October 14, 2010


I dreamed I was packing -- getting ready to move, as I often do -- and I was very depressed. I was depressed because a few months earlier, I'd had another baby that died.

So I'm packing, alone, and I lift up a box and come across these two photos, lying on the floor. One is of my baby, being born, from my own perspective. The other is of the same baby, and me; a self-portrait. And I start to cry, remembering what happened that day.

I remember I was all alone when my baby was born, in the same shabby house where I am in the dream. I delivered him myself. But he was dead, and there was no one else around, and so I took these two photos to remember him by, to prove to myself and everyone else that he was really here, that I wasn't crazy or faking it.

But the picture of us together is bizarre, and makes me feel very strange. I realize, as I'm looking at it, that the baby has a huge smile on his face; he is lying on my chest, wrapped in a blanket, grinning away. His tiny face is so sweet and vibrant, right there next to mine; and yet I look crushed and bedraggled and desperately sad. And I slowly realize how weird this is, how he's so happy and I'm so sad. And I begin to feel a little frightened.

Then a friend of mine walks in and sees me crying, and asks me what's wrong, so I show her the photos. She says, "Oh. Oh, honey; your baby didn't die. We came, and we tried to tell you, but you were so upset. You didn't understand. But she's fine, I promise. She's here, and she's beautiful, and her name is Havana."

And that just floors me, for so many reasons, and I sit and gape at my friend, and all I can think is, "WHAT?!" because I believed my baby was dead, and also that it was a boy, and how could I be so very wrong, and what else was I wrong about, and what might I have forgotten -- and why on earth was my daughter named after a city in Cuba?! And where was she anyway, because I needed to see her immediately, this miracle baby who'd been alive all along.

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