I was browsing photos yesterday when I happened to encounter one I'd taken on the last whole day the P. and I spent together before she started daycare last year. It was a grayish, overcast, sad kind of day, made no better by my low mood. The pictures, I think, have retained that mood - so much so that after looking a the first one I started to cry a little.
Even though it happened months earlier, I was still depressed about my miscarriage... still harboring the idea that I ought to be pregnant. That babies ought to be disrupting our little home in just a few months. And at this point in time memorialized by these gray photographs, I'd never once yet spent a full day without P. A few hours here and there, sure, but we'd never been apart from each other more than that.
I snapped the pictures knowing it was our last day. One eye was focused on the world in front of me and the other was trained on the following Monday, which I couldn't see very clearly. I knew I'd be wearing heels. That P. would eat lunch someone else had prepared and nap on a mat instead of in her bed.
On the gray day, though, we read Over in the Meadow before I rocked her to sleep in my arms. I still can't read that book without having to force back tears or think about that last day without my stomach clenching up. Of all the direct and indirect consequences of my miscarriage, having to take that step was probably the worst.
The miscarriage forced me to take a more realistic view of our finances. To then, seeing what I saw, to step up and put my big girl panties on and take a proper job. That gray day turned into a string of gray days and then gray weeks and gray months. This is not how I wanted things to be in so many ways. Things are not bad, but things are good-different. I am pregnant with what is probably a healthy baby. The clothes washer died and I am not driven to anxiety by the cost of a new one. In 15 minutes, I'll be on a conference call discussing an exciting personal project. It could all be so much worse.
And even so, every now and then I get cocky and think I'm over it all. Until I happen to encounter a single picture.