lost one of the twins. We had gone to a park or a shopping mall of some kind and somehow I had turned my back for too long and one was missing.
I never found the baby in the dream.
When my husband and I watched the monitor in my doctor’s office Wednesday afternoon, squinting to make out the shades of gray that show up on an ultrasound, I saw the baby, one baby, that I knew we would meet this fall. I saw the baby’s spine, a miraculous tiny chain of vertebrae. And I waited for the movement, the tiny blinking I knew we should see. I convinced myself the doctor was just checking other things out first, taking measurements of the baby’s head perhaps.
But, no, I knew before she said it. I had lost our baby. Not just in a dream where the baby was a cat who I lost track of, but in real life. My real life. Our baby had no heartbeat. It measured 8 weeks, 4 days. I believed I was 9 weeks, 2 days along in my pregnancy. Sometime last week, while I went about my life as a mother, wife, teacher and all the other things, our baby we’ll never know said goodbye.
Angel babies, I’ve heard people say. I don’t really believe in God or angels or Heaven, but I totally and completely understand why people do.
The past couple days online, Facebook wants to remind me of the picture I shared on Feb. 7, 2014. It’s a picture of 4-year-old Paige holding a sheet of paper with two ultrasound pics taped to it and the words she wrote: “Big sister. x 2!”
We lost Lila’s twin a few weeks after that, and I never could bring myself to update Facebook with that news. At the time, I was terrified we would lose Lila, too. Baby A was how they’d referred to her. Baby B, we will never know.
Yesterday, I had surgery. In a cold, bright, stark white room surrounded by people I didn’t know, I was put to sleep and a doctor I’d only met a few minutes before, sucked my sweet angel baby number two right out of my uterus.
When I woke up, I was in a new room with new people. My throat hurt and I was thirsty, and I couldn’t believe it was over. I asked the nurse, “What do they do with the things they took out of me?”
She didn’t know. And I didn’t know. And I closed my eyes again because I was sleepy. I was so sleepy.
Last night, I did not dream of Lila’s angel sibling or our sweet solo Angel Baby A.
But I hope I do.
I hope someday I do.