It was around this time six months ago my husband and I lost our first, accidental pregnancy to anencephaly. While the pregnancy was not planned, our outlook had essentially become, “well, the kid’s coming, so let’s get excited!” And so we did. That’s why at week 13 losing the baby was devastating, despite our initial reaction filled with tears and cursewords and no fewer than 4 home pregnancy tests. We had come full circle to the idea of life with kids and gotten to the point where we were pumped.
Our friends could not have been more supportive and wonderful when we lost the baby, and one of the thoughtful gifts we received as a beautiful magnolia-type tree. We dutifully planted the tree in a pot we had open and watered it to specific instructions and put it in the corner of our balcony where it would have the optimal amount of sunlight, according to the card that came attached to the tree.
And then it died.
I kept looking at it out the window, baffled, wondering what I had done wrong in the planting, if I should be more adult and own a yard where trees might have more room or something, and maybe next time I should try to grow something easier, like a cactus. Or a wax plant.
Winter came soon thereafter, and honestly, I sort of forgot about the tree. No, I completely forgot about the tree. I traveled some, it snowed a few times, and honestly I just bundled up and hunkered down (are those competing analogies? Either way, it’s what happened. Go with it.). We found out about this pregnancy very early February, and were immensely nervous considering what happened last time, and then found out it was twins, only to find out it wasn’t twins after all. Needless to say, on the list of “things Taylor is thinking about”, the tree was pretty down at the bottom with the type of sodding my apartment complex does to maintain the green grass through the spring. That is to say, it occupied almost exactly 0% of my brainspace.
Finally, one day, after another successful ultrasound and learning that this baby was for really-truly-real this time…I looked out…and there was a flower blooming on the assumed-dead magnolia.
Six months later, a dead tree decided that in fact it was alive and well…and sprouting a beautiful flower to commemorate this new passage in our life when we finally realized we are, in fact, in the clear.
I couldn’t talk to anyone about the flower other than my husband for a long time, thinking that it was too eerie and too symbolic to say it out loud. But here we are, over 13 weeks in, and finally I can’t help it anymore.
The damn flowers are blooming, and spring has sprung abounding with symbolism.