Friday was the big day. I had trouble sleeping in the days leading up to it , and was (naturally) overanalyzing every little thing that was happening with my body – even though I tried so much not to pay attention to each cramp, tweak, and swelling.
I woke up before my alarm to the sound of pouring rain on our windows. It was still dark because of the storm, so I assumed it was still the middle of the night. I checked the clock realizing it was over an hour until my alarm was set to go off, but accepted the fact that my mind would not be allowing me to sleep anymore.
I had a relaxing morning getting ready to head to the doctor… feeling some relief that after today I would know what was true and what was my imagination.
I kissed James and Chloe, headed out the door, and drove in (terrible) Chicago traffic to the fertility clinic. I checked in, took a seat in the waiting room that I’ve seen what feels like a million times, and nervously wrung my hands in my lap as my stomach flipped and flipped and flipped.
Within minutes the nurse called my name…
“Christina T… you can come with me! How’s your Friday going?!” she said with a smile on her face. I forced a smile back at her and told her my day was going wonderfully, thanks for asking.
She led me back to a seat in the waiting room for blood work and I stared blankly ahead as The Price is Right played on the TV. Almost immediately, I was called in by another nurse… led into the blood work room, told how wonderful my veins are for the thousandth time (thank goodness or this process would be not so awesome!), confirmed my information on her little sticky label, and waited for the prick.
Within moments I was on my way, feeling like a weight had been lifted… knowing it was only a matter of time until I knew.
Throughout the day I tried to stay busy… taking Chloe for a couple of long walks, taking in the smell of spring and the beautiful sunny day that followed the rain we had that morning. I worked and worked and worked… knocking out task after task on my to-do list, and yet – I couldn’t help but play through the scenarios in my head…
I got choked up as I imagined telling my parents that night that we were pregnant. I imagined what I’d say to people if we found out we weren’t. I pictured how James and I would react… where we’d be when we got the news. I played out just about every scenario you can imagine, thought of baby names, thought of how we’d tell each person in our lives, how we’d tell all of you. My head and heart went back and forth – flip-flopping between positive and negative scenarios… convincing myself I’d be fine either way.
Hours and hours went by at a snail’s pace (which never happens in my life, I swear)! Finally it was 3:30 and I said to James… “HOW HAVE THEY NOT CALLED YET?! THEY CLOSE AT 4PM! Usually they call by 1:30 or 2!!”
At 3:45 my anxiety became too much and I called the clinic. After waiting on hold for 10-15 minutes I finally got a voice on the other end. I asked if I’d be getting results today, to which the woman replied, “Yes, you’ll get a call by 6pm. Thanks!” I barely had time to say, “Oh, I thought you closed at 4pm. Okay… thanks,” before she hung up.
And so we waited more.
James decided to take a nap with Chloe at about 5pm since we were driving home to Wisconsin later that night. They both laid down face down and side by side on the bed in our office (also our guest bedroom)… but I’m nearly certain James never fell asleep.
About 45 minutes later my phone rang. It was the clinic.
“Hello?” I answered anxiously, as I ran into the kitchen to take the call (in case James was actually sleeping).
“Hi, is this Christy?”
“Yes..” I replied, trying to act cool, calm, and collected.
“Hi, Christy… It’s Donna! I’m so sorry I made you wait all day…” she said. Just as I was about to tell her it was okay, she added, “… and that you had to wait this long for bad news. I’m sorry sweetie, it didn’t work out this month…” she said, with sadness in her voice.
All I remember saying was, “Oh, bummer…”
The rest is kind of a blur. I know she said she was sorry over and over, and that her sorrow made me get a catch in my throat. I remember choking back tears as I told her it was okay. She told me this was only our first month and not to worry – that’d we’d get a positive result eventually. She was chipper and hopeful and rambling off my next steps – most of which went right over my head as the news sank in.
I wasn’t pregnant.
All those stupid symptoms I was overanalyzing were actually side effects of the progesterone they had me on. All those silly scenarios I had imagined about telling people the positive news, and thinking of baby names, and how James and I would react… disappeared like a little thought bubble bursting above my head.
I got off the phone and I held back the tears as much as I could. I said to James from the other room, “Bad news, bay… it didn’t work.”
He stayed face down on the bed and told me he figured so much based on my first words being “Bummer” and listening to the remainder of the conversation. I walked into the office swallowing my feelings. I was genuinely surprised by how sad I was, but was trying not to let myself feel it. I wanted to be tough for James. I wanted to keep myself together.
All of that telling myself throughout the process that this was only the 1st IUI and that nobody I knew had it work the first time didn’t ease the blow at all. I was painfully sad.
I crawled onto the bed and laid myself facedown over James, hugging him from behind. We just laid there in silence for a bit. I took deep breaths and tried to focus on the positives… but I couldn’t help it… the tears silently came.
I hated that I was crying. I apologized to James for being sad, to which of course he told me not to apologize. My tears ran down the back of his neck, and Chloe started to lick my face trying to comfort me. Then I said, “I just need to be sad for a minute, and then I’ll be okay…” James told me not to be silly and that it was okay to be sad.
As usual, James had no visible reaction, but I knew he was hurting inside. I rolled off to one side of him so we were facing each other… trying to read his thoughts without much luck.
“I can’t work anymore. Let’s get ready to go,” I said. To which he replied, “Sounds good.”
He got up and started folding the laundry from the dryer in the other room. I made my way to the computer so I could email my immediate family to let them know the news, and I texted some of my closest friends. As I wrote the news out I started to cry again. I just couldn’t stop the tears from coming and it was driving me nuts. I had been so good at staying positive for the past year since we started this process that it was weird to feel this disappointment again.
James called to me from the other room and I wandered in sheepishly, embarrassed I was crying again. He hugged me and told me it was okay. I told him “I know” … and after I pulled myself together we continued getting ready in silence, both of us in our own head. Chloe followed me everywhere I went… keeping a close eye on me and making sure I was okay.
When I was in the shower James walked into the bathroom and we started to chat. I told him about all the scenarios I had made up in my head. About how I had gotten choked up thinking about how we’d pick up a onesie and pretend it was a Mother’s Day gift for my mom and give it to her right when we arrived … she’d open it and we’d tell them both we were pregnant.
I asked James if he thought I was crazy, and he said, “No.. you’re just a romantic. You have a vivid imagination and love to create stories with perfect endings. I’m more of a realist… I hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. But I love that about you. It’s the total opposite of who I am, and I think that’s part of why we work so well together.” We talked and talked as I finished showering and by the end of it I felt significantly better. All I could think was how thankful I was to be going through this with James.
By the time we were in the car on our way to Wisconsin we were teasing each other and laughing about who knows what. We were talking about next month and our plans for May. We focused on the positive and generally felt okay.
We were happy to be home with my parents this weekend, enjoying some tasty cocktails with them (while I still can) and just hanging out. I got to see my sister and brother-in-law, and cheered her on at her first flea market for Rosewood & Brass. I shot a newborn session in Madison, and then enjoyed more time back home with my family and James.
Very early Sunday morning I woke up to use the bathroom and came up from the basement (where our room is) and saw a red glow coming from outside. I had thought it was the middle of the night, but it was actually just after 5am. I peeked out the back door and saw the most gorgeous sunrise. I couldn’t help but smile and think… it’s a new day… a beautiful new beginning. I crawled back into bed with James and Chloe, and cuddled into them even closer. No matter what had happened, life was good. (Sorry this iPhone pic just doesn’t do the sunrise justice…)
I made brunch for my mom for Mother’s Day and enjoyed the most peacefully wonderful day celebrating her – just relaxing outside on the deck, dozing in and out, watching Chloe enjoy the warm Wisconsin air, and chatting with my parents.
I counted my blessings over & over, and my heart was warmed by all the messages of support & love I got from all sorts of people (some who didn’t know we had already received the news – just writing to let me know we were in their thoughts, and some who I had shared the news with that wrote me throughout the weekend to check in). I got choked up with happy tears by how lucky we are to have such amazing people in our lives.
It was really the perfect weekend and exactly what we needed. We came back home last night feeling refreshed and ready for a new month. We are hopeful and positive and ready to tackle our next steps… knowing that someday our story will come together. We don’t know how, and we don’t know when… but someday it will. And someday it will all make sense. For now, we continue taking step by step forward – together.
. . . . . .
(All photos are iPhone pics from throughout the weekend. Disclaimer: This was a bit wordy because a large part of why I blog is for personal reasons… almost as a journal for our life. I wanted to look back on this time and remember this story, how it felt, and everything about it – so I could someday look back on this myself. Thanks for reading if you made it all the way to the end. xoxo)