Fragments of Grief
Becca Yenser

  1. I will begin at the ending, or at least as far as I have come, into the present. I stand sideways in front of the mirror and push my stomach out.
  2. I try to remember the exact color of the fetus: I want to say cherry red, but it must have been more maroon, according to science.
  3. I was lying naked in bed, trying to nap, when the maintenance man let himself into my apartment. His voice told me he was in the dining room, about eight feet from our mattress on the floor. Go away! I said, and maybe that is when my baby died. I can’t be sure, but it seems a likely enough time.
  4. The miscarriage occurred almost exactly between my dog’s death and the lunar eclipse.
  5. Three co-workers on the sixth floor of Lindquist Hall at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas have since gotten pregnant and given birth.
  6. None of them seem grateful enough about it.
  7. The bleeding started at seven and a half weeks, and ended ten days later. Does that mean I was seven and a half weeks along, or nine? I need to know this.
  8. A friend of a friend hugged me too hard at a film festival while I was still pregnant and I play that moment over and over in my mind.
  9. I Google ‘fetuses seven and a half weeks.’ At first I look at simulations, but now only stick to ‘images.’ Most women unwrap the sac to get to the baby. I didn’t. I wish I could go back to see the skeleton, but at the time my boyfriend said maybe I shouldn’t do that.
  10. A positive pregnancy test can (rarely) indicate a fatal cancer of the uterus (gestational trophoblastic disease). Due to my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, for one week I was uncertain if I was dying, or eating for two!
  11. It was my baby, too, he says, once a year on the anniversary of the event.
  12. I had mixed feelings, he says, it’s complicated, when I accidentally confide to him that I am sad.
  13. ‘Dad’ mugs are on sale on Amazon.
  14. Google search: ‘Quarter Asian Babies.’
  15. Google search: ‘How likely is it for a forty-year-old woman to get pregnant?’
  16. Google search: ‘Implantation Calculator.’
  17. Yesterday I stopped by the place where we buried her. I poked a stick in the ground in the spot where I think we put her, because there is one culture that believes the soul has to escape.
  18. My shadow when I’m wearing a sweatshirt with my hands in the pockets is of a eight-month-along pregnant woman.
  19. Thanks, God, I see what you did there.
  20. Things I’ve tried: vitamins, ovulation trackers, OPKs, losing weight, exercising, putting my feet up after coitus, praying, witchcraft, fertility acupuncture, not trying.
  21. The actual miscarriage lasted ten hours, which I know to be true because I wrote it in my journal the next day. “The last day or so has been pretty rough,” I write, “I was in pain for ten hours, but I am fine now. I actually feel grateful for this experience.” I took six Ibuprofen every hour or two and thought about calling the ambulance only once.
  22. I caught her over the toilet at 8 p.m. and took her to M. She was warm in my palm. We commented on how well formed she was. I felt (strangely) proud.
  23. We walked out the back door, down the steps, and to the river. We had a discussion on which tree to plant her under. I think I said a prayer. M. and I took shots of Fireball. It was almost Halloween so back at the apartment we watched a scary movie.
  24. My friend has a baby. Don’t steal him, he says, when he hands him to me, and I’m offended but amazed he knew to worry.
  25. I would’ve had the baby on June 6th, 2018. Instead I have a moonstone necklace that some girl on Etsy made me, with a punched out constellation on the back that represents the sky that day. They are just holes but I had to pay more.


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