February 26, 2008
The noise coming from down the hallway is Annabelle, making the mommy dollhouse figure give the baby dollhouse figure a timeout.
My eyes burn and my head, even my hair, throbs from the last couple hours of crying. It’s been just four months since Sophia died.
I turn and make my way to the linen closet just down the hall and open the door. Like everything else in my life these days, it’s completely out of control. We brought way too much for this small, temporary place that is supposed to be home. Ninety-percent of the junk in the closet has not been used in the two months we’ve lived here. I was selfish when I packed up our four-bedroom house in Mankato just a couple weeks after Sophia died. But I was angry with God for taking her and then taking our home. I wanted to bring everything she had touched.
 I push the thought of a quick straightening-up session to the back of my head because I have something more important to do. I grab the white and pink box that has been hiding in the way back and close the door. I make my way back down the creaky hallway to the bathroom.
How different this is from all the other times I’ve taken a pregnancy test. The excited anticipation is not here this time. The urgent desperation to see those two pink lines absent. Instead, my body and mind feel cold and numb.
I tear the box open and throw it into the trash along with the instructions, which I of course do not need after the number of tests I took trying to get pregnant before.
Pee on the test strip.
Wait two minutes.
Observe the two dark pink lines in the test strip window.
I’m pregnant.
I get to see my own reaction to the news because I glance up from the test and see my reflection in the mirror. And I think I’m smiling. Am I actually happy? Yes, I’m really smiling. I must be happy! Yes, I remember this feeling!
I practically skip down the hallway, now unaware of the creaks and groans from the floorboards. I scoop Annabelle up from her play spot on the white rug and squeeze her until I feel her bones and she tosses back her head laughing.
“Guess what?” I ask her.
“What?” she replies with genuine anticipation.
“Mommy’s going to have a baby!” I announce.
“Ooooh,” she says with still genuine, but slightly confused, excitement.
Then she smiles, too. Is she actually happy?
She sits back down in front of her dollhouse, picks up the mommy figure, then baby figure, and in her nice mommy voice asks the baby, “who wants ice cream for breakfast?”