This evening Scooter was asking for us to play with him and his cars. He wanted Trillian to play first, but it was still early enough that she was dealing with a couple work-related emails. So he came over to me. I was playing with one of his firetrucks when he leaned in for a snuggle, put his hand on my belly, and said, "There's a baby in your tummy." Trillian and I both froze for a minute, and then I gently replied, "No, sweetie, there isn't right now. It will be a while before you have a baby brother or sister." And as he went on to play with something else, I let a few tears fall and Trillian asked if I was OK.
Here's the thing: Yes, we had used that phrase with him before. Around the time I was six weeks along and he was wanting to rough-house with me, as an explanation for why I couldn't. But we didn't say it a lot and we had made a concerted effort not to talk about the pregnancy in front of him much after that. And here it is, almost two months later, more than a month after the miscarriage, and he remembers us saying that.
And the other thing: This morning, as I went to park the car after dropping Scooter off at daycare, I found myself pondering the fact that part of how I have dealt with the miscarriage is to deny that I was fully pregnant. And I had a moment where I realized that, in a technical and truthful sense, I have been pregnant twice. But because I was still in the first trimester, because I never got to see the fetus move on the ultrasound, because I never heard the heartbeat, because I didn't even meet my midwife until it was time to do bloodwork to make sure my hormone levels were returning to normal, I somehow could get away with denying that it was a real pregnancy.
Not that I denied the baby's existence or the grief and loss, but that is a separate thing for me. I grieved, still grieve, for the baby girl in my dream. For my daughter-who-could-have-been. For that bit of me, the same part that believed the dream, that knows I will have a son next. A son whom I will love very much and who will be the perfect fit for our family. And I can't wait to meet him. But that doesn't stop me from thinking about her.
I suspect it's a good thing that I had my realization this morning. Little pieces falling into place, bringing me closer to whole, as much as is possible. But it still hurts.