Monday, July 07, 2008

Hello Darkness My Old Friend

When Dr. Cookie Pie called me with the test results the week before last, she said, "I'm sorry, I have bad news." My heart leaped in my throat and I thought, "oh, no, please not a chromosomal abnormality." When she said the chromosomes were normal, I heaved a sigh of relief. I am strangely grateful to have had another unexplained loss. This is the faceless devil I know.

If I'd had a chromosomal loss, I'd have a whole new set of worries now about declining egg quality, about the prospects of ever having another living child. Yes, I still feel a savage anger, but also, somehow a perverse pride. My little Crumps (that's embryos so small they measure not from head to toe but only from crown to rump) are perfect little Crumps. The fault lies with my body, not my progeny.

I don't know how, but I bonded with this little one. My husband claimed to have a lucky feeling that the baby would be a girl, but I was certain beyond certain he was another boy. And I wanted him too.

The day this wished-for son was conceived (we did an HCG trigger shot, so I was very conscious of and optimistic about conception) I accidentally prepared an entire dinner made of foods beginning with the letter "P"— grilled pork tenderloin with peaches, spring peas, and new potatoes. I had planned the menu around spring foods, purposefully wanting to celebrate birth and renewal. But I never meant to pick all "P's." It seemed so funny and so fated when it turned out that I was *P*regnant. I decided that, though I've never nicknamed an embryo before, I'd call this one by a "P" name and picked "Peeper" for the little spring frogs that seemed to be singing my joy.

Last weekend I went outside after dark, walked down to the frog pond and screamed the loudest most furious primal scream that I could. And the singing frogs went silent. Soon after it began to drizzle; they never made another peep that night. It was an eery moment, one that made me feel, somehow, as though the galaxy had noted my grief and despair.

I know I am a lucky, lucky woman, a woman whose father's house has many rooms. It's just that here in the birthing room the ceiling has fallen in and I'm choking on plaster dust, and the furniture is in ruins, and I don't know whether to try to clean up or whether I'd better just scuttle on off down the corridor into the darkness.