You never forget your first.
A week after the miscarriage in October 2003, I sat slumped on the love seat in the family room watching the clock. It was a dull, foggy Saturday morning. November 1st. My Beloved was busying himself in the kitchen. Clinking dishes, washing pots, moving, moving, moving.
While I sat.
I remember feeling like I'd never be able to move again, so deep was my sorrow. My little baby, so wanted and already so adored, was gone forever.
I watched My Beloved shuffle dishes from sink to cupboard. I watched my arms lying still on the couch cushions at my sides. I watched the clock count down the useless seconds that now meant nothing. My baby wasn't growing anymore.
"Go out", My Beloved urged me gently.
I'd been planning to go to a Christmas Craft show at a nearby high school. Before. But instead I was helplessly glued to the couch listening to time slip away in each tick of the old wind-up clock I'd rescued from my Grandparent's cottage before it was sold years earlier.
I don't remember my arguments against moving off the couch, but I'm relatively sure they weren't valid ones. I was healing well from the D&C and physically felt just fine.
Which is, of course, the worst part of dealing with the loss of a child through miscarriage. You look just fine. There's no way for people to know the pain you're in. There are no scars to show the battle you've just fought and lost.
You become the invisible walking wounded.
And that's exactly how I felt. Broken with grief, but whole to the rest of the world.
Eventually his pleadings won me over. I got dressed and drove through the fog to the Christmas Craft show.
I aimlessly wandered past booths of knitted potholders, summer jams, walnut mice, Christmas wreathes and other assorted festive paraphernalia until I spotted a booth crowded with exquisite handmade dolls.
They drew me in. Lit a tiny spark in my burned out soul.
I stood transfixed, staring at the whimsical faces the artist had so painstakingly created. Dozens of dolls, their gray hair curled in clouds around their wizened faces, smiled back at me.
I couldn't tear myself away, and eventually I came home with an octogenarian elf tucked up carefully in miles of tissue paper.
It was the sweetest possible retail therapy.
And when I look at that elf (which I still can't bear to put away with the other Christmas decorations - she sits in the curio cabinet all year long) I remember the little one I lost, the wisdom of My Beloved, and the strength I somehow found to drive through the fog in search of the light.