Monday, March 5, 2012

Week Thirty-Nine

so i had a checkup this morning -- and to stave off your inevitable questions i will say up front: all is well and proceeding with textbook normality, and it looks like the little guy might actually decide to arrive around his actual due date. no dilation yet but he's engaged and effacement has started. so yay and stuff.
it was an early-morning appointment -- usually i have the nurse schedule me in as close to 7am as possible so that the clinic is quiet and my fabulous OB isn't too stressed out yet. since she is indeed awesome, and thus takes the time she needs with her patients, this means that later in the day she's inevitably somewhat tired.
the nurse hooked me up to the blood-pressure monitor, strapped the cuff on, and left to attend to something else. since i was right outside the door of the examination room my doctor was in, i could hear everything she was saying, even though it was closed. naturally, i wasn't really paying attention until i heard her say "look, don't be discouraged just because of your age. i can give you the infertility facility's number if you want to find out if they can see you."
suddenly, with those words, i was plunged into an emotional cauldron of a time machine. i remembered the sadness i felt even having to dial that number. my heart clenched recalling the drowning feeling i had when i was told i couldn't even get a consultation simply because of the type of insurance plan i have.
i didn't hear what the patient said, but i heard my doctor again. "yes, eggs do have an 'expiration date,' but really, you've got a lot of good years left, and i think your factors are very treatable. i think we should do some initial tests so we know what we've got to work with. now where are you in your menstrual cycle right now?"
at that moment, Tummymuffin IV put his little foot into my rib cage and wiggled his tiny bottom. and still alone in the nurse's station, my arm strapped into the beeping monitor, i began to cry. i cried for the nameless, faceless woman behind that door because i know her fear and frustration as month after month after month of still getting your period turns into precious time sliding away, irretrievably gone, taking your hope of a child along with it. i cried because i thought about that exhilarating fiery hope of each pregnancy i experienced that each resulting loss turned into bitter ashes. and i cried most because now, in an exquisite miracle, the woman with the secret smile and enormous belly that i used to look at and wonder it it would or could ever be me...IS ME. the tears sliding down my face were that mysterious mixture i've learned so well to accept now: that alchemy of coexistent grief and joy; a careful minuet of pain and gratefulness.
TM4 booted me again in the side, bringing me back to the present. i tore off the cuff and lunged for some ludicrously small squares of tissue and was just finishing blowing my nose when the nurse showed up again. "oh!" she said kindly, "babies make your nose so runny!" i just nodded. indeed they do. indeed.


Anonymous said...

oh...what a story. i feel so much for the woman behind the door. even though i am not in her place i understand some of what you're talking about feeling like every month some kind of loss or waste is taking place in your body. however...i feel like i'm starting to see it differently. if you get a chance, check out the book 'the girl who married the moon' by joseph bruchac from the library. there is an old story called 'stonecoat' in it that really spoke to me.

Anonymous said...


my friend you move me immeasurably. every time.

my heart too bleeds for that woman.

and your son coming and i'm so incredibly glad.

mmk said...

So excited to read your note this morning. Rejoicing!

Just read your post and my heart aches for that woman who is just entering the world of infertility too! Joining you in praying for her.


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