The quick and steady bah-dum bah-dum bah-dum met her ears as expected-taken for granted. “One fourty-” her brain only loosly caught the last number of the rhythm and it was forgotten quickly. She would regret not listening fully to that number announced to her on that beautiful August day. But for now she sat back against the angled bed and relaxed her hands over her growing stomach as she let out a breath.

“Go home and drink plenty of water.”

The steady tick of the clock played in the back of her mind the rest of the day as she went about her usual activities. Dinner,tick, Coaching her Daughter,tock, kicking up her aching feet,tick. At almost 32 weeks of pregnancy nothing came as easily as it used to.

A mild awareness of the lackadaisical mood her baby was in sat uncomfortably on her mind and she shrugged it off.

“10 movements no matter how small in an hour.”

tick, tock, tick, tock, 45 minutes and the only movement she felt was the rhythmic pulse in her own heart. tick, tock, tick, tock

Walking through the doors to the familiar waiting room of the obgyn’s office she felt silly. With her husband at her side and feeling something like pressure, that was probably her son pushing on her, she knew she would be embarrassed when she was proven to be overreacting.

“Let me see if the Doctor will come take a listen.”

“Where’d we find it yesterday?”

“The ultrasound tech will get you right in in a moment.”

A subtle shake of the head accompanied by a very still picture projected over head on the wall.

“So, there is no heartbeat.”

No. The rhythmetic tick, tock in her mind stopped abruptly as the floor shattered around her. She left the warm jelly, dim room, and emotionless face of the doctor behind in the room and fell into a fiery pit.

As if they had been lining up behind her eye lids, tears ran down her face, one after another, after another, incessantly. Her own heartbeat picked up pace as if to make up for the lack of rhythm in her no longer growing belly.

“Do you want a minute?”

She would need much longer than a minute.


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