Marshall was screaming for milk.
Austin was screaming to go outside.
Bryan was complaining about wanting sex.
The cat was knocking over stuff in the kitchen.
...It's overwhelming in our house lately...
I noticed the day's mail was on the table.
Marshall started screaming just for the hell of it.
Austin started screaming because Marshall was screaming.
The cat moved to using my leg as a scratching post.
Dinner was almost done. Laundry still needed to be done.
Marshall needed a bath. Homework needed to be done.
I needed a break. A few minutes of silence. Of fresh air. Of nothing. Just a few minutes of nothing.
I flipped through the mail. Junk. Junk. Another book for class. More junk. A manila envelope. Medical Records, it said.
I'd been waiting for that one.
I'm getting out of the Navy in a couple months, and I have to start the separation physicals and VA evaluations. I need to make sure Emergency Room visits are documented properly. Most times, they aren't.
I held the envelope in my hands for a minute. I vividly remember every single visit to this hospital. I just wanted to skim through it, make sure all the right dates are in there.
I flipped through Marshall's allergic reaction. A pulled shoulder muscle. An intercostal injury in the ribs. A lab report. A miscarriage. An ultrasound. A radiology report.
The ultrasound that saw my baby alive, but surrounded by blood.
I have memorized every bit of that ultrasound, that report, that paper that said you're bleeding but we think every thing is okay so we are sending you home. I have read it to myself in my head over and over and over again throughout the past two years.
Spotting. No fluid leakage. US performed. Anterior placenta. No abnormalities.
I read it again, for old time's sake.
A single living intrauterine gestation. Breech position. Anterior placenta. 164 beats per minute. Blood clot measuring 1.8 x 1.0 x 2.0 cm. Normal amniotic fluid.
But wait. What's this? This isn't the report I remember reading. This isn't even the diagnosis I was given upon discharge.
A blood clot?
A blood clot with a location and a size?
A blood clot that I just happened upon by chance, two years later.
A blood clot that was never mentioned to me, that was never discussed with me, that was never written in any of the papers forwarded to my primary doctor, in my primary medical record.
A blood clot that, two days later, was most definitely involved in the premature birth and death of my son.
All I wanted was a few minutes of silence to pull myself together in all this chaos. Now all I can hear is silence. Shattering, deafening silence.