[I've been thinking about my last miscarriage a lot lately. Right now, I would have been about 33 weeks, less than 2 months from my due date. This is a post I wrote, but never published, on September 21st, 2013, just 2 days after I found out I was pregnant.]
“You’re home late. Did they make you stay??”
“No,” he responded in his usual, just-to-be-annoying brief-answer way.
“C’mon! You are 45 minutes late!”
“You didn’t even notice I got a haircut.”
Before I could apologize for not noticing the 2 cm he got removed from his hair in the 3 seconds since he walked in the door, he said, ‘You coming outside?’
“Yes,” pulling myself up from the couch, “I’m coming.”
This is our after-work, evening ritual for as long as the weather holds. It’s just an hour or two before sunset, and we sit in the backyard with a drink, the newspaper, and de-compress together. Sometimes we de-brief the day; sometimes we just sit in silence until one of us feels like talking.
Today, I was hoping it was a day we would have a ‘real’ conversation. There was something I needed to tell him, and finding the right moment and way to approach it was weighing on me. I wasn’t sure how long I could pretend nothing was on my mind (I am a horrible liar).
“So I sent Kara this email today…”
Kara is his friend from work with a desk nearby. “Hmm?”
“Dear Kara,” he says, motioning like he is typing on his computer, “How do you get any work done with all of the ‘chomp, chomp, chomp, crack, crack, crack’ reverberating incessantly in your ears all day?”
“Oh, no. You didn’t.”
“I did,” he said proudly. “How does anybody not hear all of the gum-snapping all day long and not want to kill someone?”
“Oh, gosh. What did she do?”
“Well, she marched right up to my desk and said, ‘Thank, J. I was doing fine until you pointed it out. Now that is all I hear.’”
Hmm. I can relate. Know just how she feels.
“So, anyway, I was talking to Chris…”
And it was probably about there that I started to tune out. I needed to think of a segue to what I had to tell. A cutesy idea from Pinterest just didn’t seem to be the right approach for this news.
He finished telling his story, and I nodded and said, ‘Mmm hmm,’ like I was tracking, and then we fell into a comfortable silence.
OK, Katie. Here is your chance. Now or never.
“So, do you remember what you said this morning when we prayed together?”
(We pray together every morning before I go to work…a short, quick one as I’m running out the door, but it works.)
“Same thing I always pray? ‘Dear Lord, let us have a good day, please help us to get pregnant, keep us safe.’”
“No, you didn’t say that this morning. You said, ‘Please help us to be pregnant.’”
“Ok, fine. Be pregnant.” He wasn’t following.
“Well, there is a big difference between ‘Please help us to get pregnant,’ and ‘Please help us be pregnant.’”
He shook his head, not understanding, as if to say, “Fine, you are an English teacher, but why are you making such a big deal over this?”
In response, I slid the pregnancy test across the patio table to him.
“Well, God answered your prayer.”
A slow smile spread across his face, no longer annoyed but slowly absorbing this new information.
We hugged, we prayed for our new little life, and we sat down again.
We were quiet. We both knew what was on each other’s mind.
“You sure? Any chance it’s wrong?”
“Not likely. There is more of a chance of a false negative [of which I had gotten 3 in the past week] than a false positive.”
“How are you feeling?”
“I’m okay. I’m a little nervous. I’ve scoured the Internet to try to find similar scenarios as mine. My hunch is that maybe I implanted late, and that is why the tests were negative.
“But I don’t want to get crazy. I mean, there are really only two options: either I will carry this baby to term, or I will miscarry. There is nothing I can do to make one happen and prevent the other.”
He nodded in agreement.
We had been down this road before. Our joy in this news was tempered by the sobering reality of what we had been through ten months ago: a positive test, and then from the first sonogram, negative news. It was all downhill from there. That time, we enjoyed our pregnancy for about a total of 14 days.
We understood the reality. No longer were we a green, naive, TTC couple.
But for that night, on an Indian Summer evening in September, we were pregnant. And we were happy.
And our smiles across the table were, for the first time in a long time, full of possibilities and hope.
[Photo Credit: Bob Butcher]