embryoMelissa opened the door to the OB/GYN’s clinic. She’d started seeing Dr Sabinsky at the six week mark, and their meetings had already taken on a brisk predictability.

How are you feeling? Any food cravings? No pica? Good, good. Go to the community clinic for an ultrasound. Take some more folic acid. Bulk-billing is available. Good-bye.

This time, she had a sunken face, and shadows under her eyes.

When Dr Sabinsky said hello, she didn’t respond.

She shuffled into the clinic, and sat down in the chair opposite his.

“It’s kicking,” was all she said.

“That’s great,” Sabinsky’s PR smile lit up the room. “You must be so excited.”

Melissa shook her head.

Didn’t look excited. Not even a little bit.

“I don’t know what’s happening, or what I’ve done wrong.” She said, slowly. It was as if speaking cost her dearly. “I don’t even know if there’s a point in coming to you. The baby’s kicking.”

Sabinsky’s smile widened, and then he was off and running, reciting one of the dozen canned speeches that he gave over and over to women in this clinic. “So you’re feeling confused? Not sure what to make of all this? Don’t worry, that’s absolutely normal. Your hormones are on a rollercoaster, but all your metrics are right on point – this has just about been a model pregnancy. What we’ll do next is book you in for a multiple marker test, just to make one hundred percent sure everything’s going to plan in there…”

Melissa shook her head.

“…and I’ve got some more supplements for you to take, and we’ll also get you started on some Kegel exercises. Never too early to start strengthening up your pelvic floor. And then we’ll…”

“I miscarried.” She blurted out.

He stared at her. “What?”

“Last week. I lost the baby.” The words left her mouth like vomit. “My husband and I woke up, and the bed was just a lake of blood.”


So why do I still feel it kicking?” Her voice rose, containing a shrill note of panic. She pulled up the hem of her maternity skirt, exposing her swollen belly. “Can you answer that, doc? What do I have inside me?

He was the doctor. He had an answer for everything.

But when he put his hands on her gravid stomach, and felt something stirring within, he found that he didn’t, and couldn’t.

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