Today I found myself thinking like an insane person.

I took myself out to the coffee shop to do some work while R was home with E. It’s a beautiful late summer day, the feeling of fall in the air, and I am constantly remembering this time last year: the end of my first trimester, the sense that I had made it through, that we were actually going to have another baby in our family. Fall feels like Anja’s season, the time we were happiest, September to Christmas, and I find myself dreading the next several weeks.

I sit down at the coffee shop next to a woman who is also sitting by herself, except that after about 10 minutes another woman comes to join her and this one has a baby, a five-week-old baby girl. I can’t stop staring at the baby or eavesdropping on their conversation, torturing myself. The baby is hungry so her mother feeds her, covering her lightly with a nursing blanket and I feel some relief. I put my headphones in to block their conversation.

And then the baby is finished eating and is uncovered again. She is alert, her eyes open and when I look over at her, she seems to be looking right at me, directly into my own eyes.

First I think, she is sending me a message; she is telling me that Anja is all right.

This thought, which comes to me unbidden, is slightly unsettling because I do not typically think this way; I do not imagine messages from the dead coming to me from living newborns.

But then I have another idea: maybe she is Anja. Maybe that baby with the quick dark eyes is my Anja, come back to someone else, to the wrong mother, some cruel cosmic joke. For a quick second, I want to grab her and run. Put my lips to her soft head and tell her everything will be all right now, that I have found her again, that I won’t let her go, ever.

I am stunned by this thought, by the fact that I have thought it. It was just a quick thought, a sudden flash and then my mind righted itself again and the shock of it flooded through me. I am officially the crazy dead baby lady now. I have just looked at another baby and been convinced, even if only for the briefest time, that she was mine. Mine.

And here I though I was doing fairly well this week…