Heartbeat

Victoria Gloria Photography

By Freya Hill

The morning we first saw you, the little flicker of you, started as rainy and wet. It was the first day of spring, although it still felt very wintry. Your daddy had fixed the brakes on my bike, and I followed him up the hill from our house, on our bikes, in the dark of the weekday morning. 

Your daddy has always looked natural on a bike. I’ve seen a photo of him at only 4 years old, riding a bike with the same confidence and poise that he does now. I, my darling, am not so poised on a bike. 

That morning I wanted to show your daddy that I could go fast too. We crossed the motorway, and continued on the cycle path. I sped up as I went down a hill, I braked hard on the corner, I felt the bike spin out from under me and then I didn’t know where I was. Your daddy pulled my bike from the road where it had landed as I had come spinning off. He tried to work out if I was hurt. I wanted to push on riding to work, but also, I didn’t know where I was. 

As the ambulance pulled up, I asked your daddy “Am I still pregnant?”

You were just our little secret then. We hadn’t told anyone yet. I remember your daddy saying to the paramedics “My wife is 10 weeks pregnant.” I remember one of the paramedics explaining to the trainee paramedic who was also there “Because the pregnancy is not yet passed 12 weeks, it’s not considered viable yet. We will know more at the hospital.” 

Your daddy never looked nervous or worried, but I didn’t know exactly what was happening. I’m sure he was worried. My brain was working hard to reorder the cards that had all been shuffled when my head had hit the concrete of the cycle path. My helmet – an old one we had just ordered a replacement for – didn’t even look like it had been damaged. 

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