Yesterday, I woke up after an intense hour-long afternoon nap and reached over to feel the slow rise and fall of Hugh’s belly. Always on the edge of sleep deprivation, I rarely sleep without Hugh beside me, and even in my dreams, I’m aware of his presence. But this time, he wasn’t there.
I threw back the sheets. I threw the pillows off the bed. I pushed back the covers. I stared, blinking, at the empty bed, listened to the sound of the silent house. Then I grabbed my cell phone and dialed Tasha’s work number. When she answered, I said hysterically, “I’ve lost the baby!”
“You’ve lost the baby?”
“Yes! I’ve looked everywhere. Where IS he? He’s gone!”
“Calm down, babe. Isn’t he with your sister?”
My sister had arrived the night before, and that afternoon, I had handed off the baby to her to take a blissful and uninterrupted nap.
“Amy,” I said with a relieved shudder. “My sister. I completely forgot she was here.”
I hung up the phone while Tasha muttered something about mommy drinking gin again.
I found Amy who held a sleeping Hugh in her arms, rocking back and forth in the plush navy rocker. I put my hand on his back and fell the gentle rise and fall.