That was a long pause. It started out bad, and now I guess it's not, and we're back to waiting.
Last Friday, Heather had the third blood test of the week, displeasing
the fertility powers-that-be with the results. That Monday, she'd been
at 163; Wednesday, 349; Friday, 529. That was not good. Heather and I
spent our lunch break home in bed, weeping over what we felt was an
imminent miscarriage, and mourned off and on through the weekend.
Heather felt certain we were done, while I felt ashamed that I was
holding out just a little hope. We both planned out Monday afternoon,
anticipating the blood test results around 12 with a swift exit from
work to go home and grieve without distraction.
If, the Nashville crew told us, the hCG levels on Monday morning hadn't
advanced significantly, we probably weren't looking at a viable
pregnancy. If the numbers improved, Heather would need an ultrasound to
see where the embryo had implanted. So we spent the day sitting around, vibrating
with anxiety. Lunch was the most painful experience possible, with
neither of us able to do anything but stare at each other like caged
animals. Well, caged animals who occasionally cry and compulsively
check their phones.
Halfway through the miserable lunch, I left a message for Nurse Martha
with the Nashville receptionist, Debbie, who was sympathetic to our
plight. Unsatisfied, I e-mailed Nurse Jordan. Then there was Martha:
1103. The embryo hadn't stalled out but it was too soon to say for
"I told you," I said to Heather. "I told you. You were all determined
that today we'd be getting a final answer, and I told you they'd still
manage to tell us something half-assed."
By the time we heard, it was too late for an ultrasound, so Heather
scheduled it for 8AM yesterday. It was my first visit to the Memphis
clinic and I was on the DL-the friend accompanying Heather for moral
support-but the ultrasound technician was not fooled. As we prepared to
leave, she warmly said, "Congratulations, you guys!"
Congratulations, indeed: there is an embryo, it's in the uterus proper,
it's getting blood flow, Heather's cervix is closed tight, and now we
have a picture.
The doubt remains, however. Heather declared that she couldn't wait to
hear from the Nashville office. "They can't say anything negative now!"
This is pure hubris and she should know better by now. So of course
when I spoke to Nurse Martha in the afternoon, she said that, yes, there
was a sac and they were pleased at its placement, but that they weren't
sure yet if there was an embryo in it. Motherfucker.
Now, the nice technician who called us out on our Sapphic love pointed
out where the embryo was. Tiny, but apparent. As I said to Heather
about Monday's results, the Nashville clinic will always find a way to
rain on our reproductive parade. You can't fault them for thoroughness.