It was a bitterly painful divorce, but we were settling into a new normal and decided to toast with a few glasses of wine.
I felt so worldly and mature. The contentious arguments were behind us, and there we were — two adults who were once deeply in love, talking in the same room about our tenuous future as co-parents to the 3-year-old we both adore.
He made me laugh again. A year ago, I thought laughter was impossible. But with that laugh, one impossibility gave way to a quick series of additional impossibilities. Two weeks later, a pregnancy test confirmed what I already knew from my nausea: My ex-husband knocked me up.
I was officially out of my damn mind.
Within the hour, I called my sister and told her the news. She responded with laughter and a loud, but kind, “What the hell?” What the hell, indeed. I’d fought so hard to return to a sense of normalcy, and one night with my ex-husband and a glass of wine blew up my world again. The night turned into days of tears and questions posed to the ceiling and the toilet bowl.
During one particularly intense hour with my nausea, my mind floated back to four years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I was in Haiti following the earthquake that rocked Port-au-Prince when I took the test that told me life would never be the same. Circumstances were different then — I was married, trying for a baby, owned a house and had a job with consistent pay and benefits — but my world was nonetheless rocked.
Maybe that’s just what pregnancies do. They challenge us, ask us what we want out of life and demand an answer when we cannot have one. They do that when the pregnancy is planned and when it is not. There is no getting away from the earth-shattering news of a tiny embryo laying his or her claim to our lives.
Then, just as quickly as my world turned upside down, it righted itself in the wrong way. My ex-husband, my sister and I sat, stunned and crying, in the sonographer’s room when we saw that my embryo’s heartbeat had left us. She was gone in a moment, just as she had made her home in my heart. The clarity of that moment hit me like a Mack truck. Please. Please come back. I don’t care if you complicate my life, and I don’t care if you confuse the relationship I have with your dad. Please, just don’t go.
My child disobeyed me, and she left. My ex-husband and I looked at each other and asked why this miracle had alighted upon us and then disappeared in an instant.