I. Love. Halloween.
Always have. I love horror movies (yeah, I’ve got a blog for that, too). I love dressing up. As a kid, I was drawn to Goosebumps and Fear Street novels, thriving on the gloom and doom, savoring the scares. My costumes tended towards the gruesome, vampires, zombies, fake blood and wounds. Even as an adult, I felt more comfortable covered in gore than I did attempting to pout and be coy with sexy animal ears and risqué necklines.
I love the parties, the buzz, the excitement; pumpkin carving, handing out candy, the cheesy soundtracks featuring Monster Mash.
The husband proposed to me on Halloween.
I love Halloween.
Two years ago, on Halloween, I had my second ultrasound with Pep.
The first pegged her at 6 weeks.
This scan was just a few days past 12 weeks.
This scan had me anxious, shaking. This scan had me in tears on the way to the hospital.
This scan had me dredging up aching memories, had me hearing an echo, an eternal echo that will ring in my mind forever. A distant echo, softly saying, ‘there’s no heartbeat. I’m so sorry.’
And with it, more than an echo of a hurt that still exists and still shocks me, even now. A Fracture on the time line of my life, on my heart. That jolt that shuddered through me as I knew my baby was gone.
Two years ago, I waited. Tears pushed against my eyes, eager to burst forth and free. My breathing was shallow and staggered.
I walked into that room, where my heart once shattered. I could hear that sharp crash resounding in the dim light, the memories of joyous moments and devastating losses permeating the very walls, my own tragedy just one of a million.
My heart pounded furiously as I recalled that fateful scan at 17 weeks that revealed a child dead at 11w 6 days. Heart breakingly shy of the proverbial safe zone of 12 weeks.
Dread hung over me, heavy like cement, as I lay waiting for information. Trying not to be certain that this baby, too, hadn’t made it to 12 weeks.
The silence of an ultrasound tech can be the loudest silence some of us will ever hear.
That Halloween, two years ago, is when I heard Pep’s steady, healthy heart, beating strong, healing my own, just a bit, with every tiny thud.
Two years, I saw the image of my sweet, strong girl, alive. She had lived. She was living.
Somehow on this Halloween, I believed that she could.
We floated home, giddy, on a cloud. We spied excited trick or treaters, and headed in to make popcorn and watch some cheesy horror as our little Pep carried on and on, right there with us.