Sunday, August 5, 2012
Heather has shared bathrooms with her own siblings, so she was duly surprised this afternoon to get an encouraging text from my sister. She called my desk breathlessly.
"Your sister sent this really nice text. I guess your mom said something. Your mom might have as big a mouth as you do."
It isn't sour grapes, though, when I say that the text made me anxious. Our positive news is brushing shoulders with a big bummer, like my sister and I used to over a single sink. Jordan's voice when she told us that Heather was pregnant, but her hCG levels were sketchy, was just the same as it sounded in my head when I imagined getting Friday's test results. It wasn't as much that I believed we weren't pregnant-- Heather took a lot of home pregnancy tests-- as that I can't imagine ever getting good news. I just felt like, whatever she told us, there was going to be a painful caveat.
It's the caveat I'm hung up on, and the good news that Heather hears. That's a strange kind of turn-around for us, since usually she's upset and I'm trying to talk her down (often with platitudes that I don't believe any more than she does). The role-reversal is pissing her off, too, because it's no fun to find out that you're pregnant only for your partner to grimace and refuse to buy in. I'm grimacing.
A few weeks ago, Heather was watching that goddamn monstrosity, The Real L Word, full of dreadlocked dykes, rockers, nuclear families, and unending drama. (There's nothing wrong with the dreadlocked dyke; I just think she makes poor choices in her relationships.) The sweet traditional couple-- whose attempts to conceive irked me long ago-- apparently got pregnant, only to miscarry at five months. Five months. Heather was horrified, telling me that she didn't think we could really enjoy getting the news of a positive test because we'd immediately start worrying about what might happen next. Her prediction has come to pass much more quickly than either of us could have expected, since the positive news immediately turned to misery for me when I realized how close we were to miscarriage. That's the real punchline of low hCG, from what I can tell: your embryo might have turned into a fleshy tumor, it might be in the fallopian tubes, or it might not be getting the support it needs to grow. If Friday's 55 doesn't pass 150 by Monday, then we'll have miscarried a baby we barely had. I'm not ready to accept congratulations on that.