When a Negative Helps You Focus on the Positive
This time, he didn't bring home flowers. But in his defense, I took the phone call this time. And I already knew.
Berta was not meant to be.
The first time around, when we conceived our twins, we didn't cheat and take a home test. We faithfully waited until our second of two blood tests and the phone call so that the nurse could tell us the news we'd waited years to hear. "You are pregnant." Except in our case, it was my husband who took the call and the words he heard were, "She's pregnant."
I couldn't do it. I couldn't take the call. My heart was too fragile. He was stronger.
And so, keeping the news to himself all afternoon (he got the call at lunch), he stopped by the flower shop on the way home.
I knew I was pregnant the moment he walked through the door and I saw the flowers covering his smile. I burst in to tears and fell...literally...to the floor. I hit my knees with pure gratitude and joy.
Although, had you seen me, "joy" may not have been the first thought that came to mind. I was a sobbing, blithering, whimpering mess. I could barely stand as he held me up to hug me.
We were pregnant. At last. Thanks be to God.
That was three years ago.
This time, there weren't any flowers.
But there also weren't as many tears. Instead, peace. While we no doubt feel the weight of the loss of an idea, the loss of a possibility, we also feel some peace.
This time, when the nurse called and confirmed what I already suspected, I did not fall to the floor. "I'm sorry, sweetie. Unfortunately you are not pregnant."
Instead, I hung up the phone and, as if on cue, the tears came from above. I headed upstairs to find my son, awakened from his nap and whimpering in his bed...for me.
"Mommy, I just want to snuggle."
Never before had I been able to absorb the news of a negative pregnancy test while holding my child.
While Berta was not meant to be, my two boys are. And therein lies an enormous blessing.
Two of them, actually.
And while there is a part of us that grieves for the loss of what could have been and for the finality that a completed IVF cycle brings for the infertile couple, we are also doubly grateful for what is.