Gotta get this off my chest before I go to bed. It looks like an annoying pregnancy-bragging post, but it's not:
Out of bed at 5:30 this morning, awake and energetic. Ran hand instinctively over abdomen. No physical bump yet, just a notion of something in there. No more need for caffeine - totally over it. That's me: super strong coffee-less woman, unfettered by stimulatory vices. Yup, I had my shit together, for the baby.
In the dark morning hours while K slept, I buzzed around the kitchen and made huge Valentine's Day heart-shaped cookies with pink frosting and sprinkles, measuring shortening with Viktoria's "water displacement method." It worked, and I was pleased.
With flour on my hands, sank the silver cookie-cutter into rolled-out dough. Thought fleetingly of the rice grain inside my pelvis, who she would become: a girl, certainly, for it simply HAS to be a girl. A brown-haired girl with a name I already knew, emotional and obnoxious like me, yet sensible and strong like her father. We would make cookies together, and she would want to taste the raw dough. I would say okay, but just one bite, not because I haven't gorged myself time and time again on raw dough and not died as a result, but because you're not supposed to let kids chow down on cookie dough.
Passed those cookies around at work, and everybody smiled. I felt proud to be such a Betty Baker. It was an unusually sunny day for February in Seattle; sunlight soaked in the courtyard, and my students were in a chipper and chatty mood. Next week was to be my thirty-third birthday, with exciting plans to go to the Brazilian steak house and eat lots of bacon-wrapped steak. Protein for the baby.
Later, met K at the clinic, strolled down to radiology, holding hands. 8 week ultrasound, "just to confirm." One room over from where I was exactly 18 months ago, when beads of sweat forming on the balding radiologist's head gave it all away: something's wrong with your baby, from head to scrotum.
A different radio-tech this time, a young rookie with a southern accent. Casual smiles and "this won't take long, just relax." I was kinda relaxed, but kinda not.
Warm goopy gel on belly, machine flipped on. K sat off to the side in the darkness.
"We've lost two before," I said automatically. "As soon as you see it's alive, let me know."
Image popped up, fuzzy to sharp, then back to fuzzy.
"That's your bladder," she said.
"That big black thing the size of Canada?"
"Yes. Nice and full. And that's the gestational sac."
"That peanut-looking thing?"
And then: silence. No "yes it's alive," or "that's its heart beating." Beads of sweat again, not on my face, but on hers: the young radiology tech, ponytail bobbing, probably new at this job, knowing she's not supposed to give away any top secret information on the state of aliveness or deadness of a patient's fetus, yet not well trained on how to keep from spilling the beans. Trying to remember what the green box in her textbook said: "act like you're so involved in taking electronic measurements that you can't be bothered to actually CONVERSE with the patient."
She brushed a strand of hair from her face, glanced not at me but at K across the room, and then back at the screen.
"I'm going to go show these to the head radiologist."
And I knew with sinking certainty:
I got knocked down.
And I did. Which brings me into the KuKdx3 club, a card-carrying member, tossed back over that fragile line into the non-prego side of reality. I can have coffee now, which is good. I guess.
It's a complex thing that happened, more complex than that, and I'll blather on with more detail once I get out of this surreal state of disappointment and confusion and hurt, groping for humor, which is the only way to survive that I know of. Until then, I'll leave you with what my good friend George e-mailed to me upon hearing the news:
"Oh my god. This sucks baboon balls."
Couldn't have said it any better myself: sucks baboon balls.