We interrupt this week of highly charged emotional angst to bring you a little happiness. That's right, kids, some bluebirds and butterflies, right here in the middle of Lady Steele's career and mental meltdown.
It was six years ago today that I saw something I had never seen before and frankly was beginning to wonder if I would EVER see. A faint little line. A mere glimmer of my future - a tiny purple dash across the screen of my 745th home pregnancy test.
Those of you who can get pregnant simply by skipping a pill and having impure thoughts can go away now, because this story won't have the same effect on you.
I was clearly NOT the kind of woman who could just multiply and bear fruit. We tried. And we tried. And then we tried again. In the beginning, it was fun. Terrific, in fact. The closeness, the intimacy, the stolen time together with the one true love of my life. The working together on a common goal, and by gosh getting warm and tingly in all the right places at the same time! Bow chicka wow wow.
But a few months go by, and suddenly what was fun once upon a time now seems like work. Now there are doctors involved. And medications. And calendars on the refrigerator, with yellow days and big red circles. And conversations that start with, "I don't care if I have a fever and snot all over my face, by gosh it's day 12, get in the bedroom NOW."
All of that came to a screeching halt about 5 am on March 25, 2003. It was a Tuesday. Nice things happen in our family on Tuesdays.
I had felt a little odd the day before. No, that's not fair to say. I was totally outta whack that day. I had made the most beautiful filet mignons on the grill. Perfectly seared on the outside, warm pink centers just like we like them. I cut into my steak that evening and my stomach flipped inside out. I told MrG that something didn't feel right, and that if things weren't better in the morning, I was taking a pregnancy test. I had only done this every four weeks for the past 20 months, so this was not a surprise to him.
I woke up early on Tuesday morning and took the test. My heart thudded as I watched the second hand tick away, just as it had countless times before. I know three minutes really isn't that long, but you try holding your breath and waiting - three minutes suddenly feels like three hours. As the second hand clicked to its designated stopping place, I gave the test a quick glance, with the same mixture of anxiety and dread I'd felt a hundred times before.
WTF? Is that a smudge? Did I get a defective test? Oh for the love of all that is holy, am I seeing what I think I'm seeing? Put it down. Walk away. Pick it up and stare. Holy crap. Pick it up and stare again. Holy crap.
It's 5 am and MrG has been at work all night, and compassionate adoring spouse that I am, do I let him come in and get some rest until we know for sure our life is about to be turned upside down? NO - I hit him with the news the second he walks in the door.
As the token practical, down to earth, sane member of our family, he suggests to me that we confirm it with a blood test. Fabulous. Can do! But it's 5:15 in the morning, and now I have to burn about 3 hours before I can get in to the doctor's office.
Somehow the minutes click away, and I am sitting in the parking lot waiting on the doctor's office staff as they arrive to open for business. I bully my way in and demand a blood draw to confirm my pregnancy with all the dignity I could muster between my teary little outbursts.
The lab tech puts the tourniquet on, jabs me with a bit more force than I think is necessary, draws some blood, and sends me out of her lab. On my way past the front desk, Robin the receptionist tells me they'll call when they know something, but I should plan on 48 hours. Are you freaking kidding me??
As it turns out, it was not 48 hours. It was more like 9 hours.
I was making dinner when I got the call from my former gynecologist, who was happy to announce that the rabbit had died and she was now my obstetrician. I was indeed with child. Preggers. Knocked up. In the family way.
And the rest, they say, is history. 240 days later, I brought home a beautiful little girl with a shock of dark hair and the most perfect little fingers I have ever seen. I guess good things happen in our family on Thursdays, too.
So much of my pregnancy was frightening for me; I was so afraid that something was going to go wrong. But those first few days were pure bliss - having this miraculous secret that only MrG and I and the best OB/GYN in the world knew. When I think about the excitement and the joy of that day, I still get a lump in my throat, six long years later.
So today, I'm taking a few minutes out of the insanity that is my present life to celebrate the day six years ago, when one simple little dash changed the direction of my life forever.
Thank God for kids.