To the baby that was, and then wasn't.

Friday, January 17, 2014

I don't believe in luck. But as I stare at the number on waiting room 8, I can't help but think to myself that for someone superstitious, eight would be an auspicious number.
I stare at the wall and wait. It is beige. Did they choose off-white so that the room would seem less cold?
It doesn't seem warmer.

I look at the blood pressure cuff hanging from the wall.
Blood. There is so much. Too much to be normal.

I want the doctor to come in, to tell me that it is normal, to tell me it will all be okay. But I know that isn't what she will tell me. The Internet has made me my own doctor.

I stare at the thin white roll of paper atop the examination bed. Vinyl peeks out on either side. Do they disinfect that bare area?

The doctor walks in. Her round belly tells me she is well into her second, maybe third (?) trimester. I smirk inside. I am not jealous, not sad. I think I will feel envious, but the feeling doesn't come. I just think that it is ironic that I am here, with you, you who are perhaps no longer, and the one walk-in doctor that could see me is so charmingly pregnant.

She has a soft voice. I can tell she feels badly for me. She rolls her chair closer to the desk, as if to conceal her belly. She asks me a few questions. I cry. She doesn't flinch and tells me it could be normal or it could be a sign of a miscarriage. She tells me it's not my fault. Then she repeats it, as if to make sure I heard her. I barely hear what she is saying; my mind is elsewhere. Her voice is soft and gentle. Like a warm breeze on a summer's evening. I like her. She tells me it is now just a waiting game.
I watch her type in her notes on the computer: threatened abortion or possible ectopic.


We bought you green shoes. The day we found out, we bought you green shoes. We bought them bigger so you could wear them when you were older. They were thirty-five dollars, and your father didn't even flinch. That's how I knew he was, truly, very, emphatically excited. Your father hates it when I buy shoes.

We were so excited. We shared secret smiles with each other all day. I liked that. A secret that no one else in the world knew except your father and I.

Now, we have a different kind of secret. I now know why so few people mention the 'm' word. miscarriage. I haven't been to work in three days. I don't know how to explain to people this sadness i feel. I play the scenario out in my head: Good news! We're pregnant! Bad news. I've been bleeding for twelve days and it's only getting worse.

You're here and yet not.


The doctor's office just called. hi, this is the doctor's office calling on behalf of dr.______. She would like you to make an appointment for your blood test results. 

Can I come in now?

No, sorry, she has already left for the weekend. Best to come in on Monday.

It's only Thursday and I know that you'll be gone by Monday.

There is so much blood.

I think you're already gone.


Tonight, I took out your green shoes. We stared at them for awhile. I guess the first pair of shoes our next child will have will be hand-me-downs, your father quipped. Then we tucked them back into the box, neatly, one after the other. I put them up on the shelf, where they'll stay. Ready for you to share with your little brother or sister one day.


There is much sorrow tonight. There is also thankfulness. Thankfulness that I was so privileged as to spend these few weeks with you. And, for some reason, much hope. Hope that in this, God is doing something far more than I know or understand.  There is not a note that is out of tune in His song.
I am sitting in the quiet. The gentle rumblings of a snore coming from the little pug lying next to me that you will never meet. Her little furry head has been resting on my belly all day. There isn't much left to say tonight. Only feelings of sorrow and grief alloyed with growing gratefulness and hope and thankfulness.


Butter Chicken & Sweet Potato Lasagna

Sunday, June 9, 2013

So yesterday, HH is all like, "Hey wanna hang out with our friends M & D for dinner?" I was feeling pretty tired, but I had this huge hankering for nachos, so I agreed.

An hour later, HH asks me what I'm making, and I gaze at him all confused, my dreams of nachos coming to a halt.

"Aren't we going out?"

"I told them to come over. They're going to be here in an hour and a half. We can just stick one of our frozen lasagnas in the oven."

Um. Nope, boy. That isn't how I roll. When people come over, we do things proper with the fixins, because I'm all southern like that.

So I looked in our fridge and pantry, and saw that we had chicken, oven-ready lasagna noodles, lots of basil, tomatoes and mushrooms. And a glorious thought came to mind.

Butter chicken lasagna.

And it was all like God was up in that idea, because when I ran next door to get groceries, butter chicken sauce was on sale for 99 cents. NINETY NINE FREAKING CENTS. And it wasn't even the no-name kind, but the kind that actually looks legit (well, as legit as you can get with butter chicken, which is kind of like the Orange Chicken of the Indian world).

Yes, I could have made my own sauce, but NINETY NINE CENTS.

And coconut milk was also on sale. For EIGHTY NINE CENTS.

The Chinese in me was an olympic trampolinist (Trampoliner?) at that moment.

I was slightly worried because, really, I was pulling the recipe out of my butt, but when it finally came altogether, it was good. So good that the four of us ate like we had just tunnelled out of North Korea and had never seen food before.

Butter Chicken & Sweet Potato Lasagna (serves 6 HANGRY people)
(I don't really measure when I cook, so adapt as you see fit!)

Pull out a 9x13 pyrex dish and heat up your oven to 400 degrees.

Butter Chicken
4 Chicken breasts, cut in thin slices
1 Can Coconut Milk divided in half
2 jars Butter Chicken Sauce
half a red onion, diced

Fry the red onion until aromatic. Then dump in chicken and fry until cooked through. Pour in one jar of butter chicken sauce and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Pour in half the can of coconut milk, let it heat through and reserve this Butter Chicken in a bowl.

In the same wok, pour in the other jar of butter chicken sauce, the rest of the coconut milk and let simmer until heated through. Set aside.


15 strips oven-ready lasagna noodles
475 g Ricotta
1 cup basil, chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 package frozen spinach, thawed
pinch of salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced
200g sweet potatoes cut into thin rounds (use a mandoline for best results)
Mozzarella & Cheddar, grated to cover the lasagna

Mix ricotta, basil, spinach, tomatoes, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Cover the bottom of the pyrex with a layer of Butter Chicken. Then lay down 5 noodles. Cover noodles with a generous amount of the ricotta mixture.
Cover this mixture with a layer of sweet potatoes and then lay down another 5 noodles.
Spread more butter chicken on top of the noodles and repeat the process!

When it comes to the last layer, instead of the sweet potatoes, use the mushrooms, and then finish off the butter chicken.

Place the last 5 noodles on top, and then pour the plain butter chicken + coconut sauce all over the noodles. This moisture on top will prevent the top noodle layer from curling in the oven. Finally, pour the grated cheese all over the top, as you see fit (for me, the cheesier the better!)

Cover with tinfoil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove tinfoil, turn the temperature down to 350, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Sorry about the poor quality pictures! We had guests, so I pulled out HH's phone to snap some quick pictures. I assure you, it tastes WAY better than it looks!!


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