Pacific coast, California

There are two versions of me. In one version I know I did everything I could. My worst regret is drinking half a can of Red Bull on those mornings I struggled to get out of bed. In that reality, I know it’s not my fault. I loved you more than life itself.

On other days, things are different. I was so stubborn. I held on because I wanted the perfect birth story. I ignored the protocols because my body should have been enough. I failed you. I let you die.

The first version would forgive me for not knowing you were dying inside of me, but the second says it was my job to know. It was my job to keep you safe.

Both versions live inside of me. Both versions hurt, and cry, and rage. I miss you so much. My arms ache.