36: Ding Dong
This time last year was the saline ultrasound and the endometrial biopsy and the hysterosalpingogram, then the antibiotics, then the IVF orientation, then the follow-up biopsy, and all the while the hemming and hawing, the percentages and the dollar signs, the impossible calculations where n was a baby and x equaled WTF and y was well why not just try again on our own? Then there was Super Bowl Sunday and the huh here we go again feeling, then the creeping sick feeling, familiar then unfamiliar, steamroller fatigue, colors too loud, back molar barf button right where the toothbrush hit. Then one good appointment then another, the shadowy pictures they’d never printed for us before handed over like a CVS receipt and marveled at in the car while “Da Butt” played on the radio.
Now she’s here, she’s been here, and at various points over the last 10 weeks — despite everything, despite living through the years of her acutely not existing and the months of her existing more and more and more — I’ve found myself wondering about her life before she came to us, if this cry or that frown might stem from some obscure negative association with her previous owners. Like how, when we first got the dog from the shelter, a doorbell rang on TV and he popped up to stare at our front door. We marveled over it, this little flash of his life before. He knew a doorbell! Joe had the same thoughts about the baby. He told me like he was confessing something I’d think was really boneheaded but of course I just laughed. One day she’ll talk about us to her friends and call us by our first names like we’re exasperating coworkers or people in a book. We are the previous owners. We are the ones to blame.
“Have a baby??? Or be OK with not having a baby?????“ was my resolution for so many New Years that it’s weird going into January without all those question marks. There are plenty other questions this year (why IS she crying?). Some have ready answers, others don’t need answers at all, and the rest I’m fine with leaving a mystery. At least for now.