On the first day of the new year in 2008 I was pregnant. It was a totally new and thrilling concept and while I was worried that my beta was not as high as other people on line I was hopeful. Mother and I were living in Jacksonville with Millie and very rarely ventured over to the beach. But on January 1 we did, with sparklers.
I took a photo of Mother and I that evening that is one of my favorites. I am smiling in my eyes and in my mouth. I am serene. A few days later I would discover that the pregnancy was not viable. I did not take another photo of myself until April.
Yesterday, during a painful fetal ultrasound appointment where the tech searched in every part she could find for an embryo or whatever you call it, I started weeping. In the dark, without pants on, just me and the tech. The same tech that held my hand the day the embryos were transferred into me.
Part of me wanted there to be something to see. Even if it was in the wrong place. I wanted to see what was causing all of this extra drama. Another part of me was terrified that they would find something in my uterus. I fretted that if that was the case then I would somehow find a way to blame myself for something that is unblameable.
There was nothing. Nothing to see. Nothing to photograph.
In between my ultrasound and my appointment with the RE on call I sat, briefly, in the lobby. Every other patient there was there for a fetal ultrasound as well. The only difference between me and them was that they all had a roll out of a sonogram image. Also? They were serene.
I escaped to the bathroom hoping that if I didn’t turn the fan on I would hear the nurse call my name. I looked at myself in the mirror, unrecognizable in grief, jaw muscles frozen to keep my chin from quivering, dark pockets of sadness draped below my eyes.
And I pulled out my phone and took my photo in the bathroom mirror.
This moment, this blip, this is just as important to remember as the happy day. It’s not pretty. But it is my truth.