30 May 2010

The Moment

It is May 30. And here is how the day will go:

I will go to a friend's house today, and I will try to get Sophia down for a nap. She is 2 1/2 years old. She is so tired. I am so tired, but I haven't been able to stop, not for a moment.

My friend will offer her bedroom to us as a sanctuary, and I will gladly take it.

Sophia and I will lie down together, and I will rub her back, and she will fall asleep. I am so tired, that I too, will fall asleep. And as I do, I will rub my belly. I am so tired that when I notice the baby isn't moving, I make note of it for sure, but I push it aside in my head.

No movement.

I fall asleep and Sophia wakes me up an hour later jumping out of bed.

I tell my friend I am still sleepy, but I don't want to sleep anymore. I tell her I've been depressed for a few days, but the afternoon continues as if nothing is wrong. I keep pushing aside that voice in my head. I want that voice in my head to go away.

May 30.

I will fall into bed late because the children have been exhausting today. Two and five years old.

And as I fall asleep, I will place my hands on my belly, lie on my side and wonder when exactly it was that I last felt the baby move. A sudden darkness and fear rises inside of me, and panic sets in.

But I am so, so tired. I have been so tired for more than a day.

I fall asleep.

But a few hours later something wakes me, jolts me awake, and I can feel my heart pounding inside of me. It is 2:00 a.m.


I get up and walk downstairs.


I do the only thing I can remember to do. I drink a glass of sweet grape juice.


I walk up the stairs and down the stairs.

Everyone sleeps. The air hangs low, and I feel my heart beat. I feel my heart beat.


I turn on the computer and type in fetal movement. I type in counting baby kicks. I follow every instruction and every suggestion.


It is 3 a.m.

I cannot feel my baby moving.

I go backward in time searching for the moment, trying to remember when exactly it was that I last felt the baby move.

There is no moment. There is just a memory of always movement. Of every few hours pausing in my day, my busy, busy day to hold my belly while she kicked. There is a memory of stopping mid-sentence while I talk to catch my breath as she pounded against me, while she moved.

And then there is the moment in the night trying desperately to remember the last moment.

Trying desperately to pinpoint a moment, any moment as a sign as a vehicle through which I could enter to find blame. A moment when I could say, this then is when her heart stopped beating, and there is nothing I could have done. This then is when her heart stopped beating, and I should have done something.

I want a moment.

I want there to be a moment when I paused, when my heart stopped too, when I could say, “I’m sorry.” I want a moment when I could say, “Goodbye.” I want a moment where I could change the course of things to come.

There is no moment.

There is only the darkness descending. The milky tears which fall from my breast. The fullness of the world around me feeling so empty.

It is 3:30 a.m., and I go back upstairs to wake up Terry.

This becomes my moment.


Kim said...

I am moved by your sharing... you are beautiful in your vulnerability...

Sarah Bain said...

Kim, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words...

Terry said...

I wish I had been
all that time
with you
even now