Putting Together My baby Album: Journal Entry: 1993: excerpted from Our Stories of Miscarriage: Healing with Words, Fairview Press, edited by Rachel Faldet and Karen Fitton.
I go to the store to buy photo albums to put my dusty pictures in. I am trying to be neater now so this is necessary. It’s $5.97 for the big blue albums, $2.97 for baby picture albums. Why am I looking at these baby albums? I don’t have a baby. My arm reaches out and I take hold of the small, white album with a curly-haired cherub riding a light blue rocking horse on the cover. I must have it. My hands caress the album, lifting each plastic picture cover-fifty of them. Each time I tenderly turn, I see a snapshot of what our baby would have looked like.
My hands move down to my stomach, so flat, so skinny. Everyone is jealous of my thin body, my energy, my youthfulness,
“I think it is much more difficult for older women to go through.”
“You two have plenty of time. Just wait three months and try again.”
“Oh well, it happens to everybody. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
I would have been almost five months pregnant by now. As my hand circling, rubs my stomach, I wonder what it would have felt like to have a voluptuous, purposeful body with a small life growing inside of me.In my right arm I hold the baby album naturally like a new mother holding her newborn for the first time. In my left I hold a three pack of soap. We are out of soap.
At home I pick out all the pictures of babies. They are not my babies, but babies I love: my brother’s two children, my four girlfriends’ children, my youngest four cousins, and my husband’s cousin’s daughter.
After organizing the angels in my album, I look through it again and again. Twenty blank pages are left waiting, like my blank stomach, like my empty heart.