I guess every day in every life we face the same question, both about our circumstances and how we react to them. Some days, grumpy-ass customers are funny to me, and sometimes I wish they’d disappear or at least get herpes. Some days my boss is a delight, and some days he’s avoiding a problem he ought to address—this determines, in large part, whether my job feels like a comedy or a tragedy, and also what kind of privacy-blocked shit I write about him on Facebook.
Tuesday and Wednesday were giddy days. Wednesday was fully two weeks since we inseminated, and every moment that Heather didn’t bleed was a triumph. Despite her pledges to ignore her body’s signals—each round, she’s become consumed with breast pains, premature spotting and headaches, and, with each negative, declared that she clearly doesn’t understand what her body is telling her or what it feels like to be pregnant—Heather Googled the burning pains in her breasts and the strange pains in her ribs. She called me to tell me she’d thrown up, and it was a moment of delight for both of us. “I’m sorry,” I said, “but I’m so excited!”
Wednesday, it shifted into tragic territory when I walked into the bathroom after work and saw her grimace. I wanted to think she was fucking with me when she said she was bleeding, but she’s a crummy liar. She wasn’t bleeding a lot, and we agreed not to be upset till she bled more or we tested in the morning, but when we lay down next to each other to get our bearings before going out, I cried. I think we both knew we were done.
Still, on our way out to dinner, I told her to turn back around and touch the sheela-na-gig fertility sculpture in our hallway, just in case...
The next morning, I was up and showered when Heather got up to pee. I stopped her to ask if she could squeeze out some more in the cup for us to test. She frowned at me and took the cup. When she handed it back to me, there was no urine, just a couple tablespoons of blood. It was so ridiculously apparent that there was no chance Heather was pregnant that we laughed. Better not to waste the test, she said.
It wasn’t a surprise, but it was the point of no return. Even the night before, we’d sworn not to get too upset until we tested Thursday morning, and, test or no, we had the answer. I wished I had cried more Wednesday, instead of putting it aside because “we don’t know till we know.” Heather hadn’t cried, but she did that morning. She wrapped herself tight in the covers and I told her boss when I got to work that it’d be a while before she made it in. When I checked on her later, she was still on the edge of tears, wishing she was back under the covers, alone with the tragedy.