Nata’s baby

I’ve been wondering why the pregnancy I lost feels like Nata’s baby. What is the “ours” about? And I wonder if there are little parts who don’t understand about human reproduction and don’t know that two girls can’t make a baby. Well, maybe, I don’t know.

But it seems to me more that we were married. Any child of mine was going to be hers also. It was going to feel that way.

Charlie seems to remember everything about the pregnancy. He remembers the anxiety about what to do and looking at my mother’s knitting needles—because what kind of life is going to be available to this child? And he remembers not being able to do anything more than that, not being able to hurt her, not being able to allow anyone else to do it either. Even if that would actually be better. He remembers that the fetus is buried in the backyard under the peach tree.

So I’m not very surprised that he remembers other things. I’m not surprised that he says I was four months pregnant or something close to it when I miscarried, or that he remembers peeing on the coloured strip in Nata’s bathroom, or that he remembers telling Nata that I think I might be pregnant in the first place.

He remembers Nata’s hugs too, because she can’t help but be happy about this little one inside me even if it’s actually a terrible, terrible thing and nothing good can come of it for either me or the baby.

But then, of course, Nata died. I was still pregnant, but Nata was dead. I still had the worry of it, the anxiety of it.

Yuri would most certainly have forced me to have an abortion if he’d known, which might have been the best thing, but I couldn’t bear that.

And I didn’t know what else he might have done to me when he found out. He didn’t like when the girls got pregnant. He thought they were careless, that it was their fault. Birth control just isn’t completely reliable. He couldn’t understand that. An angry Yuri was not a safe Yuri to be around. So there was that.

After Nata died, I didn’t go back again. I didn’t see him. There were only my parents to turn to, and I didn’t know what they would do. Whatever they wanted, I would have no choice about it. An abortion would have been out of the question, but I didn’t know if they would have forced me to raise it.

I couldn’t fathom raising that child in my father’s house. I felt, I think, the way Nata had felt. I can’t let what will happen to a child growing up in this environment happen to my child. I think I felt that very strongly. It would be better for the child to die.

And yet I couldn’t hurt it.

It was agonizing. And Nata wasn’t there to consult about it. She wasn’t there to ask, or to try to things through with. It was just me. I had to sort the whole thing alone.


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