A Sunday story written on a Saturday, and not an easy read. Not an easy write either.
Count all of your blessings.
She was born eighteen days ago. Our baby was. She came home six days after that.
We haven’t slept at all since then, or at least not real sleep, not the kind of sleep when you are sleeping. I don’t think we will ever again. I don’t think we will sleep. I don’t know how we can.
April hasn’t gotten dressed either. Until today. Today is her first day getting dressed. But it’s not going very well. I saw that she didn’t match up the buttons properly on her blouse. It was resting crookedly across her breasts and there were wet spots there too.
I hate them. I want them to go way.
We should have realized that we don’t know anything about being a mother and a father and we should not have become them. We just weren’t made for this and everyone knows. They can see it written all over us, oozing out of our pores, our lack of mothering and fathering. We’ve been so inadequate.
“April?” I call to her softly, so softly she probably can’t even hear me.
Or maybe she just pretends she doesn’t. Maybe she is still crying over the buttons on her blouse.
And its two wet spots.
Maybe she is still crying over everything. All of these eighteen days.
She cries all the time. Every moment.
I call to her again. I am not any louder though. Maybe I am even softer this time.
We do everything softly now. We are so quiet. We hardly even exist.
And suddenly I know something. It is a thing that relieves me and hurts me terribly at the same time. Suddenly I know that we will not stay married. We will end this and I don’t know how soon it will be but it won’t take a very long time. Perhaps it will be today.
I go away then. I don’t call her anymore. She’s not answering. She can’t. I go into our baby’s room instead. Amelia. I go into Amelia’s room.
For a moment I don’t know what to do there, but then I move toward her crib. I stand over it. My tie rests on the railing. I look down at all the pink bedding and the stuffed bunny, the sweet bunny we bought on our way home after they told us that she would be a girl, the bunny that April named Peter as we talked about how our baby would one day bring that bunny to college and then to an apartment after she got her first job. We dreamed that the bunny would make it to her wedding, that maybe I’d hide it in my jacket as I walked her down the aisle.
I start to reach into the crib. I think I will pick up the bunny. I will see how that feels, to pick it up. My fingers brush against it’s fur and I close my eyes but the doorbell rings then.
I pull my hand back, step away from the crib.
I don’t want them to be here, but I’m glad they are. They will help us. We can’t do this without them. We can’t bury our daughter without our parents.