I was just getting used to the idea of you really existing, you know.
We found out about you together. Considering everything that had come before, that part happened exactly the way it needed to. No surprises, no wait-and-see’s … just two people looking at a test and smiling.
I was worried that I would be scared or nervous about the future when it finally happened, but I really wasn’t at all. I was excited. I was happy. And, while I was a little surprised to be excited and happy, I also wasn’t surprised at all. I’ve taken to this whole “family” thing a lot better than most people who know me would have predicted. Sure, it took some time, but I can’t imagine any other life now.
Finding out we had lost you was different. She was over four hundred miles away, having fun with our firstborn while I continued the standard existence back home due to a lack of vacation days. She saw red, and she called me to let me know what she believed was coming. She sounded remorseful and sad, but strong. She talked about it rationally, preparing herself for the end. She regretted being so far away from me, but she knew it could also be a blessing in disguise; there was plenty for her to focus on that could potentially take her mind off of it.
We knew the possibility existed. It always does. And we talked about it at length, determined to be the type of people who could soldier on and look to the future.
It’s amazing how much of a difference there is between possibility and reality.
We went to the doctor knowing that we had already lost you. We told the doctor and the nurses, and they were all very sympathetic. We watched an ultrasound that revealed nothing — aside from the emotions of a very empathetic ultrasound technician who told us she was sorry with the hint of tears forming in her eyes before she left the room. It’s a look I think I’ll remember for a very long time.
We listened to followup instructions, and I reassured her about the future. I told her that our family would absolutely grow, and it will. I am certain of it — as certain as I am that the sun will rise tomorrow and that, at some point, we will be annoyed with our dog.
And even though — for reasons unrevealed and unknown to me — I will never get to meet you, I want to thank you. You gave me an opportunity to be strong for my wife and support her when she needed me most. You made me realize that, yes, I am ready to expand our family, and that I am willing to do anything to nurture it and provide for it. You allowed me to imagine our baby boy as a big brother — an idea that is now firmly and permanently planted in my mind.
When we found out about you, you were the size of a poppy seed. We even took to referring to you as such — as our little poppy seed. And that is how I’ll always remember you.
A seed leads to growth. It is a simple and beautiful concept, and that is exactly what you accomplished. And you didn’t even have to be born to do it.
You helped me grow. You helped our family grow. And for that, little poppy seed, I can’t thank you enough.