Not quite seven weeks ago, I was sitting on my bathroom floor with a foil packet in one hand and a little white and pink plastic test stick in another. I’m more nervous than a Catholic schoolgirl at confession. Everything is riding on this. It is our last little icicle. It has to take.
As the fluid creeps up the window I can just slightly make out a faint line, it continues and there’s another brighter, darker line beside it. I wait two minutes. It’s faint but is it? Is it a line? Is it really? I can’t believe it. Holy mother of Jesus it is there – albeit faint but there’s a bloody line.
Friday morning has come, I get up at 7am, do one more pee-on-a-stick taking my total to four (yes, four in two days) and make the twenty-five minute trip to the clinic for my blood test. I’m in such a hurry I’ve forgotten to drink my water, which makes it hard for the nurse – who is in training – to find my veins. ‘They’re bad at the best of times,’ I smile to her as she pumps at my inner elbow attempting to make my veins stand to attention. ‘Sharp sting,’ she says as she attempts to prick one of my veins in my left arm. She’s not kidding. It hurts like all buggery.
I pull down my sleeve and hop down off the chair. ‘You should hear from us between one and three,’ she says. Usually the clinic calls around 12-12.45 and they always call the positive results first, which means if you haven’t heard from them by 1.30 your luck may just have run out.
I go to the supermarket and pick up a tiny set of newborn Bonds baby socks, then to the newsagent and buy a brown postage box and some yellow tissue to go inside. I got a permanent marker and on the first pee stick – the one with the best two pink lines, I wrote ‘congrats’ with a smiley face and an arrow pointing to the word pregnant beside the result window. I put them all in the box with a card for The Vet telling him ‘Congratulations baby, we did it…’
At five past two in the afternoon I’d had enough, I try the clinic and press two for the nurses, then three for my team. No answer, straight to voice mail. I wait another five minutes and call again.
‘Hi,’ I tell her when she answers, ‘I’ve been waiting for my call and it never takes this long…’
‘Oh yes, sorry we’ve been really busy,’ she says. ‘Okay well I might as well tell you now,’ she continues. There is a two second pause that seems more like an hour. ‘You’re pregnant, congratulations!’ she blurts excitedly.
There is silence from my end. I am shaking and tears are streaming from my face.
‘Are you there, are you okay?’ she says.
‘Yes, yes, thank you. Thank you so much,’ I tell her as though she’d given me the gift herself.
I drive as quickly as I can to the clinic. ‘Have you heard yet?’ he asks. He’d been watching his phone waiting to hear from me. ‘Oh, and this came for you today, no idea what it is,’ I tell him and place the brown box on his consult table.
He opens the box and looks inside, pulling out the contents and looking puzzled. He puts them back in and looks at the address on the front of the box, then he looks at it again. He looks at me and I can’t hold it in anymore. A smile breaks out over my face. Tears fill his eyes. He has a smile that only a man who has just learnt he is about to become a father could have. Words cannot describe our joy, our love for each other and for the tiny little person growing inside me.
The Little Seed as I’ve started to call it, will be due on February 9 – making it an Aquarian. We have one more blood test the following Friday, I tell him, and then we get to go for our first scan the week after that – at six weeks. That’s when they can hear a heartbeat. Grow Little Seed, with the love and wanting of your mummy and daddy, grow.
I go for the second test a week later – and yes, this time once again, I have cheated. I take a pee-stick test in the morning before I go in for my bloods. The nurse rings again. ‘Hi, your tests all look good and we’ll need you to come in for your scan in another two weeks.’
This is where we get to hear a heartbeat, the little tick tick sound of our seed growing into a real live baby. By the time we reach week seven, one of the four pregnancy apps I’ve already downloaded to my phone tells me the seed will have grown into the size of a blueberry. It will already have little arm and leg buds and a beating heart.
The morning of the scan I’m elated. I Can’t wait to see our little baby for the first time, hear it’s little heartbeat, see its tiny Little Seed self. I can’t wait for my husband to see his tiny baby growing inside me.
We make light conversation and joke about the fun side affects of progesterone (constipation), which really aren’t that fun at all quite frankly. I hop up on the bed and Dr Babies does the first scan over my tummy using a small probe. He looks around, and has a quizzical look on his face. He tells me to go and empty my bladder – which I’ve deliberately over-filled because I thought it might help to see.
I come back and hop up on the bed. This time the probe goes via another angle (which I’ll spare you from the details) – but it’s the most accurate way of judging the size of the baby. Five minutes ago, I was so happy. Five minutes ago, we were pregnant, having our little Aquarian in February.
‘Oh this isn’t good,’ Dr Babies says looking at the screen that even I can tell has an empty black sack on it. The tiny little black jelly bean-like shape is the sack where our Little Seed is supposed to be sitting – with its heart beating strong and its little limb buds waving about…only they’re not. There is no baby. Just an empty pregnancy sack.
The little embryo didn’t survive. I don’t know if it was five weeks, six or even four – we were pregnant at some stage but just as quickly as that hope is given it’s taken away again.
The good news, Dr Babies tells us, is that at least we can get you pregnant. That’s one hurdle over. Now it’s just making it to the next stage.
I had written a card for the 9 y o, telling him he was going to be a big brother. I hid it in my handbag and decided we’d tell him, like everyone else, once he got back from his holidays and we knew the baby had a heartbeat. He’d been looking for something one morning and found the card, asking if he could open it. No, not yet I told him. I wish I could hug him right now but he’s thousands of kilometres out of my reach. A month ago when we’d started this journey, he’d won a little red teddy out of one of those claw machines, ‘I’m saving this one for the baby,’ he’d said. Optimistic, like his mama.
Now we are back to square one. Back to injections, needles, bloods, hormones, drugs, waiting and hoping.
Sometimes no matter how big you smile, you just can’t hide the pain you feel inside.
Love n hugs, Lady MamaG xox