based on true events
Monday, October 13, 2008: It was a brisk October morning in the suburbs of Boston. Kelsey rushed out the front door, dragging her hockey gear behind her and jumped into the front passenger seat of her friend’s cherry red Jeep Wrangler.
Jack Johnson’s Banana Pancakes is blaring and the girls start belting out the lyrics. That’s their version of “good morning, how are you, I’m just fine.” Kelsey pulls down the sun visor and examines her skin, making faces into the mirror. She leans forward to lower the volume.
“Becca, I’m really not feeling tonight’s strength and conditioning. I have that term paper to finish for Mr. Leeds.”
“Girl, you can do both. This is your year to snatch up that scholarship. Stop complaining, we call you Wonder Woman for a reason.”
Kelsey’s been told she has a promising future in collegiate women’s ice hockey and whichever specialty within engineering she chooses, but as of late she’s been most concerned with the future of her and Jeremy, her boyfriend of nearly a year. They began dating as sophomores, having grown up three doors apart.
What Jeremy doesn’t know is that Kelsey is ten weeks pregnant. Kelsey has been trying to play it cool with her parents, with her friends, with Jeremy. She hasn’t told a single soul, but she knows she is keeping the baby.
Kelsey is tempted to phone her pediatrician with every gurgle in her stomach.
Saturday, October 25, 2008: Her alarm sounds at 5:45 AM so she’ll get to practice by 6:15 for a 6:30 start. Kelsey’s coach calls these the “how bad do you want it” wake up calls.
Eyes half-open, Kelsey wets her toothbrush when an abdominal cramp jolts her body toward the sink. Her blue toothpaste smears across the sink bowl. She bends over, wrapping her arms across her body near her naval.
Kelsey, hurled over, walks over to the toilet seat. She doesn’t know what her body may do next, but it’s now 5:52 and she’s going to be late for practice. When the cramping temporarily subsides, she begins to undress. As her underwear fall to the ground, so with it falls her heart.
She knows what has just happened, she is looking at a live picture of one of Ms. Munoz’s health class slides. Unraveling a roll of toilet paper, Kelsey begins to fold pieces back and forth across the palm of her left hand, carefully lifting the embryo and placing it on top of the paper.
She wants to cry but can’t. She wants to scream but won’t.
Kelsey rests the tissue on the vanity and fumbles as she pulls up her sweatpants. She slowly opens the bathroom door, verifying that her parents are still asleep. With her heart literally in her hands, she tiptoes down the stairs, through the kitchen and out the side patio door.
She kneels at her mother’s rose bush, now just thorns and leaves in preparation for winter. There she buries her first child and there the tears flow freely.
Saturday, May 27, 2017: Fast forward nine years, Jeremy and his wife, Kelsey, just bought their first house in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Two Monday’s ago, Kelsey learned that not only was she thirteen weeks pregnant, she was pregnant with twins.
“Right now, talking to you, I’m reminded of that saying – everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. I didn’t tell Jeremy about my miscarriage until we graduated high school. We were drunk one night in college and it all came out- so typical, I know. I didn’t tell my mom until I was twenty-one and my dad found out the same day we told him he was going to be a grandfather.”
Her father’s response, “where there was once pain, often comes new life.”