Regardless of Age or Stage

On Sunday morning Danith visited Daffy and Kiri at the river without me. I hadn’t known about the trip until he texted me with pictures.

Danith and I experienced our first loss about eight years ago. We had gone in for several ultrasounds when the prognosis was not promising. The night before the final ultrasound, I lit the candles my friend gave me, and I prayed. I fervently prayed to God for a miracle. My body shook as I cried and prayed for this baby that my husband and I wanted. Danith found me in the room and sat on the floor with me, the candles before us on the table. I asked if he would pray with me. Surprisingly, he kept his eyes closed, while I continued to ask God for help.

The next morning our doctor told us with absolute positivity that, at about seven weeks along, we had no baby. There was no fetal pole, even after they had already given it ample time to form.  On our drive home, I was at peace. I felt that we had done all that we could for this baby — we had prayed to God. Our baby at that time was just not meant to be. Danith, however, was solemn. For the next few weeks and even once in a while in the years that followed, he spoke about that baby.

I changed the subject whenever Danith brought up the first miscarriage. It puzzled me that our embryo that couldn’t survive beyond seven weeks impacted him more strongly than it impacted me. He was a person of science — he must have understood that cells often stop dividing and multiplying or break down.  The body malfunctions, and life ends — the earlier, the better, the less suffering.

I would not share in his understanding until many years later, when Daffy and Kiri entered our lives to explain that life — no matter the age or stage — matters. In addition to the miscarriage from eight years ago and Daffy and Kiri, we experienced another loss. Similarly, at around seven weeks, our embryo that had come before Daffy, lost its heartbeat. A nurse later told me that the embryo was a “healthy male.” I make sure to remember this little boy and his possibilities.

Amidst the haziness of loss, Danith is still able to provide levity and laughter. He sometimes reminds me that I am no spring chicken, that we are, in fact, old fogeys with too many children to count.

In the text he wrote me on Sunday, Danith instructed me to look at the upper right corner of the second photo, where the sun was fighting through the clouds. Later he explained that the area was difficult to maneuver because of the thick fog and the river that had risen very high from the melting snow, muddying the boardwalk and especially our special spot. Even his shoes and pants were dirtied by the flood. The entire area had been completely foggy, but then the light suddenly emerged.