It felt like menstrual cramps, only a hundred times worse. She thought about that TV show where women suddenly go into labor, despite not knowing they were pregnant, and had to laugh. How can you not know you have a baby in your belly? Plus, her period wasn’t due until next week.
Maybe it’s just indigestion. Too many mozzarella sticks. She got up, took a painkiller, drank a big glass of water and went to the bathroom, where she saw a blood clot on her panties. That’s weird. I’m always so regular. She cleaned up and went back to sleep.
A few days later, Tony was in the kitchen making chicken fried rice, one of the only dishes he could manage. Meanwhile, Gabi watched TV and drank wine in the living room. It happened again.
“Tony!” she called.
“It’s almost done!”
“Honey, come here!”
He heard the pain in her voice and saw how pale she was as he came into the room. He had never seen her like that. It was scary. “What is it?”
“It hurts. Really bad.” Gabi clutched her stomach and couldn’t catch her breath.
“Is it cramps? I’ll get you some-”
“No, this is different.” She reached down and looked at her fingers: bloody and trembling uncontrollably.
“Come on, I’ll take you to the hospital.” He turned the stove off, grabbed their coats and Gabi’s purse and hurried off to hail a cab.
When she was finally admitted they examined her, asked a bunch of questions, gave her some medicine and concluded: “You’ve had a miscarriage, Mrs. Russell.”
“Uuh… what?” No way, I’m on the pill! “How is that even possible?”
“You were not aware, but you were a few weeks pregnant. The chances are small but it is possible to conceive while taking birth control. How were your last periods?”
“Um… less flux… I think. For fewer days too.”
“Right. Now: your body will naturally expel the remaining tissue.” The doctor said and scribbled on her prescription pad. “I’ll see you next week and check if everything is out. Get some rest this weekend and don’t worry, this is perfectly normal.” She gave Gabi a light squeeze on the shoulder and left.
Normal. How could I not know I was pregnant? There was a little life inside me for weeks and now it’s gone. Have I done something wrong? Have I drunk too much? God, I didn’t even feel any different! I always thought this kind of thing was something you just knew.
Tony put his arm around her, kissed her forehead and said: “The doctor said we can go. Are you alright?”
“Yes, let’s go home.”
On the way to their apartment Gabi looked intently out the cab window: the light rain, the leaves on the ground, people rushing in and out of the subway. Tony held her hand and thoughts rushed through her head. The day they had met. The career she quit. The temp jobs. The continuing education classes. Her upcoming 29th birthday. Her newly-found-and-quickly-lost child, her family in Brazil.
A lump swelled in her throat and her eyes stung. Gabi couldn’t hold it any longer, she bolted out of the car as soon as it pulled over and ran blindly up the stairs while Tony paid for the ride.
“Baby. Do you want to talk?” Tony said, lying in bed beside her.
“I just want to sleep. I’m so tired.” She rolled to the other side and stared at the wall for hours before falling asleep.
Copyright © 2015 Ana Elisa Miranda
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