It’s a chilly March morning in 2005 as I wait for you to become mine. Overland Park Regional’s exam room is so cold that my teeth won’t stop chattering and the hair on my arms stands straight up, a forest of fuzz. Shivering in only a scratchy short-sleeved hospital gown and a pair of socks with sticky bottoms, I wait. Goosebumps race down my bare legs, which ache from being in the stirrups. There’s a stupid poster of a beach scene on the ceiling that I’m supposed to focus on, but who can relax at a time like this? I could officially be pregnant in a matter of minutes.
Your daddy and Gigi are sitting near me. I can’t stop crying because I’m terrified you won’t stick, that my uterus will be an inhospitable environment, that you’ll fall out once I stand up in an hour, or when I pee. Gigi tries to distract me by joking that she’ll be able to tell everyone she was in the room when you were conceived. Which wouldn’t be true anyway, since you were conceived five days ago in a sterile lab, without even your parents present, let alone grandparents. Only doctors in labcoats, working mostly in silence with their microscopes and gloved hands.
Today marks the culmination of our second round of in vitro fertilization, years of fertility treatments, and this small room suddenly feels like it’s closing in on me.
This is a photo of me as Dr. B carefully loads you, my little embryos (or extended blastocysts if we’re being technical) up into a long, skinny catheter. She gave me Valium, but sharing a room with you, my potential baby/babies, means no relaxation. I am immune to the drugs. I think: You are tangible. You are right there. You are on the verge of becoming our dream fully realized. Yet you might not survive. And there’s absolutely nothing we can do because we have no control over any of it. Please, please, let me be your Mommy. I know I can be good at that. I was born to be your mommy. Nothing else matters to me. Please choose me. Pick me. Love me. Stay.
Dr. B comes in, snaps on the tv screen and points to the swimming circles, “These look really, really good. I’m thinking twins.” My tears triple, running in rivers down my smiling cheeks. I’m scared to hope, and I almost wish she wouldn’t have said it because I start to mutter it over and over in my head. Twins. Twins. Twins. Me. Twins.
It is time. Dr. B. exits the exam room into the adjacent lab and returns with the fully loaded catheter. She walks slowly, a hush falls over the room. Her assistant, Brandi, turns the bright light on illuminating my lady parts. Cold speculum goes in and I hear and feel the familiar cranks. Dr. B. asks me to remain perfectly still as she slides the catheter through my cervix.
There is nothing but silence. And then the sounds of my jagged breaths as I will myself not to cry with the magnitude of this moment. I feel a slight cramping and then it’s over. Dr. B removes the catheter as slowly as she inserted it. “We have to look at it under the microscope to make sure both embryos made it out into your uterus,” she explains. “Sometimes one gets stuck and clings, so before we let you get comfortable, we have to check real quick.”
Thirty seconds later she’s back with a big grin and takes the speculum out. “We’re good. Why don’t you rest here for about an hour, and then you can go home and take it easy for the next two days,” she says, handing me a warm blanket. Hubs hops up and quickly spreads it out over me and finally the tears fall freely.
I am scared to dream, but it’s almost like I feel you already, latching on inside of me. My womb, my heart, my soul are full of you. Though you are the size of the head of a pin, I know.
You are there.
You are mine. Finally.