My trembling hands brace the walls as I shift down the hall. Pain searing through my abdomen, anchoring in my heart. My mind had finally succumbed to sleep and now the ache was soaring ahead of my last dose of medication.
No need to wake my husband, immersed in sleep he so desperately needs.
I can get to the bathroom if I just breathe, deep in, deep out. I can get there.
I had almost made it but that door, a sliver of light streaming through, somehow it was ajar and I could not stop my eyes.
Through a beckoning gap I can see them piled high.
Sturdy boxes, some covered in rattles and ribbon and pastels, some just cardboard now, opened by eager hands. Graco and Playtex and Pampers and Huggies, stacked half hazardly, leaning in wait.
There were specks of baby blues and trails of fluffy pinks. Bottles and bibs, hand woven blankets and freshly folded sheets patiently hovering over a guest bed no longer for purpose.
My heavy feet try to move from this space, pull the door closed, return to dulled pain and induced sleep.
I am anchored there, my empty belly, wrapped tight, throbbing under welcomed pressure, my empty eyes peering into a room of naive hope.
The pull is magnetic, the door drifts open as I lean my exhaustion against it. I shift painfully into this space. Enveloped into the beauty of all that was given and the starkness of what had been taken.
My shaking fingers trace the weaves of gift baskets, piled with pink and pink and blue. No way to repackage life now.
I sink into the possibilities, trace cards of congratulations and marvel at the foreignness of these items in my home. No one yet to claim them.
Buried in the generosity and well-wishes of beloved family and friends, reality weeps with me. So much of this to be returned, unused, and the rest? Would it ever cradle dozing infants and bouncing toddlers? Wipe clean messy faces and curious hands? My cold face touches the rough fibers of carpet.
I lie in wait, just as the untouched bounty engulfing me.
Unable to pick my throbbing self up I wallow in the unknown.
My heart as empty as the room full.
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