First of all, thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you for the messages and the posts and the emails. Thank you for the compassion that oozed out of my computer all weekend. I actually spent this weekend alone (I’ll get to that, although short version: Steve = Jerk), so your support meant even that much more. Here’s an Almond Joy for each of you, unless you don’t like coconut in which case I also have three different kinds of Kit-Kats (actually, seriously, does anyone want these white chocolate ones? They are disturbing,) Peppermint Patty Bites, Peanut M&Ms, and Hershey’s Miniatures. I have lingering morning sickness (why? WHY?) so the thought of wine nauseates me (where is Big Chief when I need him?) Chocolate, by default, has been the vice du choix around here.
So, the bad parts:
I was so nervous before she started the ultrasound that my legs were shaking. The nurse had trouble inserting the wand, so help me, as I was shimmying like an unbalanced washing machine. Hey! You know those beds that vibrate for a quarter? You know the kind of motels you can find those beds in? You know why people go there? Well, it was sort of like that but I am not in high school anymore and it wasn’t Fun.
Steve wasn’t there and I couldn’t see the screen, so I watched her face. I knew within half a second that there was no longer a heartbeat by the way her mouth tightened. She went to get another nurse who was “more used to this machine” and asked if I wanted to hold the wand while she stepped next door. I sure did! At least, for about half a minute, I was able to live my dream of giving myself the damn ultrasound. Have you ever waited and waited for the Big One and looked at the machine and thought, “I could take a quick peek right now. How do you fire this puppy up?”
The other nurse couldn’t find the heartbeat either but she kept saying that maybe she had the wrong angle. Nurse Original suggested about fifty times that she measure the embryo while Nurse Pinchhitter dithered. Finally she took measurements and we were a week short. She suggested a higher resolution ultrasound at the hospital and I shouted “Oh Dear God NO!” or something like that. Call a grape a grape here, people. Be brave, I can take it. But they kept spouting silly possibilities until ultimately I was the one to break it to them gently, “I’m sorry, but in the absence of expected growth and no visible heartbeat I think we can safely assert that this pregnancy is over.”
I went home and crawled into bed and cried under the covers for about an hour. Then, in no particular order: Patrick developed a high fever and vomited all over himself and the car; Steve left for the weekend; I woke up at 4am and started worrying about an escape route for Patrick if someone breached our surprisingly elaborate security system (inherited from the whacked-out paranoiacs who built this house- think gates and alarms and sensors EVERYWHERE like a Pink Panther movie- but actually kind of nice when Steve is away) and never slept again; Patrick was so overwhelmed by love for me as we cuddled and tickled in my bed that he brought the back of his head smashing down on my mouth and split my lip in four places; and the power went out. Which means we had no water and Patrick could not watch The Red Balloon.
I am embarrassed to tell you that Steve decided to keep his weekend plans, which involved an out-of-state tournament. One wants people to think that one has nice hair and a deevy husband but you would have to be a complete fucking moron to believe a deevy husband leaves his wife with a sick toddler and dead embryo. What can I say? Steve has many wonderful qualities but he also has some limitations, empathy being one of them. In addition he possesses a singularly rigid mind and has, ahem, trouble changing his plans. So let us all agree that I am not getting the support from my husband that one likes to see in the best marriages. And when I tell you that I kinda sorta retaliated in his absence by buying a new digital camera so expensive it should have come with a space shuttle attached feel free to click your tongues and pencil “Julia’s Marriage: ?” in your margins. Actually we’re cool, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.
So, overall, I am saddened. We really wanted this baby. I am frustrated by how random it all is. I am utterly at a loss as to what to do next. I mean next as in should I get a D&C and next as in should we try again unassisted or move to IVF or what? Steve set up an appointment to get his sperm tested so we can finally know what percentage is all fucked up. Steve guesses 78%, I am going with 88%. I think I am going to put up a poll on the side here somewhere so you guys can play along from home if you like.
So those are the bad parts from the past few days, but there are some good parts:
More than feeling sad I am feeling… combative. I am feeling empowered, like I would if I knew how to kickbox. I feel like someone just said, “You want another child? Well, HA! No way, never!” and I want to shout back, “Oh yeah? Just watch me!”
I can get through this. I WILL get through this. I am not going to be defeated or permanently deflated by the fact that we have been dealt a reproductive euchre hand of five 9s. I am going to keep trying to have a second child and I am going to be happy while I am doing it. Tra-la-la. So there, genetic mutation.