Ok, wrapping up here. The tone here is going to change a little. We got home from drinks with our staff, and I realized I was a day late. I was annoyed, because we have a lot of travel planned in the fall, and the travel/IVF schedule only worked if I started on time. I wanted another drink. Since it seems poor form to continue drinking when you know you’re late, I dug around and found a lone pee stick in the bathroom.
Like any woman who’s been dealing with IF for any length of time, this was like my zillionth pee test. I saw the big minus sign pop up and I gave a bitter laugh. I’m not a girl who gets plusses. Once – only once had I gotten a plus – and it had sprung up instantly and vividly, changing my whole world forever, although not in the way I had wanted it to. Returning to the present, I set the testament to my failure on the ledge of the bathtub and went to wash my hands. When I picked it up to throw it away, I stopped, examined it closer. There was not a line, not even close. But there was a shadow – a hint of a shadow – not continuous, but in the general area where a line would be. I was perhaps crazy. I wasn’t even sure if I was seeing it. I ran downstairs to show it to B who told me he saw what I was seeing but said there was no way that was a line. He said try to forget about it.
I said, “Yeah, you’re right,” and went to bed and dreamed about positive pregnancy tests. The next morning I got up early, saving my first pee of the day, and tried to sneak out to buy more tests. B woke up.
“Where are you going?”
“Just to the grocery store to pick up some things.”
“You poor thing.”
“You’re so hopeful.”
“Try to control your expectations.”
He looked at me not so much with sympathy as with pity. I ducked out the door.
I came back a while later with pantyliners (for my period) and two different kinds of pregnancy tests.
I took the digital one first – no blurry lines, no ambiguity. I peed on it and waited like 25 years.
Then it popped up, clear as day “Pregnant.”
It would have been appropriate in that moment to say something like “My soul praises the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,” but I actually said “Holy Shit” a bunch of times. And then I stopped because I realized those were like the first words I’d ever spoken about this kid. And then I started laughing. And then I started sobbing convulsively. And that went on for a while.
The previous morning, an old refrain from an old church I briefly attended as a kid had planted itself in my brain. All I remembered of it was
Oh what a wonderful Saviour to me
All I have needed Thou hast provided
What a wonderful, wonderful Saviour to me
I sang it once, then felt strangely like I meant it. I hadn’t felt a sentiment like that for a long time. I did not feel like he had provided what I had needed, and while he seemed fine to others, I certainly did not feel like he had been wonderful to me. Even in church, I’d edit songs while singing them, skipping the lines about how God never fails, because I felt like, yes, sometimes he really does fail. But somehow that old refrain was resonating with me that Friday morning, and it had stuck with me through the day.
And then here I was a day later with endometriosis, hypothyroidism and ovaries on the verge of extinction: pregnant. From sex. For free. No doctors involved. I never thought I’d be one of the ones who would have a baby from lovemaking. It felt so incredibly luxurious. Just the most ordinary, mundane, extravagant thing in the world.
Unlike many many stronger women I know, I had not clung to faith. I’d given up hope. I had not done all the right things medically either, but here was this gift. And it did seem like maybe “wonderful” was an appropriate word.
I called the fertility clinic. They put me on progesterone immediately. I took a blood test. Yes, pregnant, but thyroid levels had skyrocketed exponentially inside of a couple of weeks. They doubled down on my medication. Saturday I had spotting and cramping. I slipped into terror. Sunday I had more blood tests. HCG levels still strong. We’ll just have to wait and see, they tell me.
So the entire spectrum between the poles of ecstasy and terror has been obliterated, and I slip directly from the one extreme to the other with every twinge and gurgle of my body. In this, I’m trying to remember to cling to that song. To cling to everything I knew one week ago looking at that pee stick. It’s going to be a very long wait, but I’m going to do my best to try out faith for a change this time. And I’m going to forgive myself if I fail, because the simple fact of this pregnancy tells me that sometimes even if I screw it all up, sometimes things still work together.