Waiting Spaces

It's Monday.  January 15.  That means we find out in two days.  Here's what the past 6 days have looked like for me:
Texts from wonderful friends asking how I'm doing
I finally caved and bought mayo to go with my ham sandwiches
I've eaten Vietnamese and Jamaican food (I haven't had oxtail since before Cori Jo was born!)
Wiped our floors a few times
Laughed hysterically at the hilarious and dramatic things Coco Puff does
Watched more American Horror Story and the Good Place
So much laundry
Family happy hour

Here's what else I've been doing.  One night I had the notion to cradle my tummy.  I told a friend either baby knows how momma feels about it or I have some well-loved belly fat.  So there's that.

Want to know what this really feels like?

It's like I have someone special coming by a long journey.  A ship's journey.  I am that ship.  I know for a fact my love got on the ship but it will take 8 days.  I know that ship has left.  What I don't know is if, after departure, my love jumped ship.  But that doesn't change what will happen on day 8.  I will get dressed and show up to that port.  I will wait as others have before me.  As others are waiting with me.  And like many will after me.  I show up.  I see others alighting.  I look.  I crane my neck.  My heart races.  I bite my lip.  I get on my tip toes.  I shove my way politely to the front.  Will you be here?  I am here.  Are you here?  I am here.  Will you show up?  I have shown up.  I will soon know.  But for now, I hold on to the rope that separates me from the sea of (temporary ) despair or (eternal) happiness.  That rope is hope.  And I wait.  

photo by Bruno Martins via unsplash.com
It's Wednesday morning.  January 17.   Tuesday's sleep was less than restful.  I kept thinking about racial issues and getting up to pee.  I am a night pee-er.  Why, body, why?  I had my first case of butterflies last night, too.  I gave myself my shot way too high on my butt and it hurt so badly and, as dark red blood soaked into the top of my jeans I thought, "I swear if I just impaled myself for nothing..."
I eat some Cheerios, watch the news...Me, Cori Jo and my mother-in-law head to KS to get my blood drawn.   Pause.

A friend asked me about grieving during this process.  And I told her I missed the secret, private and personal waiting on a pregnancy test.  You know the scene in movies or shows where it's a whole thing?  The purchasing of the test.  The act of putting it on the slidey thing at the register, getting home and ripping it open, either by yourself or with your SO or your bestie.  The pulling down of the undergarments. The getting it just so in the pee stream.  The looking away or the vigilant no-blink-watch of the lines to appear.  I've missed out on that.  I may still take one for the hell of it, but it's not the same.  My instructions from my doctor reads: take pregnancy test to make sure you aren't pregnant.  Fun.
But there are positives.  

I ask the cute lab lady if she's going to make a Valentine's wreath - she made a Christmas one out of syringes and such.  It was adorable!  She said she found some red tubing she was excited to use.  This is my version of peeing on a test strip - I take off my jacket, expose a nice-looking, fat, totally tap-able vein.  She talks about how crafty she is and and how she lives at Micheal's.  I thank her and she says "good luck with everything."  I say something like, "wellllll?...thanks, have a good day!" How does luck factor into this?  What's done is done. 

We head to breakfast, I leave my phone within reach but I refuse to make it the focal point of a meal with two of my favourite ladies.  We head to IKEA.  We are finding our things and I'm taking note of all the cute things I want to bring Christopher back to see when my phone rings.  I'm holding Cori Jo (I want to be close to her and it's a quick trip).  I grab my phone.  I see the number.  Miley Cyrus's The Climb is playing in the background.  I say "it's them,you answer it" and shove it towards my mother-in-law and then quickly realize, Nia, this is your call to take.  I answer it.  I shift CJ to my other hip.  It's one of my favourite nurses.  I like the sound of her voice.  She asks how I'm doing which I think is nuts!  I say, "You KNOW that depends on what you have to tell me."  She says, "well good news..."

I want to cry.  I want to ask if she's sure (like I did last time) but she goes on about levels and what's next.  I'm relieved as all heck.  I make a mental list of all the women I want to/need to update.  Because this is not just mine.  And then shortly after, I am thinking about my sisters in this (in)fertility waiting room with me.  Not the one at my doctor's office.  The other one.  The one where we keep up with the others' appointments and stories and course of treatment and hopes and fears and set backs and progress.  This is also a whole thing.  While I am excited beyond belief for myself, I am still anxious for them.  Still waiting with them. 

I am also acutely aware that this is only week two.  I have two more lab draws in the next 5 days.  This is just the beginning of the wait.  But for now, just like with Cori Jo, I am grateful for this new little life and will start to consciously savor each day.  Another survivor of the petri-dish and the cryo-tundra and the thaw and the implantation.   And me.   I did not cradle my tummy in vain.  Number 3.  Thank you for showing up.

It's week 8.  I've had some thoughts.  I wrote those first sections in real time to post later.  I wanted to be in the moment and not forget any details.  The truth is, I was fully prepared to share what it was like for this to have not worked.  I'm a little ashamed to say that but it's true.  Sure I was hopeful, but there is danger in hope.  I'm a natural pessimist.  It's how I cope.  Another truth?  I feel a little guilty that this worked on the first try when I know so many others don't get positive results after many attempts.  Holding hands with my guilt, is gratitude.  I don't want to be a martyr or a saint.  I am neither.  My experience is simultaneously unique and commonplace.  I am not special.  I just want to hold a hand in this "group" I'm in.  The group where some intervention was used to have a baby.  I'm sure somebody reading this is jealous.  Maybe even hates me a little.  Dude, I get it.  I'm not mad.  Just goes to show you aren't alone. 
Never mind the things that can happen between week 8 and week 40-41.  I'm still in that waiting room.  One hand reaching back and the other forward. 
photo by Jake Campbell via unsplash.com


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