Third round of treatment and I am feeling pretty hopeful that this month would be our month. I left the doctor’s office feeling unsure and excited but unsure about my excitement. I didn’t want to be too excited and then have to deal with the emotions of being let down again. I didn’t want to be totally cautious either because excitement is what carried me through the past 12 days since the IUI.
Riding back we are both pretty quite. The hour and fifteen minute drive is filled with the sifting of emotions and images of a future I hoped would be finally realized. It isn’t that we are tense. I can feel his optimism and wished it would drive out my feelings of doubt. Every tinge of a cramp or wave a nausea leaves me wondering which way our test results will go. I tell myself I’m being too hyper-aware about my body. Not all twinges are signs of pregnancy. Not all twinges are signs of the impending menstrual cycle either.
The phone rings. I know it is too soon. I can feel his expectant eyes and sudden stop of breath as I reach down to the floorboard and grab my phone. It is my mom. I hang up and can feel his questions, but don’t say anything. I know they won’t call for a few hours after the blood work. I’m expecting them to call after lunch.
Back home and time to prepare for gathering with friends later that night. I set to work on an apple pie and he settles in the den to work and watch football. He’s completely plugged in when I get the call. I try to have my voice steady when I answer. I don’t want to sound as though I’ve been waiting for the call to come. I don’t want to sound like I’m desperate for the person on the other end to just give me the answer I’m hoping to hear. I don’t want to sound like I assume it will be a positive response or a negative response. I don’t want to sound disappointed when it isn’t. I don’t want my voice to crack.
I wonder how she prepares to make calls like this all day, every day. I wonder if she has a voice she prepares. I almost think that she does. This person on the other end of the line has to know the weight of her words. Within seconds, I’m listening intently trying to decifer her meaning before she even delivers the news. I’m listening for excitement. I listening for pity. Again, I tell myself I’m being ridiculous and that I should just be patient and listen. Patient. Listen.
But I hear it before she even says anything about the test being negative. I hear the missed opportunity once again at making a family before she moves past, “Hello, may I speak to…” I know that those twinges were signs of the impending cycle that will start this whole process over for us again. I’m beyond being worried about sounding disappointed. I sense that if she were physically in front of me, she might reach out and touch me as she delivered what she knows to be heartbreaking news. I feel as if she wants to comfort me, but has so few words to offer in this exchange. The ones that are offered are soft and nurturing, not cold and clinical.
And she’s gone. I’m left with the results, my pie that has to be made, and a husband that has to be told.