Here it is. That post to which I've been referring...
We went home the weekend before Christmas to celebrate with my family, since my Dad can no longer travel (they usually all come here, and then together we trek to my sister's house) and my sister doesn't travel away from home on the actual holiday because of her kids. Understandable.
Of course, recalling that my parents know nothing about our last failure...so there's always that little secret that serves to make everything a little bit more interesting. And also, in case you yourself haven't experienced it, let me let you in on another little secret: an IVF failure is a devastating, horrific, life-shattering event to the person experiencing it, but to most other people it is fairly forgettable after a month or so, especially amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays. And I'll admit that Mr. LC and I did a pretty good job of 'moving on' on the outside, so I guess that creates the illusion that we aren't still completely shattered. But many days, we're just tip-toeing along, our facade of being 'ok' held together by a thread.
Saturday morning I woke up and got ready, determined to have a good day. We were going to bring Dad home for the day. We were going to have our big family meal, we were going to open presents, we were going to play outside with my nephews, we were going to have fun, dammit! It was Christmas, after all.
(side note: I'm not phone technology savvy. I don't text. I can read texts but I can't text back easily. I didn't even know you could get pictures in a text. Foreshadowing.)
As we were about to head out to go get my Dad, I picked up my purse and looked down at my phone. My parents live in the country on acreage and cell reception is fairly pitiful there. But I could see a little icon in the corner of my phone that I thought meant I had received a message. I innocently clicked it.
A perfectly clear beautiful ultrasound picture popped up with the text words "It's a girl!" written on it.
I literally dropped my phone on the table like it was infected.
I shook my head...surely I had not just seen what I had seen.
I picked it up again, my heart pounding.
Yup, a beautiful ultrasound photo. The words "It's a girl!" mocking me.
My hands were trembling at this point. Alone, in the kitchen, I felt dizzy. My thoughts started racing.
"Who is sending me this?"
"Who would do this to me?"
"Is it a cruel joke?"
"Who do I know that is pregnant that would be finding out gender right now?"
and again: "Who would do this to me?"
Mr. LC walked into the room. So did my Mom.
I pulled him aside. Hands still shaking, I showed him the phone.
The color drained from his face. "Who sent it?"
"I don't know," I said, tears welling up in my eyes, my throat tightening. I felt like I was having a mild panic attack.
"Well look at the number!"
It wasn't a familiar number, but it had a familiar area code. Maybe it was a mistake? A mis-call, and I had just been the unfortunate recipient of someone's errant number punching.
Except it wasn't.
Mr. LC soon recognized the number, as coming from R.
Those of you who know our full story, know that R was our 'Little Brother' through Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Our little brother that we loved and mentored for seven years.
Through the cancer death of his real big brother.
Through elementary school and then junior high.
Through his trouble with the authorities.
Through this trouble with teachers.
Through trouble with his mother.
Countless hours of homework.
Countless hours of trips, movies, dinners out, art projects, music projects...just hanging out.
Then through his brief incarceration.
Through his first pregnancy scare with his girlfriend.
We had practically ended the relationship when he turned seventeen, dropped out of high school, and his girlfriend was really pregnant. We made that painful trip to the hospital to visit his new perfect baby girl during the midst of one of our IVF cycle failures.
Now they are expecting again and I guess he wanted to share their little miracle with us.
Born to a teenage couple, neither of whom has graduated from high school. I'm sorry--I'm just going to say it: they're not ready. They cannot have the capacity to be great parents. They're struggling financially. But yet.
Two baby girls. The life of my dreams.
Not only did we ourselves fail biologically at having children, we apparently failed as mentors.
And then having to fight back sobs--all day long--when that picture popped into my mind's eye. Having to keep up appearances, a happy face, because after all, it had been a whole month (to those present who knew about the cycle). And having to hold it together completely for my poor Mom, trying her best to make as normal a holiday as possible when everything in her world is not at all normal. Thanks, R, for fucking up my Christmas more than it was already fucked up.
The gut punches...they just keep on coming don't they?
2 years ago