Monday, May 30, 2005

Missing: Words. And Child.

I lost my words for a couple of days. Mostly because of the absurdity of what’s been happening. Every time I switch on a light in the house, it blows. Our power fails at least three times a night. Our car broke down for the second time in as many weeks. Last time it was the starter engine, now it’s the timing belt. I suspect mechanics simply make these words up to mock car-less chumps like myself who have no choice but to cough up cash every time they mention a muffler. I never knew my car needed a timing belt. Isn’t a fan belt enough? (Any girl knows more than one belt at a time is just bad fashion sense).

So there we were on the highway. We had to push the car to the side, put Bub in the pram and start the long walk home, dodging tooting cars as we slugged down the highway.
Being a weekend, no one would tow the car and no mechanic would take it. This Morning (Monday) we finally got someone to take it. The Smug Mechanic opened the bonnet, then shook his head. What? Looking through me, to R (women are invisible to Smug Mechanic unless they’re holding a cocktail and wearing heels, apparently) he muttered ‘Not good, not good at all’. After a splay of words that involved ‘valves’ and ‘two to three thousand dollars’, he closed the bonnet. Then he mentioned other words like ‘difficult to get the parts’ and ‘at least a week. If you’re lucky’.

R and I walked out of there feeling like we’d been gang raped then sent an invoice. No matter, I said. We will attempt The Switcheroo. If we borrow my parents’ car (the only other car with a baby seat), my parents can borrow your parents second car, and we’ll be right. And so it was. Until… Ten Minutes Ago.

A call from R. My parents had a prang in his parent’s car. They’re okay but the car is written off. R’s parents are in a flat panic. My parents feel horribly guilty. And between us, we’re paying for the Smug Mechanic’s holiday to Reno.

And all this is clutter because there’s something else that’s sitting in my heart and head all the time. It’s something I haven’t had words for but I think I’ll find them now...

Two weeks ago, my brother’s wife was due with her baby. We were so excited that little O would have a cousin her age. Everything was going great with the pregnancy. At 39 weeks she had a scan that showed the baby was progressing wonderfully, and that she would deliver any day soon. A day later, she stopped feeling movement. Concerned, she called the doctor. He thought she was being over-anxious but told her to come in anyway, to put her mind at rest. He put the Doppler to her belly. No sound. The baby must have moved. Let’s try another position. Nothing. After ten attempts to find a heartbeat, the doctor stopped. The baby was gone.

g o n e

Where does a healthy, viable baby go exactly?

She was told to wait a day before they induce her. So that the baby can shrink.

s h r i n k

She spent a day with a lifeless baby inside of her, not telling anyone what she was going through. Then she spent the next day labouring through induced contractions, to give birth to death.

No explanation. The baby was perfect. A little girl. My brother looked at the baby but my sister-in-law couldn’t look, couldn’t stand to have the image of this perfect little still being indelibly marked into her memory.

They buried her little body the next day. My sister in law still leaks milk for a baby who will never suckle. An almost-being, all that potential gone.

And there I was, worrying about my car.

Rest in Peace, little soul.


Blogger Lin said...

Your sad tale of your sister-in-law's sorrow is one that I have heard before, from a dear friend of mine who also was filled with the anticipatory excitement that a new baby brings, only to then have to anticipate bringing to this world a child without life. It is completely possible, if you have given birth to a live child, to truly imagine the misery this baby's parents must feel. My friend went on to have three children, each pregnancy completely normal. May your sister-in-law have such joy in her future.

3:01 pm  
Blogger Ova Girl said...

This is so so awful. Thinking of you and your family.


5:12 pm  
Blogger Julianna said...

Oh my goodness, I just have tears streaming down my face. And the way you write about it, just so very touching.

I am so very sorry for your family's loss.

2:15 am  
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