Hannahs Gift Maria Housden

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Hannahs Gift  by  Maria Housden

Hannahs Gift by Maria Housden
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Dr. Truth Jekyl and Mr. Hyde DenialWe both began bleeding on the same day.I woke to it slowly. Drifting out of a deep sleep, I lay in bed, my eyes closed, inhaling the cool morning air that wafted in through the open window, its breath a welcomeMoreDr. Truth Jekyl and Mr. Hyde DenialWe both began bleeding on the same day.I woke to it slowly. Drifting out of a deep sleep, I lay in bed, my eyes closed, inhaling the cool morning air that wafted in through the open window, its breath a welcome respite from the previous nights August heat.

I stretched my body and sighed contentedly. Claude stirred beside me. I heard the footfalls of an early morning jogger pass below, on the street side of the house. A car drove by. I opened my eyes. Our bedroom was gray and still.As I rolled onto my side, I felt a sticky warmth between my legs. Instantly, I was awake. I slid one thigh across the other and felt a sucking sensation as they parted.

Clamping my legs together, I closed my eyes and willed myself to be dreaming. Everything was quiet, except for the thud of my heart in my chest. I heard another car drive by- then another. I opened my eyes again, this time more slowly. The first light was beginning to sharpen the outlines of objects in the room.I ran my hand across my abdomen.

Its slightly rounded fullness reassured me. After all, only yesterday the tiny form of the baby inside had appeared on my doctors ultrasound screen, filling the room with the pulsing whoosh of its amplified heartbeat. Claude had smiled and squeezed my hand. My whole body had softened with relief. I had miscarried three other pregnancies before this one, all in their eighth week.

Yesterdays ultrasound was the confirmation we had been waiting for- this baby, our third child, would be born in March. Will, our son, was five, while Hannah, our daughter, was nearly three.Last night, I had stood in the nursery, running my hand over the rail of the empty crib, imagining the smell of baby powder in the air again. I slept more deeply than I had in weeks.Now I lay next to Claude, hyperventilating between wanting to know and not wanting to know.

Finally, I slipped out of bed, careful not to brush my thighs against the sheets. When I stood up, I felt a warm trickle run down my leg. I caught the tiny bead on the tip of my finger: blood. I cupped a hand over myself to keep from staining the carpet and tiptoed to the bathroom. Just then, I heard Hannah calling from her bed downstairs.Mommy, I have to go potty!I grabbed a wad of toilet tissue, wiped my thighs, and glanced at my image in the mirror.

My eyes looked wild. I splashed cold water on my face and made my way to Hannahs room. I hardly noticed her sweetness nuzzling the nape of my neck as I carried her to the toilet. I was wondering how I could bear to tell Claude or anyone else about another miscarriage. I felt deeply ashamed- losing this baby meant I had failed again.When Hannah was finished, I lifted her off the toilet seat and was catapulted out of my grief. Hannahs urine was deep pink: blood.

Miscarriages I knew- blood in the urine of a two-year-old I didnt. For an instant, I couldnt think or move. Then a thickness seemed to envelop me- I felt numb but strangely efficient. Everything was happening, but I felt disconnected from any feeling in it. I heard Claude in the bathroom upstairs, running the shower. I dressed Hannah and myself, woke Will, set the table for breakfast and made three phone calls- one to my doctor, one to the pediatrician, and one to my friend Lili.

When Claude came downstairs, I told him about the blood, Hannahs and mine. I couldnt even



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