Today I opened the chapter I was working on before A died. In fact, I must have worked on it after she died, too, because by the time I closed my computer, I’m sure she was dead. The file says it was last modified at 4:29 pm, January 12. At 4:18, I sent R a text saying that Baby Sister hadn’t been her usual active self. I hoped that by sending the text, I could dispel the mounting worry; that as soon as I sent the text she’d start to kick and roll as if to show me, prove me wrong in my worry.

I think – I know – she died that morning. I felt her early in the morning, and her sister felt her as she rested her cheek on my tummy during Sesame Street. I went about my usual Thursday morning activities: dropped E off at daycare, went to the gym, picked up a coffee to take home. I was in a very good mood that morning. My writing was going well, had reached a turning point, and the end seemed to be in sight. The end of the pregnancy, too, seemed in sight: 2 more months, and I knew they would go fast; I wanted to enjoy them, to savour the last days of my last pregnancy. While I waited for my coffee I rubbed my big belly and wished someone would ask me about it, about her. I wonder now: was she already dead?

It is a heartbreaking image to me now. Pregnant, proud and happy and completely ignorant of the fact that the end was not only in sight, but had already begun.