I inherited the herb garden when we bought our townhouse and quickly learned that it's virtually impossible to kill rosemary. I'll prune or trim once a year—maybe—but the truth is it grows on its own—except for one patch of earth between the jasmine and the indestructible citrus tree. The patch gets plenty of sun, and the same amount of attention (or lack thereof) as the rest of the garden, and yet it yields nothing.

Our wedding anniversary is November 2. I love cut flowers, and by mid-October I'm dropping hints. My husband almost always comes through, so each year after the store-bought flowers have wilted, I lay them in the garden over that barren patch of ground, and hope something will grow.

This November, the week before our ninth wedding anniversary, I had a miscarriage. For weeks my body held onto the life we had created, refusing to believe, as did my mind, that it wasn't a life. So on the advice of my doctor I made an appointment for a "D&C," as it appeared I wasn't going to "pass" the baby on my own, or what a nurse casually referred to as the "evidence of conception."

I was at a writer's retreat in the Texas Hill Country in September when I realized I was late. For two years the months had come and gone and we wondered if we'd ever get pregnant again (our daughter was born in 2006). I didn't believe it. I checked and rechecked the dates, then waited another week before casually adding a pregnancy test to my grocery list. When I finally took the test, three actually, each one revealed the same pink plus sign, shadowy like an impressionist watercolor.

I made an appointment for an ultrasound; it was early, 5 weeks 6 days. The bubbly ultrasound technician printed a little snapshot with the word "baby!" typed beside what ...

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