8 months/35 weeks

Dear Joseph,


I am missing you today. I feel your presence, under my ribs. That warm glow in my heart. It’s cheesy, I know, but I’m glad you’ve taken up residence there, internal, so close to me.

This week is 8 months. 35 weeks that you are gone, the same amount of time dead now that you were alive. What does it mean, this equivalence of life and death?

I have always kept track of time this way. I remember when all of a sudden I had known your mother for as long as I hadn’t known her. Time goes on, and now that balance is tipped, weighted in a favorable direction. I’ve known her more years now.

Time will go on and your death will go on. Unstoppable, unavoidable.

These days feel significant, but they are days just like any other days.

I miss you.


We got to see your little brother or sister today. Eight tenths of a centimeter long, a little flicker of a heartbeat. Nothing else distinguishable yet.

I was so nervous, waiting for that appointment. Wondering if the ultrasound screen would give me flashbacks to the day I saw your heart had stopped: the horrible stillness of that tiny black hole. But it was okay. Anti-climactic, actually. I feel both relieved, and suddenly more anxious. I am growing another baby, who is alive today—but life isn’t guaranteed, I am painfully aware of that now.

The ultrasound tech called your little sibling a peanut. But I’m not sure that’s right. Your mother and I search for suitable nicknames. It suddenly seems urgent that we have something to call this one other than Baby, because that was what we called you. It’s silly—of course this one is a baby, too. But you were Baby, and this small creature growing in my womb is not you.

You are underneath every part of this pregnancy. Every physical sensation brings a memory. In every moment of excitement and worry, you are there. I like to think of you as watching out for this little sibling, whispering older brother wisdom in my womb. Your cells are in my blood, which means they are in this new baby’s blood, too.

I put my hand on my belly. We are going to be okay, I think. All of us. You, me, the new baby. I cling stubbornly, blindly, to hope.


I love you so much.



© Burning Eye


4 thoughts on “8 months/35 weeks

  1. jane says:

    I thought of e.e.cummings poem

    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
    my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
    i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing,my darling)
    i fear
    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
    no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
    and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
    higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

    and thought so much of you …….x

  2. Congratulations on Joseph’s sibling.

  3. I’m so glad to hear of Joseph’s little sibling growing, and I will be hoping with you. There is so much in this post that reminds me of my pregnancies after Anja died: the feeling, especially, that A was part of each of them. When I was pregnant with E, who lived, we called her Pantouffle (can’t remember why) and then we called Anja Pantouffle 2.0 (among other things). There could never have been a Pantouffle 3.0, however…partly because M was his own self, but also because I knew he could never be her and, even more so, because we had lost so much of that innocent, expectant excitement and presumption. He didn’t get an in-utero name until after his 20-week ultrasound but that name has stuck as a nickname…and will always remind me of his charged time inside me, before we knew he’d stay.

    Sorry to go on and on. I am holding so much hope for you, and also remembering Joseph, Baby.

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