Change by Sara A. Clement

Speak to me of the nature of change.

As if I don’t know what it looks like.  What it feels like.

Yesterday my husband playfully teased me about a dream he had.  A dream of another baby.  A little girl who would play with our rainbow baby.  He teased me and kissed my neck under the whispering pine trees as the sun melted behind the mountains.

“It would be like having twins…” he whispered with a soft smile. He fondled the strawberry curls on her little head as it rested on my breast.

I swallowed the tension in my throat.

“It would be like having twins…” I said, in a voice not quite my own.  The twins that should have been, peeking through my heart-strings, whisper to my heart from somewhere never far away…

“Twins…oh yes.  Twins are so lovely…”

I stroked the tiny toes of the sleeping girl in my front carrier.  My nipple grasped between rosebud lips as a trail of milk dribbled to her chin.  She absently suckled in between dream-like smiles.

I watched my husband’s athletic form as he threw the golden Frisbee through the trees toward a stationary shadow in the distance.

“You know,” he said with a smile, “I can’t think of anything better than our children.  I can’t see any reason to not have another.”

I swallowed again.  I groped for my breath.

Part of me wanted to start crying.  I can think of at least one reason not to have another.

Babies sometimes die. 

I can think of a reason not to try again.

Babies sometimes die.

I can think of a reason not to discard my steadfast diaphragm in favor of blissful conception under the night sky.

Babies sometimes die.

He looks at me.  His blue eyes twinkling as the sun disappears, shedding golden light over us all.

His sincerity makes my heart skip a beat.

Of course, my heart skips beats on a regular basis.  It has ever since our twins died.  They say it’s an electrical malfunction.  They say it will always be there.  He grips my hand as we look for the Frisbee in the twilight.

“Sara,” he whispers, “don’t you think our little girl would love a brother or sister?  Do you really think she wants to be alone when the older boys are gone?”

I think of my older sons.  I think of the age gap.  I imagine my sweet rainbow baby as her brothers grow up and move away.  I see her.  My throat tightens again.  I am afraid.

Afraid of testing the fates once more.

Here I am, the mother of many.  Many alive.  Many dead.

Here I am, an educated woman.  I work from home.  I home school my children.  I create.  I live.  I breathe.

Here I am, with my heart skipping beats.  Ever in pursuit of the heart beats that ceased within me.  Skip. Skip. Skip.  One day, a pacemaker will shock them into restarting.  Skip-shock.  Skip-shock.  Skip-shock.

My children are, to me, the stars in my universe.  Of course I would love to do it again.  Of course I have room in my world for another child.  Of course I do.

I kiss the smooth silky hair of my firstborn daughter.  My Ali Ve.  See how it’s spelled?  Ali Ve.  I didn’t plan that.  It just IS.  Ali Ve.

My husband throws a white Frisbee up ahead.  It glows in the moonlight.  We are alone in the dark.  Under the stars.

I feel my heart skip.

Yes…talk to me of change.  Once I was unafraid.   I could open my heart and say, “YES!” to life.  And now, I know that babies sometimes die, and when they do, they take a heartbeat with them.  Skip.  Skip.  Skip.

I put my hand on my husband’s shoulder and look him in the eyes.  “I don’t know yet.  I just don’t know.”

His smile fades a tiny bit, but the sparkle in his eyes remains.

“You don’t need to know today, my love.  You just need to breathe. “

Breathe.  Skip.  Breathe. Skip.  Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.

Babies sometimes die.

And sometimes they live.

It is the living part that keeps me breathing.  It is the dying part that keeps me skipping a beat.

Babies sometimes live.

And sometimes they die. 

In either case, change IS.


Author Bio:

Sara Clement is a professional freelance writer and editor with a background in premedical sciences and psychology. After three spread out 1st trimester miscarriages, and losing twin sons to still births six weeks apart in the spring of 2009, Sara gave birth to her rainbow baby girl, Alicia Venus, in September 2011. She enjoys living and hiking in the mountains of Missoula, Montana with her children and husband of 17 years, Ty Clement, who works as a clinical therapist and is the author of Being Ourself. Together they have begun working on the sequel, Being Ourself, Loving Ourselves and on a clinical self help book The Golden Way. Sara is currently manifesting her own brain-child, Myths About Grief and Loss: a social commentary and blogs at Reflections of A Butterfly. Other inhabitants of her “Jungle House” include her sentient Old English Sheep dog, a Basset Hound with a teaspoon of brains, a Pug with a size complex, a mellow Lop eared rabbit, a sleepy Greek tortoise, and a sly silver Ferret.

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  1. Alyssa Carter says:

    “Babies sometimes die. Babies sometimes live. In either case, change IS.”

    I love that!! Thank you so much for sharing. After losing Noel and Natalie (at different times), the thought of pregnancy terrifies me. You’re right though, whether my future babybabies lives or dies, I am forever changed.

    • Forever changed…. by all events. Every one of them! Good and Bad, Joyful and Sad. These are the things that shape us into who we are to be. For the rest of our existence. No matter the outcome….it just IS.

  2. You are a beautiful writer. Thank you for this…

    • Thank you! :o) It is my readers who make it possible for me to be a writer. Without you…my words are as silent as a tree falling without anyone to hear it.

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