The Pictures Tell Lies
When we took these photos, I was newly pregnant, and although outwardly I kept telling everyone around me that I was scared, deep down I didn’t really think anything would go wrong. Just getting to this point had been such a huge step for me. It had meant overcoming a lifetime’s worth of pregnancy-related fear: of telling myself I would never be a mother, because the risks were just too great, and I couldn’t afford to take them. And I guess I felt that I had done my bit: I had somehow managed to get past the fear and do it anyway, and that now surely the universe would step in and reward me for my bravery by making sure nothing would go wrong?
(When we took these photos, I did not believe in the universe’s ability to do any such thing, but I felt it anyway: which just goes to show what I know…)
When we took these photos, I had a vague idea in my head that I’d use them as a pregnancy announcement when the time came. That I’d one day show them to my baby, who wouldn’t be remotely interested at the time, obviously, but who might someday look back at them, maybe when I was long gone, and see some of the hope I had for her (because I felt sure it was a her), and maybe some of the love.
When we took these photos, I didn’t know that just a week or so later, I would lose that baby, and all the dreams I’d had along with it. Gone, just like that. A tiny life that barely got started. The rest of my life, ruined.
When we took these photos, I didn’t know that poppies are a symbol often used to represent ectopic pregnancies: or that, just a few months later, I’d end up having one of those, too.
Most of all, I didn’t know that one day I’d look back at these photos and it would hurt this much to see my happy, smiling face, completely oblivious to all that was to come.
But here we are.
The photos can lie.