By Cindy Wiggins Tapia

IF is a mighty puny word on which to hang dreams of what might have been…

I had always been like clockwork and when Aunt Flo failed to appear, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive! But the test at Dr. Porter’s clinic in Sugar Hill was negative. Took another test. Positive. Another test at the clinic was negative. So, I gave it up. Continued to smoke, take blood pressure medication, diabetic pills, and aspirin, all of which could potentially harm a baby.

I began having abdominal pain. Aunt Pam took me to Joan Glancy ER. They drew blood and gave me an invasive ultrasound, warning me to remain chaste for a week, otherwise, I could miscarry. I followed orders. The diagnosis? I was five weeks pregnant at almost 44 years old and left that hospital walking a foot off the ground. We stopped at a convenience store to buy Mama some cigarettes, and I told the clerk. My friends made like they were going to faint. Nabo looked at his vitamins, looked down the front of his jeans, and went “Jajajaja!” He let me move in with him. My sister Vickie Davis gave me a guardian angel pendant, and we sat with Mama and cried for what was.

Longstreet OB/GYN on South Lee Street prescribed prenatal vitamins, insulin instead of pills, a safe blood pressure medication. My due date was November 10. The doctor sent me to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville for observation. They did a repeat invasive ultrasound and allowed as how there was no need for me to stay chaste, and I didn’t.

Aunt Pam helped me move my things to Nabo’s rental on Lawson Street. I brought a typing table and a Mr. Coffeemaker to my shack-up. We had a full-size and a twin-size bed, the office chair I’m sitting in right now, and a  five-gallon paint bucket that Nabo sat on. Pam loaned us her 1960s coffee and end tables and gave us two plants. That was it. We didn’t even have an inside garbage can.

“Don’t want a booonch of big bags in the cans outside, me,” he said.

So, he hung grocery bags on a peg on the kitchen window frame and had a booonch of little bags outside. I found a small waste can on the back porch for the bathroom and a good-sized piece of countertop that I laid over my typing table for a desk. I settled in, and we hooked our hopes and dreams on November…

The Sunday after I moved in, I started spotting. On Monday, I began having horrible labor-like pains that led to a miscarriage of the only baby I was ever able to conceive. It almost destroyed me.  I drank a fifth each of Three Fingers tequila and Wild Turkey 101 in a single month.

I somehow knew my baby had been a girl and named her Carol and saw myself holding her in my arms, singing a lullaby, rocking her to sleep, if only…

If I’d been younger. If I’d been thinner. If I’d never smoked. If I’d been in better health. If Dr. Porter’s test had been positive. If I’d kept chaste after that second invasive ultrasound. If she had lived, she’d be 19 this year. IF



Alicia joined the North Gwinnett Voice, as the Editor, shortly after the first publication. She is a homegrown Buford native, with the southern charm and "bless your heart" included. ...

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