Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Time To Go Home

The following post is part of my life story. It is also for the contest Michelle at Scribbit is holding for April's Write Away contest. Thanks Michelle for the push to write something so close to my heart that few even know . . .
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“Shock” didn’t quite cover the tumble of emotions I was feeling. Surprise, elation, and a little fear of the unknown topped the list, vying for attention.

I looked over at The Calm One and grinned so wide that my cheeks ached. My husband of seven months had a grin that was as dopey as I imagined mine to be.

“However,” the doctor continued in a weird ‘don’t get excited yet’ kind of tone, “the positive is showing up so lightly that either you’ve conceived very, very recently, or . . .” I brushed aside his tone of voice and reminded myself that in this day and age false positives are a rarity. And who can argue with being three months late? I was pregnant!

And then it hit me. Pregnant already?! What would people say? Our families would be so surprised – and delighted. So much for ‘waiting a couple of years to get to know each other better.’ I let my mind wander, imagining my Mom’s face when we told her the news. And my mother in law! Talk about excited, she couldn’t wait to be able to brag about another grandchild.

“So, I am sending you to get some blood work done so we can be sure. Okay?” The doctor shook hands with us and I bounced off of the exam table, pulling The Calm One out the door with me.

Pregnant! I looked at my new husband and we both began to giggle. We raced breathless across the street to our apartment building and hopped right into our grey, non-descript ‘make do until we could afford better’ kind of car.

The car ride was silent with our shared amazement. Although if smiling had a sound, the three miles to the out-patient lab would have been a noisy one.

“Should we . . .” I began.

“No phone calls yet, not ‘til we’re sure” was his reply.

I sighed as we walked hand in hand into the waiting room, knowing he was right. How could we keep this kind of news to ourselves, even for a short time? I felt as though I would burst.
As we approached the sign-in window we passed a smiling 40 something woman. I resisted the urge to blab our “ news” and squeezed his hand tighter.

“We don’t even know her!” He said, a la stage whisper.

“When did you start reading minds?” I asked eyes wide with a mixture of delight and chagrin.

“Since the possibility that I could at this very moment be a dad. As soon as that happens a guy develops all kinds of powers. Scaring away the ‘boogey-man’ for example.” He smiled and patted the back of my head.

Wait. Why was he patting the back of my head? “Well, what do you know!”

“What?” I stopped walking, puzzled at his enigmatic statement.

The Calm One looped my arm through his and we began walking again. “It’s happened to you too. Special powers! Every Mom has eyes in the back of her head, right? Better get used to your unique double vision.” We giggled at his silliness while I signed in and waited for our names to be called.

Before we knew it, my blood was drawn and we were sent off with smiles and a “We’ll call you in a few hours.”

The trip home was filled with plans, and the realization that we may soon need that second bedroom to be something other than a catch-all room.

When the phone rang, I hesitated to take a deep breath. I slowly exhaled and picked up the phone.

“Mrs. Calm One?”

“Yes, it’s me. I mean, I’m her. I mean, Speaking.” The Calm One himself poked his head out of the spare room as I rolled my eyes at my verbal faux-pas.

“Ma’am, your blood test has come back, well, negative.” She waited for the information to sink in.

It didn’t. “Negative? Negative as in . . .” I had to remind myself to breathe.

“That’s right. We have no reason to believe that you are pregnant.” Didn't she mean “still pregnant?”

Her “I’m sorry” barely registered and I hung up the phone and turned fully to face my husband of seven months.

“Honey, I am so sorry.” The sincerity of his apology brought tears to my eyes.

“How could this happen? A false positive hardly ever happens! It can't be that. And is it a coincidence that I am three months late? I was pregnant. I know it. At least I know it now.” He wrapped his arms around me and let me cry for a very long time.
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That night we consoled ourselves by reciting all of the reasons why not being pregnant now was a good thing.

A big part of me remained unconvinced that I hadn’t been pregnant. And as I nursed that belief, I began to feel as though I had lost a piece of myself that couldn’t be retrieved.
I fell asleep whispering to the baby that was no longer with us, “Go home Sweet One. To the One who gave you to us for a short time. Go on Home. We’ll see you there.”

3 comments:

  1. Isn't that strange how you can have such conflicting emotions over that? Disappointment at not being pregnant then relief at not being--it's a strange combination.

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  2. Definitely a strange combination, you are right. It was weird also, because the actuality of being pregnant was only with me for a couple of hours and then to lose the possibility of THAT particular child -- there was such an intensity of emotion.

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  3. Even suspecting pregnancy can be conflicting emotions -- your experience was much deeper than that.

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