Not many people know this about me. I don't talk about it. I have only mentioned it in passing a few times in my whole life, when the subject came up.
In 1978 Jerry and I were living in Germany. We had been married five years. We'd never managed to get pregnant during that time and since we suddenly had insurance, we went to have tests run. We were thinking about adopting but wanted to be sure first. One of my test was a God-awful biopsy. My doctor was a nice Indian man named Abrol. I liked him. Just as he was about to preform the test. He said, "This will be like a bee sting."
That was a lie. It hurt so bad that I couldn't even scream. I just gasped. I remember that so clearly.
Shortly after the test was run, within weeks, I actually became pregnant. When I went back to my doctor and he said, "I hope your husband doesn't blame me for this." I cracked up, he blushed when he realize how it sounded, and the nurse gasped and said, "DR. ABROL!" Then we all laughed. I was so happy.
I had the usual sick feeling, no vomiting. I also got clumsy, actually fell a couple of times, and I had vision issues when I tried to read. The text would go blurry. I went for an exam and it didn't reveal anything wrong. Ten weeks later, they put me in the hospital because they thought I was going to miscarry.
I was so scared. Everyday they came to do a test to see if you were still alive. And every day I was frightened they'd come in and say, "No." Finally, about a week after my admission, they came in and said you were dead.
I was devastated. Five years I'd waited and then, you were snatched away.
I remember the Catholic chaplain coming into the ward and stopping by my bed. I was staring out the window, with silent tears running down my face. He sat down next to me and put his arm around my shoulders and talked to me. I do not remember what he said to me. I only remember how grateful I was for his presence.
They told me that they had to preform a D & C because you did not leave willingly. Afterward, I remember waking up and seeing your dad and asking, "Is it over?" He caught my hand and said, "Yes." I wept. I see it clear as a picture. Now that he's gone, I see a lot of things clear as day.
For a long time I wondered if you were really dead at that point. Had they made a mistake?Did I actually have an abortion. And I cringe at the thought. Crazy, huh?
I always thought you were a girl. I don't know why. It just felt right. It still does. I don't know if you had blue eyes or green ones, if you would be left handed like me or right handed like him. For a long time I wondered such things. From time to time, I still do. Would you be a tomboy, like me? Or would you be a fine princess?
After I went home I cried for days and I had nightmares about losing you. In my dreams I'd be looking everywhere for you. For weeks. They gave me pills to help. I ended up flushing them down the toilet one day when I found myself considering taking the whole bottle. I decided if I could't get through it without pills then it wouldn't be worth the effort.
Never, in all these years have I stopped thinking about you. Oh, not like I did at first. But you come to my mind now and then and I wonder all over again, what kind of person you would have become. A doctor? A teacher? A famous author? Who would you have married? How many children would you have had? So many questions I would love to have answers to but you never had the chance to even form them.
Recently it occurred to me that at last he got to meet you. He knows the color of your hair, your eyes, and if you have dimples. I had no doubt that that would have been a joyous reunion. And I was jealous. Jealous that I never had the chance to hold you and rock you and sing to you. Jealous that I didn't get to see his face when you met for the first time.
I hope they have photos in heaven and someone remembered to take that one.