Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

The Secret

For about a month, I was keeping a secret. Heather was pregnant – sleepy, boobsie, barfy, wonderfully pregnant. And we were overjoyed.

After almost eight weeks, we lost the baby. That’s a stupid euphemism. It sounds like we forgot where we put it. Like it might be in the couch cushions or behind the stereo. But it’s still easier than saying “miscarriage” or “aborted.” What happened was, Heather started bleeding and couldn’t stop. When it was done, she wasn’t pregnant anymore. It’s not as much a death as it is the loss of potential. A broken promise. A debt.

Heather and I have always been laissez faire about having kids. We love them and Heather’s great with them (I tend to make them cry). We’d seen what happens when people get too baby crazy – the doctors, the drugs, the stress – we didn’t want that to happen to us.

What scares me about saying this out loud is that I’m finally admitting it. We do want kids. We really do.

I believe that storytelling is a way to exert some control over a chaotic universe. Putting words to your stories means that you own them – they don’t own you. So I encouraged Heather to tell her story. And she did. It’s heartbreaking, and it’s true.

My meditation this Rosh Hashanah was about second chances. That sermon has more meaning for me today.

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Hi, I’m Derek. I used to make websites. Now I grow flowers and know things. I’m mostly harmless. More.